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Daily COVID Tracker: US extends vaccine requirements for non-citizens at land borders

Daily COVID Tracker: US extends vaccine requirements for non-citizens at land borders
April 22
08:05 2022

The United States has extended its COVID vaccine requirements for non-citizens crossing land borders. Here are updates about the pandemic this Friday. 

Taiwan approves second COVID booster dose

Taiwan’s government has approved a second COVID-19 booster vaccine dose for those 65 and older, and third boosters for the immunocompromised.

People with compromised immune systems, including dialysis patients and those who have received organ transplants, are approved for third booster shots.

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The government said those getting their second or third booster should get them at least five months after their last shot, and can choose from the Moderna, Pfizer, Taiwan-made Medigen or Novavax brands.

Philadelphia to end indoor mask mandate

Philadelphia is ending its indoor mask mandate, reversing its decision just three days after imposing the order.

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The Philadelphia health department said the board of health (BOH) voted on Thursday to end the mandate.

“Due to decreasing hospitalizations and a leveling of case counts, the city will move to strongly recommend masks in indoor public spaces as opposed to a mask mandate,” it said.

“Given the latest data, the BOH voted to rescind the mandate.”

US extends COVID vaccine requirements for non-citizens at land borders

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The United States government has extended a requirement that non-US citizens crossing land or ferry terminals at the US-Mexico and US-Canada borders must be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The vaccination requirements which were first adopted in November, had been set to expire on Thursday unless they were extended.

International air travellers over the age of two regardless of citizenship must provide a negative test for the virus before arriving and non-US citizens must also show proof of vaccination. People travelling at land or ferry crossings do not need to provide a negative test.

There are some limited exceptions to the rules, including for those who have recently recovered from COVID-19.

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Hong Kong reopens venues, extends dining hours as COVID cases fall

Hong Kong has reopened gyms, beauty parlours, theme parks and cinemas for the first time in more than four months.

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Many restaurants were reportedly booked out for weeks ahead after the hours for dining out were extended until 10 pm from 6 pm, while group sizes have been expanded to four from two.

As Hong Kong eased its measures, authorities in Shanghai said they would retain tough curbs.

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Moderna to file for emergency use authorisation of COVID-19 shot for very young kids

Moderna plans to submit an application to the US health regulator for emergency use authorisation (EUA) of its COVID-19 vaccine among kids between the ages of six months to five years by the end of the month.

The Omicron variant was predominant during Moderna’s pediatric trial, and it said two doses were around 38 percent effective in preventing infections in two to five-year-olds and 44 percent effective for children aged six months to under two years.

Last week, Pfizer said a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine produced significant protection against the Omicron variant in healthy children from ages five to 11.

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