Joe Biden has suggested that his administrsation could soon give approval for vaccinations for children under-12.
Speaking on a national tour to encourage more people to get the vaccine, the US president told a televised town hall in Cincinnati in Ohio that children under 12, who are currently ineligible for the three coronavirus vaccines available in the US, could get shots by August or later in the fall.
Biden said it was “gigantically important” for Americans to get vaccinated and noted that virtually all of the people being hospitalised with Covid had not been vaccinated. It comes as new daily cases have trip[led in the past two weeks to more than 37,000.
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The coronavirus pandemic continues to dog the Tokyo Olympics with only a day to go before the opening ceremony.
Two more athletes have tested positive for the virus in the Olympic village, according to Reuters citing the Games organisers. There are now 12 new positive cases overall, including the two athletes, bringing the total to 87.
The ceremony on Friday night is set to be a subdued affair and was dealt another blow by reports that Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister who did so much to attract the Games to Japan, will not attend. The broadcaster NHK said Abe decided against attending the ceremony after the Japanese government declared a state of emergency and virus restrictions over Tokyo. Abe’s office could not immediately be reached on Thursday, a public holiday in Japan, Reuters said.
Good morning/afternoon/evening wherever you are in the world, and welcome to the Guardian’s live coverage of the coronaviris pandemic.
The main developments in the past few hours are: