The virus swamps an island nation that had gone largely untouched.

The emergency rooms are heaving, health care workers are falling sick, and misinformation about the coronavirus and its vaccines is running rife. It has all left Papua New Guinea, a tropical island nation just north of Australia, in the grip of a deadly crisis, as a tripling of infections over the past month has swamped an already fragile health care system.

Papua New Guinea did not have a single confirmed coronavirus case in the first few months of the pandemic, and was only lightly affected until early this year. It has now reported more than 4,100 cases, and 39 virus-related deaths, the vast majority of them since mid-February.

About one in 10 health workers at the country’s major hospital in Port Moresby, the capital, have tested positive. In field hospitals, workers sweating beneath protective equipment are rushing between beds to tend to the dying. One patient suffering an asthma attack died in a hospital parking lot.

“We fear that we are going to fill all these beds, and then we will have nowhere else to continue to care for Covid patients,” said Mangu Kendino, an emergency physician at Port Moresby General Hospital. “We’re tired, we’re exhausted, we’re fatigued.”

buy up the world’s vaccine stockpiles while smaller and poorer nations are left with cap in hand.

“They have challenges accessing health care at the best of times,” said Rob Mitchell, an emergency physician specializing in triage in the Pacific. “I fear that the current case numbers are just the tip of the iceberg.”

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This Island Nation Had Zero Covid Cases as of June. Now It’s Overwhelmed.

“They’re our family. They’re our friends. They’re our neighbors. They’re our partners,” Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister, said last week. “This is in Australia’s interests, and it is in our region’s interests,” he added.

Covax, a global health initiative designed to make access to inoculations more equal, began rolling out doses of vaccines to developing nations last month, and it has said it will deliver 588,000 to Papua New Guinea by June.

But in some cases, wealthier nations have failed to honor contracts, reducing the number of doses the initiative can buy, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director of the World Health Organization, said in a statement last month. He warned that the pandemic would not end until everyone was vaccinated.

“This is not a matter of charity,” he said. “It’s a matter of epidemiology.”

Until then, officials in Papua New Guinea will be left to combat not only the virus itself but also a tide of misinformation about the pathogen and the vaccines, carried largely through social media channels.

“Even for the educated health worker, it’s causing a lot of doubt,” said Dr. Nou, the Port Moresby-based physician, who has conducted a survey of health care workers’ views about the pandemic.

Some public health experts said they worried that the redirection of resources to fight the coronavirus could come at a lethal cost to those with other severe health conditions, such malaria or tuberculosis. Papua New Guinea has some of the highest rates of tuberculosis in the world.

“It’s not good enough to just respond to Covid and then have someone die of another cause,” said Dr. Suman Majumdar, an infectious diseases specialist at the Burnet Institute, an Australian medical research facility. “We have feared the worst,” he added, “and this is happening.”

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The pandemic shifted the Dutch voting process, though politics still took center stage.

As Dutch voters go to the polls for parliamentary elections this week, the pandemic has changed the usual dynamic.

To help maintain social distancing, the voting process was spread over three days, ending on Wednesday. Voters over 70 were encouraged to vote by mail. And campaigning mainly took place on television, making it hard for voters to spontaneously confront politicians as is typical practice.

Coronavirus cases are again surging in the Netherlands, prompting the authorities to warn of a third wave. Last year, it took the government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte until November to get the country’s testing capabilities in order, and the vaccination process is also going slowly.

Yet during the campaigning, more localized issues managed to overshadow the government’s handling of the coronavirus.

resigned in January over a scandal involving the tax authorities’ hunting down people, mostly poor, who had made administrative mistakes in their child benefits requests. Many were brought to financial ruin as a result.

Broader policies put forward by Mr. Rutte, who has been in power since 2010, were also a focus on the campaign trail. While his party is ahead in the polls, it has lost some support in recent weeks.

Neighboring Germany is also entering a packed election season, with national and state votes coming in a year that will bring to an end the 16-year chancellorship of Angela Merkel.

In other developments around the world:

  • After nine months of negotiations, New Zealand and Australia intend to commence a quarantine-free travel bubble between the two countries in April, according to local reports. New Zealand and Australia have all but eliminated community transmission, responding to occasional clusters with highly localized restrictions or lockdowns.

