The European Union said Tuesday it has fully vaccinated 70% of all adults. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urged unvaccinated people to get their shots as soon as possible to avoid a new wave in cases and stop the emergence of new variants. Despite the EU milestone, vaccination rates remain low, and infections are increasing in poorer, Eastern European nations.
Israel is now offering booster shots to all vaccinated people, which includes children aged 12 and older. The World Health Organization has repeatedly called on wealthy nations to hold off on booster shots until poorer countries receive their fair share of vaccines. Meanwhile, less than 10% of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are fully vaccinated, according to one tracker.
The Australian state of Victoria has extended its lockdown for three more weeks as cases continue to mount. The state’s leader said restrictions will only be eased after 70% of eligible residents receive their first vaccine dose. New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, reported its highest daily rise in cases this week.
In the Philippines, healthcare workers protested in Manila against government neglect and unpaid benefits. This is Robert Mendoza, president of the Alliance of Health Workers.
Robert Mendoza: “It is sad that many of us have died, many of us became sick, and many have resigned or opted to retire early, yet we are still kneeling before the Department of Health to give us our benefits.”