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A bottle of J&J vaccine
India's health ministry has welcomed the news that J&J's vaccine has been approved for emergency useImage: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/picture alliance

COVID digest: India approves J&J vaccine for emergency use

August 7, 2021

Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine has been given the green light in India. Australia is registering record numbers of infections while STIKO has criticized German lawmakers. Follow DW for more.


India seeks to "boost" its anti-pandemic efforts by approving Johnson & Johnson's single-dose coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Saturday.

"India expands its vaccine basket!"  he said on Twitter. 

The decision comes just a day after J&J made the application for approval.

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Here are some of the other coronavirus developments from around the world:

Asia and Oceania

The state of New South Wales in Australia reported another record day of infections on Saturday, with 319 new cases as authorities in Melbourne rushed to trace the source of its outbreaks.

As a whole, Australia recorded 361 cases in the previous 24 hours, its highest number of infections this year. Around 60% of the country's population have been placed under a strict lockdown due to the highly infectious delta variant.

Tokyo Olympics top health adviser, Brian McCloskey, said on Saturday that the Games could lead the way for other sporting events in the midst of the pandemic.

The chair of Tokyo 2020's Independent Expert Panel also said the organization would share its data to help countries around the world battle the coronavirus.

The Olympics had shown that measures such as social distancing, mask wearing, hand sanitizing, as well as testing and tracing, worked when implemented as a package, McCloskey said at a press briefing.

"We have shown it is possible to keep a pandemic at bay and that is a very important lesson from Tokyo to the rest of the world," he said.

Meanwhile, spectators in Japan came out to support runners in the Olympics women's marathon, flouting stay-at-home COVID orders.

Locals gathered near the finish line in Odori Park, as well as other spots along the course, waving flags, clapping and recording videos on their smartphones as the runners passed by.


Germany's top vaccine advisory body STIKO would prefer lawmakers to be more considered with their approach to the pandemic, rather than trying to score quick political points.

The head of the vaccination commission, Thomas Mertens, told the Augsburger Allgemeinen that politicians can be overzealous as they want to distinguish themselves, particularly in the build-up to a nationwide election, which will take place in September.

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"It would certainly be better if precise data analyses were carried out first and then use this as a basis for a recommendation, and finally a political implementation," Mertens told the German newspaper.

The comments from Mertens come in the wake of several German state premiers calling for all children over the age of 12 to be vaccinated.

People in Germany said their favorite form of vaccine incentive was a shopping voucher, according to a survey reported in the Bild newspaper.

While some countries have offered beer and certain easing of restrictions, 70% of Germans preferred supermarket vouchers as an incentive to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Other popular choices included sports and cultural events discounts, while some opted for sausages.

Like a number of other countries, Germany is currently struggling to convince a reluctant portion of its population to get vaccinated.

Why is Germany offering COVID-19 booster shots?

The reopening of nightclubs in Berlin has taken a step closer to becoming a reality after six nightclubs were involved in a the Reboot Clubculture project that began this weekend.

As part of the scheme, people can dance without face masks or social distancing, but are only be admitted after a negative PCR test.

jsi/dj (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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