  • Australia will send 8,000 coronavirus vaccine doses to Papua New Guinea in an attempt to curb a rapidly growing outbreak in the country, which is Australia’s closest neighbor, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday. Australia will also ask AstraZeneca to divert to the small island nation a million vaccine doses that were bound for Australia. And it is suspending all charter flights from Papua New Guinea, where about half of the nation’s total reported 2,351 coronavirus cases have been recorded in the past two weeks.

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Covid-19 Live Updates: States Aim to Expand Vaccine Eligibility Before Biden’s Deadline

vaccine production and distribution ramp up and more states begin to heed a call from President Biden to expand access to all adults by May.

States are also racing to stay ahead of the growing number of virus variants, some of which are more contagious and possibly even more deadly. At least three states — Maine, Virginia and Wisconsin — and Washington, D.C., have said that they will expand eligibility to their general population by May 1, the deadline that Mr. Biden set last week. At least six other states — including Colorado, Connecticut, Ohio, Michigan, Montana and Utah — hope to do so this month or next.

In Mississippi and Alaska, everyone age 16 or older is eligible, and Arizona and Michigan have made the vaccines available to all adults in some counties.

Mr. Biden said last week that he was directing the federal government to secure an additional 100 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. With three vaccines now in use, Mr. Biden has said that the United States will have secured enough doses by the end of May for shots to be available for all adults.


50+ or 55+

60+ or 65+

Eligible only in some counties


Restaurant workers

Eligible only in some counties


High-risk adults

Over a certain age

Eligible only in some counties

Several states have already been expanding eligibility for vaccinations. In Ohio, vaccines will open to anyone 40 and up as of Friday, and to more residents with certain medical conditions. Indiana extended access to people 45 and older, effective immediately.

Coloradans age 50 and up will be eligible for a shot on Friday, along with anyone 16 years and older with certain medical conditions. Wisconsin said on Tuesday that residents 16 years and up with certain medical conditions would be eligible a week earlier than initially planned.

On Monday, Texans age 50 and older and Georgians over 55 became eligible for vaccines.

In New York State, residents 60 and older are eligible to receive a vaccine, and more frontline workers will become eligible on Wednesday, including government employees, building services workers and employees of nonprofit groups. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has yet to announce how or when the state will open eligibility to all adults.

Since vaccinations began in December, the federal government has delivered nearly 143 million vaccine doses to states and territories, and more than 77 percent have been administered, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The country is averaging about 2.4 million shots a day, compared with well under one million a day in January.

As of Tuesday, 65 percent of the country’s older population had received at least one vaccine dose, according to C.D.C. data, with 37 percent fully vaccinated.

Virus-related cases, deaths and hospitalizations are significantly down from the peak levels reported in January. But progress has slowed noticeably since the start of this month, with continued drops in some states offset by persistent outbreaks in other parts of the country, especially the Northeast.

Public health leaders like Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the C.D.C. director, have warned Americans not to let their guard down prematurely, noting that the amount of new cases remains high, at around 55,000 per day.

Serbia’s largest vaccination center this month at the Belgrade Fair, a sprawling exhibition complex in the Serbian capital.
Credit…Laura Boushnak for The New York Times

Stained for years by its brutal role in the horrific Balkan conflicts of the 1990s, Serbia is now basking in the glow of success in a good campaign: the quest to get its people vaccinated.

Serbia has raced ahead of the far richer and usually better-organized countries in Europe to offer all adult citizens not only free inoculations, but also a smorgasbord of five vaccines to choose from.

The country’s unusual surfeit of vaccines has been a public relations triumph for the increasingly authoritarian government of President Aleksandar Vucic. It has burnished his own and his country’s image, weakened his already beleaguered opponents and added a new twist to the complex geopolitics of vaccines.

Serbia, with a population under seven million, placed bets across the board, sealing initial deals for more than 11 million doses with Russia and China, whose products have not been approved by European regulators, as well as with Western drug companies.

It reached its first vaccine deal, covering 2.2 million doses, with Pfizer in August and quickly followed up with contracts for millions more from Russia and China.

As a result, Serbia has become the best vaccinator in Europe after Britain, data collected by OurWorldInData shows. It had administered 29.5 doses for every 100 people as of last week compared with just 10.5 in Germany, a country long viewed as a model of efficiency and good governance, and 10.7 in France.

Serbia’s prime minister, Ana Brnabic, attributed her country’s success to its decision to “treat this as a health issue, not a political issue. We negotiated with all, regardless of whether East or West.”

