(Reuters) – The U.S. has administered a third dose of either Pfizer Inc-BioNTech or Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccines to over 1 million people since Aug. 13, while a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll found that most vaccinated Americans want the additional shot.
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* Britain will give severely immunosuppressed people a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine to increase their chances of generating a better immune response.
* Italy broadened usage of Green Pass health documents, making them obligatory for anyone travelling on high-speed trains, planes, ferries and inter-regional coaches.
* Spain said 70% of its population had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, fulfilling a goal set by the government for August, while the incidence rate kept the decreasing tendency of the past month after a big surge.
* Moderna Inc and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd said they are working with Japanese authorities to recall three batches of COVID-19 vaccine after an investigation found stainless steel contaminants in some vials.
* North Korea has rejected roughly three million COVID-19 vaccine doses of China’s Sinovac Biotech, saying they should be sent to severely affected countries, the UNICEF said.
* More than half of U.S. companies are planning to impose COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the workplace by year end, with almost a quarter considering vaccination as a condition for employment, according to a national survey of nearly 1,000 employers.
* COVID-19 vaccines developed by Cuba do not have emergency use authorization from the World Health Organization and cannot be bought for countries in the Americas, the WHO’s regional health branch said.
* Infections are surging again in North America and hospitalization rates among young people and adults below the age of 50 are higher now than at any point in the pandemic, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* South African drug manufacturer Aspen Pharmacare is in talks with Johnson & Johnson to expand its production in South Africa of the latter’s COVID-19 vaccine.
* Pfizer Inc and Merck & Co Inc announced on Wednesday new trials of their experimental oral antiviral drugs for COVID-19 as the race to develop an easy-to-administer treatment for the potentially fatal illness heats up.
* The dollar eased over concerns about slowing growth, but world stock markets scaled new highs on Wednesday, with investors looking beyond weak economic data to focus on a likely continuation of massive central bank stimulus measures. [MKTS/GLOB]
* U.S. manufacturing activity unexpectedly picked up in August amid strong order growth, but a measure of factory employment dropped to a nine-month low, likely as workers remained scarce.
* Ireland will continue to subsidise the wage bills of firms hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic into 2022 before gradually unwinding all support that has kept many afloat, Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath told Reuters.
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