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What we know today, September 16 - virus latest at a glance


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White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients says the United States is developing a “new system for international travel” that will include strong mitigation procedures like contact tracing. Zients told the US Travel and Tourism Advisory Board the administration does not plan to immediately relax any travel restrictions because of COVID-19 Delta variant cases.

New data from Moderna’s large COVID-19 vaccine trial shows the protection it offers wanes over time, supporting the case for booster doses, the company says. “This is only one estimate, but we do believe this means as you look toward the fall and winter, at minimum we expect the estimated impact of waning immunity would be 600,000 additional cases of COVID-19,” Moderna president Stephen Hoge said on a conference call with investors on Wednesday.

Italy is set to make its COVID-19 “Green Pass” mandatory for all workers from next month, a minister says, becoming the first European country to do so as it tries to accelerate vaccinations and stamp out infections. The pass – a digital or paper certificate showing someone has received at least one vaccine dose, tested negative or recently recovered from the virus – was originally conceived to ease travel among EU members.

The tail of New Zealand’s COVID-19 outbreak continues to wag, with 13 community cases reported. The outbreak was first identified on August 17, and is likely to have peaked a fortnight later when 83 cases were announced.

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