Here are some significant developments:
- The four-day Lollapalooza music festival is underway in Chicago, raising fears about the virus spreading in the throngs of attendees. With 100,000 concertgoers expected each day, the event ranks as one of the biggest public gatherings the United States has seen since the pandemic began.
- The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer predicted Wednesday that coronavirus vaccine boosters would soon be needed, a declaration that came on the same day the company published data showing that its shots remained robustly protective six months after vaccination.
- Israel is now moving toward making booster shots available for older adults, after Health Ministry experts agreed late Wednesday that a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should be offered to the elderly. The experts cited local data showing an apparent decline in the vaccine’s efficacy over time, as well as a surge in new cases fueled by the delta variant.
- Walt Disney World Resort in Florida announced that it’s now requiring all guests to wear face masks indoors, reversing a June decision not to mandate them for the vaccinated.
- Thailand on Thursday reported a record number of new coronavirus cases and deaths, registering 17,669 infections and 165 fatalities as neighboring Cambodia imposed lockdowns in its provinces along the border.
- Australia’s New South Wales state, in which Sydney is located, saw its highest daily caseload on Thursday as 239 new infections were reported. State Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who extended an already strict lockdown, said Thursday that the outbreak has forced her to impose “the harshest restrictions Australia has ever seen.”