(Bloomberg) -- Coronavirus outbreaks in China are flaring more frequently than ever, raising questions about how long the nation can persist with the so-called Covid Zero strategy that’s leaving it increasingly isolated. 

Moderna Inc. said its vaccine showed a strong immune response in younger children in a late-stage clinical trial, paving the way for submission to regulators for clearance in those age 6 to under 12. China’s Sinovac has asked Hong Kong to approve its shot for children as young as 12.

The U.S. will require overseas travelers to provide proof of full vaccination in addition to a recent negative test, as it loosens restrictions on Nov. 8. Covid hospitalizations in the country dropped to the lowest since July 31. 

Key Developments:

  • Virus Tracker: Cases top 243.9 million; deaths surpass 4.95 million
  • Vaccine Tracker: More than 6.88 billion shots given
  • Covid waves hitting faster than ever challenge China’s hard line
  • Cheaper at-home Covid tests get ‘Shark Tank’-like treatment from NIH
  • Resurgent Covid means it could be another tough winter
  • Delta variant is bolstering the case for booster shots: QuickTake

More Chicago Cops Reveal Inoculation Status (5 a.m. HK)

About 71% of Chicago Police Department employees have reported their Covid-19 vaccination status as ordered by the city, an increase of more than six percentage points from last week, in a sign that Mayor Lori Lightfoot is gaining traction in a showdown with the police union.

Of the department’s 12,719 employees, the number of those not providing their status shrank to 29% from a week ago, according to data released by the city on Monday. Police employees were told to report their status by Oct. 15, and 23 who failed to do so already are on unpaid leave for defying the mandate, Superintendent David Brown said during a press conference Monday.

The mandate led to a standoff between Lightfoot and Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge #7 President John Catanzara Jr., who led a protest rally outside of City Hall Monday. The Chicago workplace controversy mirrors others in the U.S., particularly among public workers.

NYC Police Union Sues to Block Mandate (3:30 p.m. NY)

New York City’s police union sued to block a vaccine mandate for municipal workers that Mayor Bill de Blasio implemented last week.

The mandate was “far broader and more coercive” than similar measures taken by the federal government and other states and municipalities at a time when covid infection rates are declining, the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York Police said in a lawsuit filed Monday in state court in Staten Island. 

U.S. Issues New Travel Rules (2:50 p.m. NY)

The Biden administration issued new rules for travelers to the U.S. on Monday requiring proof of full vaccination against Covid-19 in addition to a recent negative test for the virus.

People from countries with low supplies of vaccines who aren’t traveling on tourist visas, and those under 18, will be exempt from the vaccine requirement, senior administration officials said in a briefing for reporters. 

U.S. citizens and residents returning from abroad who aren’t vaccinated will have to obtain a negative Covid-19 test within a day of their flight, the officials said. 

The new rules taking effect Nov. 8 represent the biggest change to U.S. travel policy since the start of the pandemic. The procedures replace a system that flatly barred most foreign nationals coming directly from major markets including Europe, India, Brazil and China.

Covid Bigger Risk to Brain Than Vaccines (11:05 a.m. NY)

Covid-19 is more likely to cause rare neurological conditions than vaccines, according to a study published in the Nature Medicine journal.

The study, led by the University of Oxford, analyzed the health records of 32 million people in England to identify the risks of developing rare brain conditions before and after testing positive for Covid, or receiving the first dose of either the Oxford-AstraZeneca Plc or Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE jabs.

Rare cases of such complications led many countries to restrict the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to older age groups.

NYC Mayor Gets Moderna Booster After J&J (10:45 a.m. NY)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio got a Moderna booster shot during his daily press briefing on Monday, part of his effort to encourage New Yorkers to get an extra dose. De Blasio, who previously got a Johnson & Johnson shot, said New York has administered roughly 227,000 boosters but that the city is still trying to get millions of people to get their first shots. About 5.5 million people are fully vaccinated, or about 66% of the city’s residents, according to city data.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul also received a booster shot as the cameras were rolling, at an event in Binghamton.

Moderna Kids Shot Shows Strong Results (10:10 a.m. NY)

Moderna Inc. said that its Covid-19 vaccine showed a strong immune response in younger children in a late-stage clinical trial, paving the way for submission to regulators for clearance in those aged six to under 12. 

An interim analysis showed a protective antibody response from children in the study, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna said Monday in a statement. Participants received two 50 microgram doses -- half that initially given to adults -- spaced 28 days apart.

Health officials are aiming to get immunizations to younger children before the holiday season, when travel and indoor activity can bring an increased risk of infection. As more adults are vaccinated, children are now making up a greater proportion of U.S. Covid cases amid the spread of the delta variant. 

Beijing to Quarantine Unvaccinated Athletes (6:51 a.m. NY)

China plans to quarantine athletes competing at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics for 21 days if they have not been vaccinated.

Exceptions may be granted for athletes and team officials on a case-by-case basis for medical reasons, according to the first version of the “Playbooks” that were released by the Beijing organizing committee, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee. These rules also apply to stakeholders including officials, sponsors and media.

China has pursued a zero-tolerance approach to containing Covid that has included steps such as closing its international borders, mass testing and aggressive contract tracing. Still, infections have flared intermittently and increased in frequency since the highly infectious delta variant was first identified in the country in May. With just over three months to go before the opening ceremony, the host city itself has seen a recent flare up in infections.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.