What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

·3 min read
People receive vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19),in Managua

(Reuters) - Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

Biden imposing new international travel vaccine rules

U.S. President Joe Biden signed on Monday an order imposing new vaccine requirements for most foreign national air travellers and lifting severe travel restrictions on China, India and much of Europe effective Nov. 8, the White House said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday released a travel assessment tool for people planning international trips and there are extensive question and answer features for travellers.

African Union to buy up to 110 million Moderna vaccines

The African Union (AU) intends to buy up to 110 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna Inc in an arrangement brokered in part by the White House, which will defer delivery of some doses intended for the United States to facilitate the deal, officials told Reuters.

The AU's doses will be delivered over the coming months, with 15 million arriving before the end of 2021, 35 million in the first quarter of next year and up to 60 million in the second quarter.

U.S. TSA issues just 10 passenger fines for mask-related penalties

Two U.S. lawmakers said Monday the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has issued just $2,350 in total fines to 10 passengers for failing to wear masks since February, despite thousands of reports of airport passengers failing to comply.

The requirements have been the source of some friction, especially aboard U.S. airlines, where some travellers have refused to wear masks. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which has instituted a "zero tolerance" enforcement effort on unruly passengers, through Oct. 19 has received 4,837 unruly passenger reports - including 3,511 mask-related incidents.

Flu-vaccinated COVID-19 patients have easier surgeries

COVID-19 patients who require surgery appear to face fewer complications if they have previously been vaccinated against the flu, new data suggest. In a preliminary study that has not yet undergone peer review, researchers analysed outcomes after various types of surgery on nearly 44,000 COVID-19 patients worldwide, half of whom had received a flu vaccine in the previous six months.

In a presentation on Saturday at the annual meeting of the American College of Surgeons, they reported that flu-vaccinated patients had significantly fewer serious blood infections, fewer potentially life-threatening blood clots in their veins, fewer serious wound-healing problems, and fewer heart attacks.

The flu vaccine was also linked with lower rates of stroke, pneumonia and death. The study cannot prove that flu vaccines were protective, and "the flu shot is by no means a substitute for COVID-19 vaccination," said study leader Susan Taghioff of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida.

Moderna says its vaccine protective, safe in young children

Moderna Inc said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine generated a strong immune response in children aged six to 11 years and that it plans to submit the data to global regulators soon.

The shots were 50 microgram doses, half the strength used in the primary vaccine series for adults and the same as the booster dose authorized for adults. It is higher than the 10 microgram dose Pfizer is planning for its vaccine in children.

(Compiled by Karishma Singh; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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