The pace of vaccinations in the United States has picked up, with 14 million first shots administered in August.

Vaccination against coronavirus is increasing in frequency, with the number of first-time shots in particular on the rise, according to White House officials.

“We’ve sped up the pace at which we fire first shots. In August, we received more than 14 million visitors. “That represents nearly 4 million more first shots in August compared to the previous month,” said Jeff Zients, the White House’s covid-19 response coordinator, during a news conference on Tuesday.

The announcement comes as European Union officials announced Tuesday that approximately 70 percent of the bloc’s adults have now received a full coronavirus vaccination, exceeding a target set at the beginning of the year, though significant disparities persist between individual countries’ vaccination rates.

Even though studies continue to show that vaccine efficacy against infection is diminishing with time, prompting countries to recommend booster shots, vaccinations are still important in lowering hospitalization and death rates among the young.
Global health leaders have called for a United Nations summit to combat the pandemic.
World leaders are being urged to convene a summit at the United Nations General Assembly this month, according to a coalition of health experts and advocates, who argue that only coordinated action will be able to halt the covid-19 outbreak.

“A global pandemic necessitates the development of a global response strategy,” the coalition writes in a public letter obtained by The Washington Post. “The summit should result in the commitments and actions necessary to close the gaps in vaccine supply, financing, and capacity,” says the UN Secretary-General.

“The coalition is calling on world leaders to commit to ensuring that 7 billion doses of high-quality coronavirus vaccines are available by the end of 2021; to vaccinating 70 percent of the world’s population by the middle of 2022; and to ensuring equitable global access to tests, therapies, and other interventions, among other commitments…. They contend that they are in a race against time. There will be millions more infections and deaths if we don’t take action right away, and new variants of the virus could emerge and compromise vaccine immunity.

The letter’s signatories include a diverse group of U.S. and international health policymakers, including Andy Slavitt, a former Biden coronavirus adviser; Jeremy Hunt, a former United Kingdom health secretary and foreign secretary; and Pascal Lamy, a former World Trade Organization director general. Bono, the singer-philanthropist, and screenwriter Richard Curtis all signed the letter, which was also signed by four former commissioners of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

It was organized by the covid Collaborative, the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, the Duke Global Health Innovation Center, the Duke Global Health Institute, and the Pandemic Action Network, and it received support from more than two dozen other groups.

In response to the outbreak in developing countries, where vaccination rates are lagging, public health experts, scientists, and activists have urged the Biden administration and other leaders to move more quickly to address the outbreak. Some of those experts also laid out a framework for how a global response should be prioritized last week, which can be found here.
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