Serbia’s readiness to embrace non-Western vaccines so far shunned by the European Union could backfire if they turn out to be duds. Sinopharm, unlike Western vaccine makers, has not published detailed data from Phase 3 trials. Data it has released suggest that its product is less effective than Western coronavirus vaccines.

Many Serbians, apparently reassured by the vaccination drive, have also lowered their guard against the risk of infection. The daily number of new cases has more than doubled since early February, prompting the government to order all businesses other than food stores and pharmacies to close last weekend.

More than 150 million students and educators are using Google Classroom app.
Credit…Friedemann Vogel/EPA, via Shutterstock

After a tough year of toggling between remote and in-person schooling, many students, teachers and their families feel burned out from pandemic learning. But companies that market digital learning tools to schools are enjoying a windfall.

Venture and equity financing for education technology start-ups has more than doubled, surging to $12.6 billion worldwide last year from $4.8 billion in 2019, according to a report from CB Insights, a firm that tracks start-ups and venture capital.

Yet as more districts reopen for in-person instruction, the billions of dollars that schools and venture capitalists have sunk into education technology are about to get tested.

“There’s definitely going to be a shakeout over the next year,” said Matthew Gross, the chief executive of Newsela, a popular reading lesson app for schools.

A number of ed-tech start-ups reporting record growth had sizable school audiences before the pandemic. Then last spring, as school districts switched to remote learning, many education apps hit on a common pandemic growth strategy: They temporarily made their premium services free to teachers for the rest of the school year.

“What unfolded from there was massive adoption,” said Tory Patterson, a managing director at Owl Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in education start-ups like Newsela. Once the school year ended, he said, ed-tech start-ups began trying to convert school districts into paying customers, and “we saw pretty broad-based uptake of those offers.”

Some consumer tech giants that provided free services to schools also reaped benefits, gaining audience share and getting millions of students accustomed to using their product.

The worldwide audience for Google Classroom, Google’s free class assignment and grading app, has skyrocketed to more than 150 million students and educators, up from 40 million early last year. And Zoom Video Communications says it has provided free services during the pandemic to more than 125,000 schools in 25 countries.

Whether tools that teachers have come to rely on for remote learning can maintain their popularity will now hinge on how useful the apps are in the classroom.

GLOBAL ROUNDUP

Casting a ballot at a polling station in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam on Wednesday.
Credit…Sem Van Der Wal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

As Dutch voters go to the polls for parliamentary elections this week, the pandemic has changed the usual dynamic.

To help maintain social distancing, the voting process was spread over three days, ending on Wednesday. Voters over 70 were encouraged to vote by mail. And campaigning mainly took place on television, making it hard for voters to spontaneously confront politicians as is typical practice.

Coronavirus cases are again surging in the Netherlands, prompting the authorities to warn of a third wave. Last year, it took the government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte until November to get the country’s testing capabilities in order, and the vaccination process is also going slowly.

Yet during the campaigning, more localized issues managed to overshadow the government’s handling of the coronavirus.

The prime minister and his cabinet resigned in January over a scandal involving the tax authorities’ hunting down people, mostly poor, who had made administrative mistakes in their child benefits requests. Many were brought to financial ruin as a result.

Broader policies put forward by Mr. Rutte, who has been in power since 2010, were also a focus on the campaign trail. While his party is ahead in the polls, it has lost some support in recent weeks.

Neighboring Germany is also entering a packed election season, with national and state votes coming in a year that will bring to an end the 16-year chancellorship of Angela Merkel.

In other developments around the world:

  • Australia will send 8,000 coronavirus vaccine doses to Papua New Guinea in an attempt to curb a rapidly growing outbreak in the country, which is Australia’s closest neighbor, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday. Australia will also ask AstraZeneca to divert to the small island nation a million vaccine doses that were bound for Australia. And it is suspending all charter flights from Papua New Guinea, where about half of the nation’s total reported 2,351 coronavirus cases have been recorded in the past two weeks.

Andrea Maikovich-Fong, a psychologist in Denver, said she worried about how some clients would adjust as the world begins to reopen.
Credit…Stephen Speranza for The New York Times

When the pandemic narrowed the world, Jonathan Hirshon stopped traveling, eating out, going to cocktail parties and commuting to the office.

What a relief.

