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What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

File photo dated 04/04/21 of people wearing protective face masks walking in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire. Scientists are calling for 3,000 long Covid sufferers of all ages, genders and ethnicities to help them establish a possible genetic link to the virus.

Pfizer on track for U.S. vaccine boosters, Moderna lags, says Fauci
Top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that officials were likely to soon get the regulatory go-ahead to administer Covid-19 vaccine booster shots made by Pfizer, although a Moderna booster could take a little longer as it has not yet submitted the necessary data on booster shots to the Food and Drug Administration.

Last month the Biden administration announced it would start offering boosters to Americans by Sept. 20.

Scientists are still debating how much additional immunity boosters provide and whether all Americans should get another shot, rather than just those at high risk of severe illness.

Sydney cases may peak next week; Australia steps up vaccine rollout
Authorities in Australia's New South Wales, the epicentre of the country's biggest coronavirus outbreak, said on Monday daily infections were expected to peak next week, as they look to speed up immunisations ahead of easing restrictions. Victoria state, which includes Melbourne, reported 246 new cases on Monday, its biggest daily rise of the year.

Last week, Australia entered into vaccine swap deals with Britain and Singapore for a total of around 4.5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, double this month's supply. Nearly half a million doses, the first batch of shipments, arrived overnight.

Each Covid-19 surge poses a PTSD risk for healthcare workers
Half a dozen U.S. ICU staffers have told Reuters of symptoms such as waking from nightmares bathed in sweat; flashbacks to dying patients during the pandemic's fear-filled early days; flaring anger; and panic at the sound of medical alarms. Those whose symptoms last longer than one month and are severe enough to interfere with daily life can be diagnosed with PTSD.

Unions want to mitigate trauma by setting national rules for the number of patients under each nurse's care. Workers say they should not have to pay for therapy, medication, and other interventions. The AMA and other groups want more confidentiality for doctors who seek mental health services. Most ICU staff who discussed PTSD with Reuters requested anonymity for fear of repercussions at work.

Israel to present Covid-19 booster shot data to FDA experts
Israel this month will present data from an extensive rollout of Covid-19 vaccine booster shots to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is weighing White House plans to begin a booster drive in the United States.

A week ago Israel began offering a Pfizer Covid-19 booster to people as young as 12 in a campaign that began in July among seniors. Israeli health officials said the drive has slowed a rise in severe illness caused by the Delta variant. So far 2.6 million people out of a population of 9.3 million have received three doses of the Pfizer vaccine in Israel.

Vietnam sets deadline to vaccinate biggest cities' adults
Vietnam's coronavirus epicentre, Ho Chi Minh City, and capital Hanoi must vaccinate all of their adult residents with at least one shot by Sept. 15, the ministry of health said on Sunday. Vietnam has one of the lowest coronavirus vaccination rates in the region, with only 3.3% of the country's 98 million people fully vaccinated with two shots, and 15.4% with one shot.

The country is battling a worsening Covid-19 outbreak. So far the virus has infected more than 520,000 people and killed 13,000, the vast majority in the past few months. Ho Chi Minh City, the country's business hub, accounts for half of the infections and 80% of the fatalities.

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