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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Aug. 17

Britain's medical agency has approved the Moderna coronavirus vaccine for use in children ages 12 and over. It is the second COVID-19 shot authorized in the U.K. for those between ages 12 to 17 after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

U.K. approves Moderna vaccine for kids 12 and up; U.S. extends mask rules on flights

A COVID-19 vaccine shot is prepared in Barrhead, Scotland, on Aug. 9. Britain's medical agency on Tuesday approved the Moderna vaccine for use in children ages 12 and over. (Jeff J. Mitchell/AFP/Getty Images)

The latest:

Britain's medical agency has approved the Moderna coronavirus vaccine for use in children ages 12 and over. It is the second COVID-19 shot authorized in the U.K. for those between ages 12 to 17 after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said Tuesday that it is up to the government's vaccination advisers whether children in this age group should be given the Moderna shot.

The U.K has delivered a successful vaccine rollout in adults, but it has taken a more cautious approach to extending the offer to children. This week, officials announced all those ages 16 and 17 in England will be offered the chance to book their first shot by Aug. 23.

Currently, children ages 12 to 15 are only offered the Pfizer vaccine if they are considered medically vulnerable.


What's happening across Canada

People wearing face masks are seen at a Montreal hospital on Tuesday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

What's happening around the world

As of Tuesday, more than 208.1 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to a coronavirus tracker published by Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.3 million.

WATCH | Workplaces consider COVID-19 vaccine requirements:

Workplaces consider COVID-19 vaccine requirements

2 months ago
2:04
Some Canadian companies have imposed their own COVID-19 vaccine requirements on employees who want to return to the workplace, while others are hoping the federal government’s new mandate will be applied to them. But some employment lawyers say though vaccine mandates are legal, they’re not simple. 2:04

In Asia, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has officially expanded and extended the nation's coronavirus state of emergency as government advisers recommend legal changes that would allow penalties for violations.

The emergency measures centre around asking restaurants and bars to close at 8 p.m. and not serve alcohol. Department stores and shopping malls will also be asked to restrict the number of customers to reduce crowding.

Requests remain in place for people to work from home, but some require staff to work in the office. Commuter trains and Tokyo streets remain crowded, although most people wear masks.

People wearing face masks are seen in Tokyo on Tuesday. (Koji Sasahara/The Associated Press)

In Europe, the European Medicines Agency says it is deciding whether a third dose of coronavirus vaccines will be needed in light of U.S. regulators considering booster shots.

The EU drug regulator says it's "engaging with vaccine developers" to co-ordinate submission of the necessary data and it is aware numerous European countries are considering giving booster shots to their already-immunized populations.

The World Health Organization has urged rich countries to hold off administering third doses so unvaccinated populations can get immunized.

WATCH | Canadian, U.S. health officials suggest 3rd doses for most vulnerable:

Canadian and American health officials suggest third doses for most vulnerable

2 months ago
2:03
As a fourth wave of COVID-19 nears, U.S. regulators are suggesting third vaccine shots for the immunocompromised, and Ontario is eyeing a plan for booster shots. 2:03

In the Americas, U.S. officials are extending into January a requirement that people on airline flights and public transportation wear face masks.

The mask mandate has been controversial and has led to many encounters between passengers who don't want to wear a mask and flight attendants asked to enforce the rule.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday that airlines have reported 3,889 incidents involving unruly passengers this year, and 2,867 — or 74 per cent — involved mask refusal.

In Africa, activists have slammed Johnson & Johnson for exporting vaccines produced in South Africa to countries in Europe, which have already immunized large numbers of their people and have even donated vaccines to more needy countries.

The vast majority of the world's COVID-19 vaccine supply has already been bought up by rich countries, including the U.S., Canada and the European Union. While many of those countries have pledged to donate millions of vaccines to African countries, most of them won't be delivered this year.

Meanwhile, less than three per cent of Africa's 1.3 billion people have been fully vaccinated.

With files from CBC News

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