* Romania is in talks about potentially transferring some COVID-19 patients to Hungary as Bucharest struggles with record high infections and a shortage of intensive care beds, deputy interior minister Raed Arafat said.
* The Danish Health Agency said it was continuing to offer Moderna’s vaccine to under-18s, and that a statement on Wednesday suggesting a suspension had been a miscommunication.
* Russia has repeatedly delayed inspections by the European Medicines Agency necessary for the certification of its Sputnik V vaccine in the European Union, the EU’s ambassador to Moscow was quoted as saying.
* Britain will offer additional shots to participants in clinical trials for coronavirus vaccines that have not yet been approved in order to let them travel, the health ministry said.
* The United States will accept the use by international visitors of COVID-19 vaccines authorised by US regulators or the World Health Organisation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
* Independent advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet later this month to make recommendations on booster doses of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines, the agency said.
* Canada’s latest wave could decline in the coming weeks with increasing numbers of Canadians now vaccinated, a top medical official said, citing longer-term forecasts.
* Brazil has become the second country in the world to pass 600,000 COVID-19 deaths, a grim milestone for a government that has been sharply criticised by health experts for mismanaging the outbreak.
* Australia’s chief medical officer has indicated a third jab could offer long-term protection rather than annual injections
* Australian doctors warned a too-rapid easing of restrictions in Sydney could put pressure on health systems and risk lives, as the country’s biggest city prepares for an end to more than 100 days in lockdown next week.
* Singapore plans to widen its quarantine-free travel program to include fully vaccinated individuals from South Korea and the US as the financial hub moves cautiously to reopen its borders.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Moderna plans to invest up to $A683 million to build a factory in Africa to make up to 500 million doses of mRNA vaccines each year, including its COVID-19 shot, as pressure grows on the pharmaceutical industry to manufacture drugs on the continent.
* Two Indian drugmakers have requested permission to end late-stage trials of their generic versions of Merck & Co’s oral antiviral drug molnupiravir for moderate COVID-19, raising questions about how effective the experimental medicine is for that group of patients.
* Pfizer and BioNTech have asked US regulators to authorise emergency use of their vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, a group for whom no shot is currently allowed, Pfizer said.
* The Federal Reserve may move to begin reducing its support for the economy next month despite a sharp slowdown in jobs gains last month as the latest US surge in COVID-19 cases crested and began to recede.
* The US economy created the fewest jobs in nine months in September amid a drop in hiring at schools and worker shortages, but ebbing cases and the end of generous unemployment benefits could boost employment gains in the months ahead.
* The European Central Bank must think about the exit from monetary and fiscal support deployed during the pandemic even if that displeases governments, three of its policymakers said.