(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is poised to let Americans mix and match vaccines for booster shots, while Moderna expects the world to soon have a surfeit of vaccines. Some schools in the U.S. are starting to lift mask mandates as the wave driven by the delta variant recedes. 

Indonesian authorities expect Covid-19 to be an endemic disease by January, while China, which is still pursuing a Covid Zero strategy, reported more cases in its north. India will soon have administered 1 billion vaccine doses, but has the world’s highest disparity between those who are fully inoculated and those who have had just one shot.

Germany plans to end its pandemic-related emergency on Nov. 25 as scheduled, according to a report. Latvia reportedly plans to impose a four-week lockdown after a surge in cases.

Key Developments:

  • Virus Tracker: Cases top 241 million; deaths surpass 4.9 million
  • Vaccine Tracker: More than 6.71 billion shots given
  • India’s 1 billion vaccines hide a worrying disparity
  • International travel: Barcelona, Frankfurt, Sydney ease curbs; Tokyo plans to follow
  • Powell’s breakthrough Covid death is rare event, data show
  • Alpha, delta and more. Why virus variants cause alarm: QuickTake
  • Sydney workers shun city, opting for malls as lockdown lifts

U.S. FDA to Allow Mix and Match for Boosters (8:30 a.m. HK)

The FDA will allow people to get a different vaccine as a booster than the one they originally received, people familiar said, confirming an earlier report in the New York Times. 

The FDA is still considering the scope of the measure, including whether to allow the widespread mixing and matching of vaccines or whether to narrow the parameters of use, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity before any announcement. It’s expected to authorize Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters by Wednesday evening.

China Finds Inner Mongolia Cases (8:25 a.m. HK)

Five people in Inner Mongolia were confirmed to have Covid-19 as of early Tuesday, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported, citing health officials in a county government.

Another two people tested positive on a preliminary basis and are awaiting the results of a final test. All seven people were related to a cluster in Shaanxi province. The county in western Inner Mongolia where the infections were found has decided to test all residents and visitors for Covid-19 starting Tuesday. 

New Mexico Allows Hospitals to Ration Care (8:20 a.m. HK)

With Covid-19 stressing health care, the New Mexico health department will permit hospitals to ration care as needed, the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper reported Monday. 

The move comes amid a stubborn Covid-19 case rate and hospital staffing shortages, the newspaper reported.

Moderna Sees Surge in Vaccine Availability (7:40 a.m. H.K.)

Moderna Inc. CEO Stephane Bancel says the world will soon be “soon be swimming” in vaccines as the supply of Covid-19 shots rises. Speaking at a health conference in Boston on Monday, Bancel recalled how the US earlier this year shifted within months from a scarcity to easily available shots in every pharmacy. “The same thing is going to happen around the world very soon, and my guess is two-to-three months,” he said.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television at the same conference, Bancel said that most of Moderna’s vaccine output next year would go to poorer countries. But Bancel said that simply sharing the technology with other companies in developing countries wouldn’t help produce vaccines faster, as mRNA is a new technology and there aren’t mRNA factories lying anywhere in the world.

India’s Has World’s Worst One-Two Shot Gap (7:10 a.m. HK)

India will soon have administered 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses, but the milestone masks a yawning gap between the number of people who have been fully inoculated and those that have had just one shot. 

The country has only given two shots to 20% of its population of about 1.4 billion, according to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker. By comparison, 51% have had a single dose, making it one of the highest disparities in the world, the tracker shows. Neighboring China, the only nation to dish out more vaccine doses than India, has fully inoculated some 1.05 billion, or 75% of its citizens, as of late September.

Chicago Cops Lag on Shot-Status Mandate (5 a.m. HK)

Nearly one-third of Chicago Police Department employees have not reported their Covid-19 vaccination status to the city, defying Friday’s deadline to provide the information or risk unpaid leave.

About 64% of the department’s 12,770 employees have reported their vaccine status, according to data from city officials. The figures show that 6,894 say they’re fully vaccinated and 1,333 report they are not, according to the data. That’s the lowest reporting rate among the city’s departments. 

About 4,500 from the department have not responded as mandated by the city amid a standoff between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge #7 President John Catanzara Jr.

Pfizer Seeks Canadian Approval for Kids’ Shot (5 a.m. HK)

Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE are seeking Canadian approval for their vaccine for children as young as 5. The country’s health regulator said it will “prioritize” the review.

ESPN Reporter Out After Refusing Vaccine (3:40 p.m. NY)

ESPN reporter Allison Williams said she was being fired from the sports network after refusing to get a coronavirus shot. Her last day will be next week.

The on-air personality, best known for her college football and basketball coverage, said on her Instagram page that her request for an accommodation to not get the inoculation was denied. 

Williams has worked at ESPN since March 2011. She posted a statement on Twitter last month saying that she was refusing the shot after consulting with her physician, because she and her husband were trying to have a second baby and taking the vaccine was “not in my best interest.” Scientists say there is no evidence that vaccines have a negative effect on male or female fertility.

Pre-Existing Conditions Cited in N.J. Deaths (2:15 p.m. NY)

About 72% of breakthrough Covid-19 patients who died in New Jersey had underlying medical conditions, according to Ed Lifshitz, medical director of the state’s Health Department.

Of 362 breakthrough deaths, 262 had pre-existing conditions. A similar percentage of breakthrough Covid-19 patients hospitalized -- 69% of 1,718 -- had previous medical issues, Lifshitz said Monday.

Some U.S. Schools Lift Mask Mandates (1:35 p.m. NY)

Some U.S. schools are starting to lift mask mandates as the latest wave fades. Case trends suggest others may soon follow.

At least a half dozen school districts across the country have recently lifted their mandates, the first such swing away from the face coverings, according to Burbio, which tracks the developments and runs a dashboard on schools. They include Troup County in Georgia, Rogers Public Schools in Arkansas and Northside ISD in Texas, Burbio reported.

German Emergency Set to Lift Nov. 25: Bild (10:10 a.m. NY)

German Health Minister Jens Spahn has said that enough people have been vaccinated to permit ending a national state of emergency as scheduled on Nov. 25, Bild newspaper reported Monday, without saying where it got the information.

Spahn told a meeting of regional leaders that a complete return to normalcy would nevertheless only be possible in the spring of next year at the earliest.

U.S. Influenza Activity Jumps 23% (8 a.m. NY)

Influenza cases are 23% higher across the U.S. compared with a year ago, according to data collected by Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. Las Vegas and Nevada topped the list for cases, along with several Texas communities. 

The rise may be due to people spending more time together and a loosening of social-distancing measures and mask wearing after vaccination.

Walgreens tracks flu activity by using retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza in stores nationwide.

Indonesia Sees Endemic Phase in January (6:35 a.m. NY)

Indonesia expects to enter the endemic phase for Covid-19 in January, as long as it can go through the year-end holiday without a further spike in cases, according to Luhut Panjaitan, the minister overseeing the pandemic response.

The Asian nation is on course to have 122 million people fully vaccinated by year-end, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said.

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