Here are the top updates from Friday:

  1. The European Medicines Agency has approved Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 17. The vaccine has already been approved for adults across Europe. The drug regulator said that research showed the vaccine generated a comparable antibody response in children also, according to AP. In May, the European regulator had cleared the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for 12 to 15-year-old children.
  2. India registered 35,342 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the tally to 3,12,93,062 since the pandemic broke out in January last year. The number was 14.59% fewer than the 41,383 infections recorded on Thursday. India’s toll rose to 4,19,470 with 483 more deaths in the last day.
  3. Biotechnology company Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of Covaxin, terminated its vaccine deal with Brazilian intermediary Precisa Medicamentos amid accusations of corruption. However, the company said that it will continue to work with Brazilian healthcare regulator Anvisa to obtain necessary approvals for the use of Covaxin in the country.
  4. Kerala registered 17,518 Covid-19 cases, pushing the tally of infections since the beginning of the pandemic in January 2020 to 32,35,533, PTI reported. The state’s test positivity rate crossed 13%. Kerala’s toll rose to 15,871 with 132 more deaths. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said his government will speed up vaccination to prevent a third wave of infections, ANI reported. “If we get an adequate number of vaccines from the Centre, at the pace of vaccination carried out in the state, 60% of Kerala’s population can be vaccinated,” he added.
  5. The Centre told Parliament that it couldn’t give a fixed timeline for the completion of the Covid-19 vaccination drive at present, but expected all adults to be inoculated by December this year.
  6. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that his government will open schools in the Capital after assessing the situation in other states, the Hindustan Times reported. “The ideal situation would be to open schools after vaccination,” he said. “Parents are still worried about their child’s safety.”
  7. China has said that it will not participate in the second phase of an investigation by the World Health Organization into the origins of the pandemic, the BBC reported. The Chinese authorities announced the decision after the world health body in its study included the possibility of the virus leaking from a laboratory in Wuhan
  8. France’s top Covid-19 advisor Dr Jean-Francois Delfraissy warned that a new strain of the infection would emerge in the winter, AFP reported.
  9. New Zealand suspended its quarantine-free travel agreement with Australia for at least eight weeks amid a surge in Covid-19 cases there, Reuters reported.
  10. Globally, the coronavirus disease has infected more than 19.25 crore people and killed over 41.35 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.