Mr. Hirshon experiences severe social anxiety. Even as he grieved the pandemic’s toll, he found lockdown life to be a respite.

Now, with public life about to resume, he finds himself with decidedly mixed feelings — “anticipation, dread and hope.”

Mr. Hirshon, a 54-year-old public relations consultant, is one of numerous people who find the everyday grind not only wearing, but also emotionally unsettling. That includes people with clinical diagnoses of anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, and also some run-of-the-mill introverts.

A new survey from the American Psychological Association found that while 47 percent of people have seen their stress rise over the pandemic, about 43 percent reported no change in stress and 7 percent said they felt less stress.

Mental health experts said that this portion of the population found lockdown measures protective, a sort of permission to glide into more predictable spaces, schedules, routines and relationships. And experts say that while the lockdown periods have blessed the “avoidance” of social situations, the circumstances are poised to change.

“I am very worried about many of my socially anxious patients,” said Andrea Maikovich-Fong, a psychologist in Denver. That anxiety, she said, “is going to come back with a vengeance when the world opens up.”

A protest over masks and Covid vaccines outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta on Saturday.
Credit…Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Former President Donald J. Trump recommended in a nationally televised interview on Tuesday evening that Americans who are reluctant to be vaccinated against the coronavirus should go ahead with inoculations.

Mr. Trump and his wife, Melania, were vaccinated in January. And vaccine proponents have called on him to speak out in favor of the shots to his supporters — many of whom remain reluctant, polls show.

Speaking to Maria Bartiromo on “Fox News Primetime,” Mr. Trump said, “I would recommend it, and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don’t want to get it — and a lot of those people voted for me frankly.”

He added: “It is a safe vaccine, and it is something that works.”

While there are degrees of opposition to coronavirus vaccination among a number of groups, polling suggests that the opinions break substantially along partisan lines.

A third of Republicans said in a CBS News poll that they would not be vaccinated — compared with 10 percent of Democrats — and another 20 percent of Republicans said they were unsure. Other polls have found similar trends.

Mr. Trump encouraged attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., late last month to get vaccinated.

Still, Mr. Trump — whose tenure during the pandemic was often marked by railing against recommendations from medical experts — said on Tuesday that “we have our freedoms and we have to live by that, and I agree with that also.”

With President Biden’s administration readying television and internet advertising and other efforts to promote vaccination, the challenge for the White House is complicated by perceptions of Mr. Trump’s stance on the vaccine.

Asked about the issue on Monday at the White House, Mr. Biden said Mr. Trump’s help promoting vaccination was less important than getting trusted community figures on board.

“I discussed it with my team, and they say the thing that has more impact than anything Trump would say to the MAGA folks is what the local doctor, what the local preachers, what the local people in the community say,” Mr. Biden said, referring to Mr. Trump’s supporters and campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.”

Grace Sundstrom, a senior in Des Moines, wrote her college essay about correspondence she had with Alden, a nursing home resident.
Credit…via Grace Sundstrom

This year perhaps more than ever, the college essay has served as a canvas for high school seniors to reflect on a turbulent and, for many, sorrowful year. It has been a psychiatrist’s couch, a road map to a more hopeful future, a chance to pour out intimate feelings about loneliness and injustice.

In response to a request from The New York Times, more than 900 seniors submitted the personal essays they wrote for their college applications. Reading them is like a taking a trip through two of the biggest news events of recent decades: the devastation wrought by the coronavirus, and the rise of a new civil rights movement.

In the wake of the high-profile deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police officers, students shared how they had wrestled with racism in their own lives. Many dipped their feet into the politics of protest.

And in the midst of the most far-reaching pandemic in a century, they described the isolation and loss that have pervaded every aspect of their lives since schools suddenly shut down a year ago. They sought to articulate how they have managed while cut off from friends and activities.

The coronavirus was the most common theme in the essays submitted to The Times, appearing in 393 essays, more than 40 percent. Next was the value of family, coming up in 351 essays, but often in the context of other issues, like the pandemic and race. Racial justice and protest figured in 342 essays.

Family was not the only eternal verity to appear. Love came up in 286 essays; science in 128; art in 110; music in 109; and honor in 32. Personal tragedy also loomed large, with 30 essays about cancer alone.

Some students resisted the lure of current events and wrote quirky essays about captaining a fishing boat on Cape Cod or hosting dinner parties. A few wrote poetry. Perhaps surprisingly, politics and the 2020 election were not of great interest.

