• Romania could start offering a third COVID-19 vaccine dose to medical staff and at-risk people as early as next week as the number of new daily cases was rising sharply, the head of the national vaccination committee said.
• Poland will recommend a booster dose of the vaccine for people over 50 as well as for healthcare workers, a deputy health minister said.
• Ukraine will tighten lockdown restrictions from Sept. 23 as the number of new infections has increased sharply, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said.
• Greece will make a booster vaccine available to doctors and other medical staff in the coming weeks, health ministry experts said.
• Two major U.S. retail industry groups asked the Biden administration for at least 90 days before imposing new rules that will require employees at larger firms to be vaccinated or submit to regular testing.
• Under new U.S. rules, foreign nationals admitted to the United States on humanitarian grounds, who are not required to have vaccinations, will have to agree to be vaccinated upon arrival, according to a document seen by Reuters.
• Argentina unveiled plans to ease pandemic restrictions, including loosening strict border controls, allowing more commercial activities and getting rid of the mandatory wearing of face masks outdoors.
• Police in Melbourne used pepper balls and rubber pellets to scatter thousands of protesters who defied stay-at-home orders to damage property, block a busy freeway and injure three officers, leading to more than 40 arrests.
• Vietnam’s health ministry has licensed Hanoi-based pharmaceutical firm Vimedimex to import 30 million doses of the Hayat-Vax vaccine, state media reported.
• Some health experts in Singapore are calling for mandatory vaccination with a growing toll of severe COVID-19 among unvaccinated people as infections surge and with vaccine take-up plateauing at 82% of the population.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
• The first world fair to be held in the Middle East, Expo 2020 Dubai, opens its doors to exhibitors from almost 200 countries on Oct. 1 after being delayed for a year by the pandemic.
• Pfizer and BioNTech SE said their vaccine induced a robust immune response in children aged 5 to 11, and they plan to ask for regulatory authorization as soon as possible to use the shot in that age range in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.