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What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

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U.S. plans to begin administering booster shots in September - source
The Biden administration plans to begin administering Covid-19 booster shots to Americans as early as mid- or late-September, pending authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a source familiar with the discussions told Reuters late on Monday.

Health officials in U.S. President Joe Biden's administration gathered round the view that most people should get a booster shot eight months after they completed their initial vaccination, the source said.

New Zealand reports first community case since Feb
New Zealand on Tuesday reported its first case of Covid-19 in the community in six months after a person tested positive in its largest city of Auckland.

The link between the case and the border or managed isolation is yet to be established, the Health Ministry said in a statement, adding the case is now being investigated.

Sydney cases set to rise, hospitals under pressure

Cases of Covid-19 are set to "rise substantially" in Sydney in the coming weeks despite a prolonged lockdown, authorities said on Tuesday, warning soaring infections have already put hospitals under enormous strain. New South Wales (NSW) state, whose capital Sydney is the epicentre of the latest outbreak, reported 452 cases in the past 24 hours, the third-biggest one-day jump, and one new death.

As the virus spreads to regional centres across NSW, a case was detected as far away as Broken Hill, a mining town more than 900 kms (560 miles) northwest of Sydney deep in Australia's outback, raising fears of wider outbreaks. The country is racing to speed up its sluggish vaccination rollout, with only about 26% of Australians fully vaccinated.

As Delta spreads, some U.S. travellers double up on vaccine
A group of people are coming from abroad into the U.S. to be vaccinated again, their reasons ranging from concerns that the vaccines immediately available to them were not effective enough, fears that they require extra protection against the fast-spreading Delta variant, or a need to meet specific requirements for work or travel.

Public health officials have not determined if booster doses are needed for the general population, and there is not yet much data on the relative risks and benefits of complete revaccination. "It is probably more than is needed," said Jason Gallagher, an infectious diseases expert at Temple University's School of Pharmacy. "A fourth dose is probably a waste; a third dose is probably unnecessary for a lot of people."

Higher risk of Bell's Palsy after Sinovac's vaccine -study
Risk of Bell's Palsy, a type of facial paralysis, is higher after the first dose of Sinovac Biotech Ltd's Covid-19 vaccine CoronaVac, according to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.

The study conducted in more than 451,000 individuals in Hong Kong showed 28 clinically confirmed cases of Bell's Palsy following CoronaVac, compared to 16 cases following Pfizer/BioNtech's vaccine. The study assessed the risk of the adverse event within 42 days following vaccination. Sinovac did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.

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