After his wife died from Covid-19 complications, John Lancos joined social media groups that offered support for people who had lost loved ones in the pandemic.
Credit…Desiree Rios for The New York Times

Pamela Addison is, in her own words, “one of the shyest people in this world.” Certainly not the sort of person who would submit an opinion essay to a newspaper, start a support group for strangers or ask a U.S. senator to vote for $1.9 trillion legislation.

But in the past five months, she has done all of those things.

Her husband, Martin Addison, a 44-year-old health care worker in New Jersey, died from the coronavirus in April after a month of illness. The last time she saw him was when he was loaded into an ambulance. At 37, Ms. Addison was left to care for a 2-year-old daughter and an infant son, and to make ends meet on her own.

“Seeing the impact my story has had on people — it has been very therapeutic and healing for me,” she said. “And knowing that I’m doing it to honor my husband gives me the greatest joy, because I’m doing it for him.”

With the United States’ coronavirus death toll — over 530,000 people — come thousands of stories like hers. Many people who have lost loved ones, or whose lives have been upended by long-haul symptoms, have turned to political action.

There are Marjorie Roberts, who got sick while managing a hospital gift shop in Atlanta and now has lung scarring; Mary Wilson-Snipes, still on oxygen more than two months after coming home from the hospital; and John Lancos, who lost his wife of 41 years on April 23.

In January, they and dozens of others participated in an advocacy training session over Zoom, run by a group called Covid Survivors for Change. This month, the group organized virtual meetings with the offices of 16 senators, and more than 50 group members lobbied for the coronavirus relief package.

The immediate purpose of the training session was to teach people how to do things like lobby a senator. The longer-term purpose was to confront the problem of numbers.

Numbers are dehumanizing, as activists like to say. In sufficient quantities — 535,227, for instance — they are also numbing. This is why converting numbers into people is so often the job of activists seeking policy change after tragedy.

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Covid-19 Live Updates: Worries Over AstraZeneca Doses Upend Europe’s Vaccine Drive

has administered 11 million doses of it. The country’s medicines regulator has not reported any concerns about blood clotting for that vaccine or the Pfizer shot. It said in its latest safety report that “the number and nature of suspected adverse reactions reported so far are not unusual in comparison to other types of routinely used vaccines.”

Michael Head, a senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, said “the decisions by France, Germany and other countries look baffling.” He said that the delay in inoculations, and “the potential for increased vaccine hesitancy,” were not aligned with any new or conclusive data.

In Germany, where a rise in cases is being driven by the more contagious variant first detected in Britain, a lasting suspension of AstraZeneca could delay vaccination of the population by a month, according to the Central Institute for Registered Doctors.

Italy’s prime minister, Mario Draghi, warned on Friday that his country was facing a “new wave of contagion” as cases spike and the variants spread there. Mr. Draghi has put an army general in charge of the vaccine rollout and hopes to increase vaccine doses to 500,000 a day, up from 100,000.

Now, some of the vaccines needed for that drive have been seized by the Italian police on the orders of local prosecutors investigating the death of a teacher who had received the AstraZeneca vaccine. The teacher’s cause of death is unknown.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha of Thailand received his first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Bangkok on Tuesday.
Credit…Thai Government, via EPA

While some countries have suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine over safety concerns, Thailand on Tuesday kicked off a program for its distribution nationwide, with Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha receiving the first shot.

Thailand is one of several countries, including Australia and India, that are continuing to use the AstraZeneca vaccine as experts investigate reports of fatal brain hemorrhages and blood clots among a handful of people who received it. Millions of people around the world have been inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, and scientists say there is no evidence that it causes blood clots, which can occur for any number of reasons.

More than a dozen countries, mostly in Europe, have paused AstraZeneca vaccinations in the last few days, raising fears that vaccinations will be disrupted at a critical time. In Asia, Indonesia also said on Monday that it would not start distributing the AstraZeneca vaccine until it could determine that it was safe.

The AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been authorized in more than 70 countries, is seen as key to fighting the virus in the developing world because it is cheaper and easier to store than other vaccines.

Thailand on Friday became the first country outside Europe to delay use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which Mr. Prayuth had been scheduled to receive that day. By Monday, however, officials said they had received information from the World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency confirming that the vaccine was not connected to the occurrence of blood clots and was safe to use.

