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Only one in four health workers vaccinated in Africa
South Africa has requested an urgent sitting of a World Health Organisation working group on virus evolution to discuss the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant.
A further 700,000 people could die of Covid by March in Europe and parts of Asia, the World Health Organization has warned.
The death toll already exceeds 1.5 million in the 53 countries of what the WHO terms as its Europe region.
The UK and Israel have moved quickly to impose travel restrictions on travellers from nations in southern Africa in a bid to contain the risk arising from a new COVID-19 variant.
The UK's Health Security Agency says its analysis of English data shows Covid vaccines are safe in pregnancy, reinforcing international evidence.
The agency found similar rates of stillbirths and preterm births for vaccinated and unvaccinated mothers.
Researchers say women should feel confident the jabs will help protect them and urge more to take them.
Some 1.5 million Covid deaths have already been recorded in the WHO's Europe region of 53 countries
Germany's health minister has issued his starkest warning yet on the importance of getting vaccinated.
"By the end of this winter everyone in Germany will either be vaccinated, recovered or dead," Jens Spahn told a news conference in Berlin on Monday.
Germany is in the grip of a fourth wave of coronavirus. Cases are rising rapidly and many hospitals are full.
It has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Western Europe, with 68% of people fully vaccinated.
Australia's high vaccination rates are now being celebrated as restrictions are gradually lifted, but life is far more complicated for those who are mourning relatives who have died with COVID-19.
The rollout of vaccinations for five to 11-year-olds this week aims to curb a recent rise in coronavirus infections in Israel.
Israel started rolling out Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccinations for five to 11-year-olds on Monday, hoping to beat down a recent rise in coronavirus infections.
A fourth wave of infections that hit Israel in June began subsiding in September. But over the past two weeks th reproduction rate of the virus, which had remained below one for two months, began climbing and has now crossed a threshold indicating the virus could again be spreading exponentially.
Kenyans will be barred from bars, restaurants and public transport from 21 December if they are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19, Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe says.
The measures are aimed at increasing the rate of vaccinations ahead of the festive season.