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The latest: Pfizer gives Sri Lanka its 2nd dose of Pfizer shots

Combiningtwo vaccinations is still being investigated for its effectiveness. However, Sri Lankan health officials have approved it due to severe AstraZeneca shortages.

Sri Lanka was the first recipient of 5,000,000 shots this year, receiving 26,000 doses Pfizer Monday. They began rolling them out Wednesday to 55-year-olds in Colombo.

Around 384,000 people were fully vaccinated when Sri Lanka ran out AstraZeneca doses. 540,000 people were only partially vaccinated.

Channa Jayasumana (state minister in charge of pharmaceuticals) said that getting Pfizer for the second dose was an option and that a consignment AstraZeneca vaccine would be delivered this month.

To vaccinate against COVID-19, Sri Lanka has also used Sinopharm as well as the Russian Sputnik V.

Since April, Sri Lanka has experienced a sharp rise in coronavirus deaths and infections. It has seen 266,499 deaths and 3,268 cases overall.

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READ MORE ABOUT THE PANDEMIC

Slow vaccination causes South Korea'sdaily case count to rise to 1,200

New York City recognizes the contributions of essential workers at Paradeup Canyon of Heroes

In the midst of flight cuts and pandemics, Olympictravel is a major challenge for some Pacific Island team members

Check out more AP pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus–pandemic or https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus–vaccine

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Here's WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING.

WELLINGTON (New Zealand) -- New Zealand's medical regulators have approved the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccination, following earlier approval of the Pfizer vaccine.

New Zealand's government plans to continue with its plan to use the Pfizer vaccine primarily to inoculate the population, which is 5 million.

The J&J vaccine provisional approval by Medsafe is for adults 18 years and older. It will need to be approved by the Cabinet, which is likely to happen next month.

New Zealand has reached an agreement to purchase 2 million doses J&J vaccine. Chris Hipkins, COVID-19 Response Minister, says that having a second vaccine will give you more flexibility. It can be used in emergency situations or in remote areas.

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SYDNEY -- The vulnerability of a large population against the coronavirus means that a two-week-old pandemic lockdown has been extended for another week in Sydney.

Gladys Berejiklian, the Premier of New South Wales, stated Wednesday that experts recommend moving the lockdown in Sydney to midnight on July 16th.

This decision will mean that most children in Sydney, and other nearby communities, won't return to school next week after their mid-year break.

Only 9% are fully vaccinated in Australia, raising concerns that the coronavirus delta variant could rapidly spread.

A limousine driver who was positive for coronavirus in Sydney on June 16th has been linked to more than 300 cases. It is believed that he was infected while transporting an American flight crew from the airport.

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SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea has reported more than 1,200 coronavirus cases. This is a record high since December's worst outbreak. It slips into another virus surge, with many people not being vaccinated.

Wednesday's 1,212 cases were close to the 1,240 cases that officials reported on Christmas Day during the pandemic.

The government planned to increase the limit on private social gatherings to four to six people, and allow restaurants to extend indoor dining hours by two hours beginning this month. Officials in Seoul and other nearby areas have resisted the move as infection rates rise.

As of Wednesday, only 30% of South Koreans had received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Kim Boo-kyum, Prime Minister, says that officials will look into tougher social distancing rules if there is a continued increase in transmissions over the next two to three days.

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HARARE -- Zimbabwe has reverted to tight lockdown measures in an effort to stop a resurgence COVID-19, despite vaccine shortages.

Despite a night curfew and reduced business hours, infections have risen dramatically in recent weeks. There are also lockdowns in certain hotspot areas and restrictions on inter-city travel.

According to the country's information minister, the virus has now spread to rural areas without access to health care facilities.

After a Cabinet meeting, Monica Mutsvangwa, Information Minister, announced that most people should stay home. This is similar to the restrictions on movement in March last year after towns and cities were almost abandoned.

Employers will need to send letters to employees stating why the employee must leave their community.

The delta variant is rapidly spreading to Zimbabwe, which is just one of over 14 African countries. In India, the delta variant was first discovered.

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WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden said that the rise in transmissible COVID-19 variants in the U.S. should cause everyone to think twice.

Biden spoke Tuesday at the White House, describing his summer plans to boost vaccines. He said that the delta variant of the virus first discovered in India is responsible for the majority of recent cases in the United States.

He said that the virus should make everyone think twice and should be a cause for concern, especially young people, who are the most vulnerable to the virus's negative effects.

Biden believes that vaccinations are the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones. Biden stated that the White House is working with local and state partners to support hyperlocal vaccination drives in low-uptake communities.

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