In an event on Tuesday that was broadcast online, Mr. Prayuth, 66, selected a vial from a box of AstraZeneca vaccines, inspected the label and received his shot as officials around him applauded.

“I feel good,” he said moments later. “This will build confidence for the general public in the government vaccination program.”

AstraZeneca is one of two vaccines authorized for use in Thailand, with the Thai company Siam Bioscience expected to produce 61 million doses by the end of the year.

Other countries agree that there is insufficient evidence to justify suspension. In a statement on Tuesday, the Australian medicines regulator said it had not received any reports of blood clots among people who had received the AstraZeneca vaccine. Greg Hunt, the health minister, also said the government supported continued use of the shot.

“There have been views expressed — we disagree with them clearly, absolutely, unequivocally,” he said in Parliament.

AstraZeneca is central to Australia’s vaccination drive, with most of the 53.8 million doses the government has secured being manufactured domestically.

Officials in India, where the AstraZeneca vaccine is manufactured locally and known as Covishield, have said there is no immediate concern. They are reviewing data on adverse effects for the AstraZeneca vaccine and for the other shot being used, a domestic vaccine called Covaxin.

Brittany Siguenza, 5, watching her mother receive a Moderna vaccine dose in Massachusetts on Friday.
Credit…Cj Gunther/EPA, via Shutterstock

The drug company Moderna has begun a study that will test its Covid vaccine in children under 12, including babies as young as six months, the company said on Tuesday.

The study is expected to enroll 6,750 healthy children in the United States and Canada.

“There’s a huge demand to find out about vaccinating kids and what it does,” said Dr. David Wohl, the medical director of the vaccine clinic at the University of North Carolina, who is not involved the study.

In a separate study, Moderna is testing its vaccine in 3,000 children ages 12 to 17.

Many parents want protection for their children, and vaccinating children should help to produce the herd immunity considered crucial to stopping the pandemic. The American Academy of Pediatrics has called for expansion of vaccine trials to include children.

Each child in Moderna’s study will receive two shots, 28 days apart. The study will have two parts. In the first, children aged 2 years to less than 12 may receive two doses of 50 or 100 micrograms each. Those under 2 years may receive two shots of 25, 50 or 100 micrograms.

In each group, the first children inoculated will receive the lowest doses and will be monitored for reactions before later participants are given higher doses.

Then, researchers will perform an interim analysis to determine which dose is safest and most effective for each age group.

Children in part two of the study will receive the doses selected by the analysis — or placebo shots consisting of salt water.

The children will be followed for a year, to look for side effects and measure antibody levels that will help researchers determine whether the vaccine is effective. The antibody levels will be the main indicator, but the researchers will also look for coronavirus infections, with or without symptoms.

Dr. Wohl said the study appeared well designed and likely to be efficient, but he questioned why the children were to be followed for only one year, when adults in Moderna’s study are followed for two years. He also said he was somewhat surprised to see the vaccine being tested in children so young this soon.

“Should we learn first what happens in the older kids before we go to the really young kids?” Dr. Wohl asked. Most young children do not become very ill from Covid, he said, though some develop a severe inflammatory syndrome that can be life threatening.

Johnson & Johnson has also said it would test its coronavirus vaccine in babies and young children after testing it first in older children.

Pfizer-BioNTech is testing its vaccine in children ages 12 to 15, and has said it plans to move to younger groups; the product is already authorized for use in those 16 and up in the United States.

Last month, AstraZeneca began testing its vaccine in Britain in children 6 years and older.

Ambar Keluskar preparing a Moderna Covid-19 vaccine in Brooklyn on Saturday.
Credit…Brittainy Newman for The New York Times

In a city scrambling to vaccinate people against Covid-19, Ambar Keluskar faced a problem that seemed to defy logic: The pharmacist, based in Brooklyn, struggled to find people to take the 200 doses he had on hand this month.

State rules restricted who could get shots at independent pharmacies like his to certain older residents, and fewer and fewer people seemed to be scheduling appointments. The problem was even more vexing because his pharmacy, Rossi Pharmacy, draws many customers from East New York — a community that has been hit hard by the pandemic, and whose vaccination rate lags behind other parts of New York City.

Mr. Keluskar’s pharmacy spent hundreds of dollars on Facebook advertisements to let people know that he had available doses. He asked community leaders to spread the word. Then he decided to try a different approach: Instead of waiting for people to come to the pharmacy, he would take his doses to them.

