Oct 28 (Reuters) - Moderna Inc's (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccine could start to be used in children and teens in the United States within weeks, its chief executive said in an interview ahead of the Reuters Total Health conference. read more
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* Russia reported its highest one-day death toll of the pandemic amid a surge in cases that has forced officials to partially reimpose some lockdown measures, encouraging many Russians to fly off for a foreign beach holiday instead of hunkering down at home. read more
* Finance minister Rishi Sunak used a stronger forecast for Britain's post-lockdown economic recovery to promise higher public spending and he vowed to protect households from the sharp rise in inflation that could approach 5% next year.
* Germany's pandemic-related state of emergency looks set to expire next month after the three political parties in talks to form the next government said they did not support extending it. read more
* COVID-19 is slowly retreating across most of North, Central and South America, the Pan American Health Organization said, reporting that last week the continent's death and infection figures were the lowest in over a year.
* The head of the New York City firefighters union said he had instructed unvaccinated members to keep working, even though they feel "insulted" by Mayor Bill de Blasio's order to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination by Friday or be placed on unpaid leave.
* Workers at the leading U.S. meatpacking plants experienced cases and death from COVID-19 that were up to three times previous estimates, according to a report by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis seen by Reuters.
* U.S. states have placed initial orders of COVID-19 vaccines for children and millions of doses will be shipped as soon as health regulators authorize their use. read more
* Two new cases of the coronavirus were recorded in New Zealand's South Island city of Christchurch, the first in almost a year, as the country battles the spread of an outbreak of the infectious Delta variant.
* Thailand held a dry-run for its long-awaited, quarantine-free reopening to vaccinated travellers, as the country rushes to reboot an industry battered by an 18-month hiatus in international tourism. read more
* With 100 days until the start of the Winter Olympics, Beijing is promising a "simple and safe" 2022 Games, although Chine keeps battling flare-ups of COVID-19, with nearly 250 locally transmitted cases reported since the start of the current outbreak.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Growth in sub-Saharan Africa's big economies will be mixed into 2022, after a year of recovery from lockdowns, as life slowly returns to normal amid low vaccination rates, a Reuters poll found. read more
* Merck has signed a licensing agreement with the United Nations-backed Medicines Patent Pool that will allow more companies to manufacture generic versions of its experimental oral antiviral COVID-19 treatment. read more
* Global equity markets gave up recent gains, while U.S. Treasury yields fell to a two-week low as traders weighed continued positive corporate results and a resurgence in U.S.-China tensions that could compound supply-chain worries. read more
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