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Photo: Patrick Meinhardt/AFP via Getty Images

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday that the bloc would donate an additional 200 million coronavirus vaccine doses to Africa and low-income nations, AP reports.

Why it matters: The new donation, slated to be delivered by the middle of next year, comes as confirmed cases of the coronavirus have reached 225 million globally.

  • African health officials have said they need nearly 800 million doses to inoculate at least 60% of the continent's population, per AP.
  • The EU had previously pledged 250 million doses earlier this year.

What they're saying: “Our first and most urgent priority is to speed up global vaccination,” von der Leyen said in a State of the European Union speech Wednesday.

  • “With less than 1% of global doses administered to lower-income countries, the scale of injustice and the level of urgency is obvious," she added.
  • “Let’s do everything possible to ensure that this does not turn into a pandemic of the unvaccinated."

The big picture: The World Health Organization has become increasingly critical of wealthy nations that are developing plans to administer booster shots this year, arguing that the doses should be used to vaccinate people in poorer countries.

Go deeper: WHO warns Africa's COVID vaccine supply will drop by 25%

Go deeper

16 hours ago - Health

FDA approves Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus booster shots for people at high risk of severe COVID-19 and people 65 years and older.

Driving the news: The approval comes just days after an FDA advisory panel recommended boosters for the two groups but overwhelmingly voted against the third shots for younger Americans.

United Airlines says 97% of U.S. employees fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Photo: James D. Morgan via Getty Images

United Airlines said Wednesday that over 97% of its U.S.-based employees are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a company memo obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: United announced in August that it would require its 67,000 U.S.-based employees to get vaccinated by Sept. 27 or face termination. It's one of several airlines that set vaccine requirements even before President Biden issued his own vaccine mandate for employers with over 100 workers.

Mormon Church to mandate masks in temples

The San Diego California Temple in La Jolla, California. Photo: RBL/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told its members on Wednesday that all patrons and workers will be required to wear face masks at all times while in the temple.

Why it matters: It's the Mormon Church's latest effort to encourage masking and vaccination among its over 16.6 million members around the world.