India reeling amid virus surge; CDC updates airborne transmission guidance: Latest COVID-19 updates

The pace of vaccination in India has dropped and regional officials there say they have limited amounts of vaccines to administer, even as the country grapples with a surge in coronavirus cases and complaints of oxygen shortages at hospitals.

The world’s second most populous country is setting a record pace of infections: Just over 403,000 confirmed cases reported Sunday, including 4,092 deaths.

At the same time, vaccinations per day have dropped to an average of 1.3 million in the past week. That’s down from 3.5 million per day in April. So far, about 10% of India’s population have received one dose, while just shy of 2.5% have received both.

India’s Supreme Court is setting up a national task force to conduct an “oxygen audit” to determine whether federal supplies are reaching states. The country’s top court stepped in last week to ensure the federal government provided more oxygen to hospitals in New Delhi.

On Friday, the European Union called on the United States to start boosting its vaccine exports to help contain the global crisis. The United States said earlier last week that it would support efforts to waive some intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines to allow more countries to produce more of them, but officials said it would not have an immediate impact on global supplies, and drug makers have opposed lifting patent protections.

Also in the news:

Washington D.C.’s Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s recent ban on dancing has faced backlash for prohibiting wedding traditions such as cocktail hour and father-daughter dances.

The pace of U.S. vaccinations has been slowing from its peak on April 10 of 4.6 million daily shots. Public health agencies are working harder to get shots in arms, a critical effort that could help President Joe Biden’s new goal of 70% of Americans getting at least one shot by July 4.

Pfizer and BioNTech said Friday that they had submitted an application for full FDA approval of their COVID-19 vaccine for people ages 16 and older.

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