Vaccine providers and would-be recipients alike have been confronted by bureaucratic eligibility rules, a shifting understanding of the virus and a sign-up system that can be prohibitively complex. Vaccinations have been slower to reach many communities where the virus has inflicted the highest toll, and where people may not have the time or resources to easily sign up for appointments.

In response to these problems, volunteers and community groups have built appointment websites, hosted pop-up clinics at churches and helped eligible neighbors navigate the process.

Among those seeking to fill that void was Mr. Keluskar, who this month vaccinated almost 50 people at a senior affordable housing complex near downtown Brooklyn who were homebound or struggling to find appointments.

“The patients loved it,” he said. “They got to get vaccinated somewhere local.”

GLOBAL ROUNDUP

Lining up as the police escorted a hearse carrying the coffin of Papua New Guinea’s first prime minister, Michael Somare, in Port Moresby on Thursday.
Credit…Andrew Kutan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Papua New Guinea, which had largely avoided the coronavirus, is now sounding the alarm over an outbreak that its prime minister said could infect up to a third of the country’s population.

The small island nation has recorded 2,269 coronavirus cases and 26 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the country’s health department. Nearly half of the infections were recorded in the last two weeks, and 97 cases were reported on Sunday.

On Monday, Prime Minister James Marape called the situation “critical” and said that restrictions on movement would be brought in. The nation’s business will be allowed to remain open, but residents will not be allowed to leave their provinces or villages.

Only about 55,000 of the nation’s nine million people have been tested for the coronavirus, a low rate that signals the actual number of infections may be much higher than reported.

There are also concerns that the country’s fragile health system will buckle under the strain, and that recently held gatherings to commemorate former Prime Minister Michael Somare, who died last month, would become super-spreader events.

The spike in cases has prompted concerns in neighboring Australia that the outbreak could spread to its shores. The Torres Strait Islands, an autonomously administered group of islands, are just two and a half miles from Papua New Guinea at the nearest point.

Aid groups and Australia’s opposition party have urged the government to provide emergency vaccine doses to Papua New Guinea. The smaller nation has sourced 200,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Australia and 70,000 from India, but is not expected to get its first vaccine doses until at least next month.

In other developments across the world:

Doses of China’s CoronaVac vaccine being prepared last month in São Paulo, Brazil.
Credit…Victor Moriyama for The New York Times

With Covid-19 deaths rising to their highest levels yet and a dangerous new virus variant stalking Brazil, the nation’s communications minister went to Beijing, where he met with Huawei executives and made an unusual request.

“I took advantage of the trip to ask for vaccines,” said the minister, Fábio Faria, recounting his meeting with Huawei, the telecommunications giant, last month.

Two weeks later, the Brazilian government announced the rules for its 5G wireless network auction, one of the biggest in the world. Huawei, which the government appeared to have barred just months before, would be allowed to participate.

The about-face is a sign of how politics in the region have been scrambled by the pandemic and President Donald Trump’s departure from the White House — and how China has begun to turn the tide.

China spent months batting away resentment and distrust as the place where the pandemic began, but in recent weeks its diplomats, pharmaceutical executives and other power brokers have been fielding scores of requests for vaccines from officials in Latin America.

Beijing’s ability to mass-produce vaccines and ship them to countries in the developing world — while rich countries like the United States are holding many millions of doses for themselves — has offered a diplomatic and public relations opening that China has seized.

Suddenly, Beijing finds itself with enormous leverage in Latin America, a region where it has a vast web of investments and ambitions to expand trade, military partnerships and cultural ties.

The precise connection between the vaccine request and Huawei’s inclusion in the 5G auction is unclear, but the timing is striking, and it is part of a stark change in Brazil’s stance toward China. The president, his son and the foreign minister stopped criticizing China, while cabinet officials with inroads to the Chinese, like Mr. Faria, worked furiously to get new vaccine shipments approved. Millions of doses have arrived in recent weeks.

Waiting to receive the Sinovac vaccine in Hong Kong last month.
Credit…Isaac Lawrence/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Chinese embassies in a rapidly growing number of countries, including the United States, have begun requiring that foreigners entering China must first be fully inoculated with a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine if they want to avoid extensive paperwork requirements.

