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Monday July 26th, 2021 11:53AM

The Latest: Australia wants to change AstraZeneca advice

By The Associated Press
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CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s prime minister says he’s urging the government’s adviser on vaccines to change its advice against adults under age 60 taking the AstraZeneca shot.

More than half the nation is locked down because of growing COVID-19 clusters.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization last month lifted the minimum recommended age for taking AstraZeneca from 50 to 60 because of the greater risk of rare blood clots associated with the vaccine in younger people.

The change followed the death in Australia of a 52-year-old. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was appealing to ATAGI to change its age advice due to the escalating risk from the more contagious delta variant. The only alternative to AstraZeneca in Australia is Pfizer which is in short supply.

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MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:

— France requires COVID pass for Eiffel Tower, tourist venues

— US life expectancy in 2020 saw biggest drop since WWII

— WHO leader says virus risk inevitable at Tokyo Olympics

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Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

PARIS — Visitors now need a special COVID-19 pass to ride up the Eiffel Tower or visit French museums or movie theaters.

It’s the first step in a new campaign against what the government calls a “stratospheric” rise in delta variant infections.

People must be fully vaccinated or have a negative virus test or proof they recently recovered from an infection to get the pass. The requirement went into effect Wednesday at cultural and tourist sites.

Lawmakers are starting debate on a bill that would expand the pass requirement to restaurants and many other areas of public life, and require all health workers to get vaccinated. It has prompted protests.

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TOKYO — The head of the World Health Organization says the Tokyo Olympics shouldn't be judged by the tally of COVID-19 cases that arise because zero risk is impossible.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tells the International Olympic Committee what matters more is how infections are handled.

Tedros wants Tokyo’s success to be judged by how “cases are identified, isolated, traced and cared for as quickly as possible and onward transmission is interrupted.”

The number of games-linked COVID-19 cases in Japan this month is now 79. More international athletes have tested positive at home and can't travel.

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NEW YORK — U.S. life expectancy fell by a year and a half in 2020. That's the largest one-year decline since World War II.

The decrease for both Black Americans and Hispanic Americans was even worse. The figure is three years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the calculations for 2020 early Wednesday.

The drop is due mainly to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health officials say it's responsible for close to 74% of the overall life expectancy decline.

Killers other than COVID-19 played a role. Drug overdoses pushed life expectancy down. And rising homicides were a small but significant reason for the decline for Black Americans.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Health, AP World News, AP Business
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