Complying with the rule will be difficult for people applying for Chinese visas in places that are not offering vaccines produced in China. No Chinese-made vaccine has been approved in the United States or most of Europe.

Many regulators outside China have been wary of vaccines made by companies in China, notably Sinovac and Sinopharm. The companies have released relatively little data from Phase 3 trials to allow independent assessments of the vaccines’ efficacy and safety.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced similar rules for foreigners wanting to enter the Chinese mainland from Hong Kong. It said on Saturday that if they received a Chinese-made vaccine they would not need to meet other requirements, including a negative nucleic acid test, detailed health and travel records, and a personal invitation from a Chinese provincial government agency.

Some foreigners who live and work in the Chinese mainland but left early in the pandemic have been living in limbo for a year or more in Hong Kong, which has authorized the Sinovac and BioNTech vaccines, and elsewhere.

By Tuesday morning, Chinese embassies had issued identical rules in Britain, Japan, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, the United States, Vietnam and at least a dozen other countries.

The Chinese stance puts pressure on other countries to give regulatory approval to China’s vaccines. Beijing has not allowed vaccines developed in other countries to be produced or administered in China.

Thousands of businesspeople and students have been seeking visas to resume their work or studies in China. The country’s borders have been among the most tightly closed in the world to prevent the coronavirus from re-entering the country after being largely stamped out. Business leaders say the new vaccine recommendation adds to the hurdles.

Patients waiting to be released from the observation room of a vaccine clinic at the Cherokee Nation Outpatient Health Center in Tahlequah, Okla., last week.
Credit…Shane Brown for The New York Times

As people across the United States jockey and wait to get vaccinated, a different problem is unfolding in the Cherokee Nation: plenty of shots, but not enough arms.

It is a side effect of early success, tribal health officials said. With many enthusiastic patients inoculated and new coronavirus infections at an ebb, the urgency for vaccines has gone quiet.

Now, the tribe is confronting what looms as a hurdle for the whole country as vaccine supplies swell to meet demand: how to vaccinate people who are not eagerly lined up for a shot.

That public health challenge encompasses persuading skeptics, calling people who don’t realize they are eligible, and making vaccines accessible for homebound patients, overstretched working families and people in rural areas and minority communities.

The Cherokee Nation has administered more than 33,000 doses at nine vaccination sites across its reservation, which spreads from cities through rural woodlands, cattle pastures and poultry farms in northeastern Oklahoma. After vaccinating health care workers, Cherokee-speaking elders and essential workers, the tribe opened appointments to anyone who qualifies, tribal member or not, living in its borders.

Still, hundreds of slots have gone unfilled, health officials said. Cherokee-speaking vaccine schedulers hired to set up appointments are waiting for their phones to ring.

The Osage Nation, in northeastern Oklahoma, is vaccinating about 200 people a day at a clinic that has the capacity to give 500 shots. It tried two mass vaccination events at its casinos, but the results were disappointing.

So the tribe bought two 30-foot “medical RVs” that will roll into smaller towns like Hominy and Fairfax to reach the 30 to 40 percent of tribal elders and essential workers who did not volunteer to get vaccinated. It is a house-by-house campaign against misinformation and wariness, waged with long conversations and patience.

“We tried to remove every obstacle to people who were sitting on the fence,” said Dr. Ronald Shaw, the medical director of the Osage Nation.

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There’s a Global Plan to Conserve Nature. Indigenous People Could Lead the Way.

With a million species at risk of extinction, dozens of countries are pushing to protect at least 30 percent of the planet’s land and water by 2030. Their goal is to hammer out a global agreement at negotiations to be held in China later this year, designed to keep intact natural areas like old growth forests and wetlands that nurture biodiversity, store carbon and filter water.

But many people who have been protecting nature successfully for generations won’t be deciding on the deal: Indigenous communities and others who have kept room for animals, plants and their habitats, not by fencing off nature, but by making a small living from it. The key to their success, research shows, is not extracting too much.

In the Brazilian Amazon, Indigenous people put their bodies on the line to protect native lands threatened by loggers and ranchers. In Canada, a First Nations group created a huge park to block mining. In Papua New Guinea, fishing communities have set up no-fishing zones. And in Guatemala, people living in a sprawling nature reserve are harvesting high-value timber in small amounts. In fact, some of those logs could end up as new bike lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge.

several scientific studies. Indigenous-managed lands in Brazil, Canada and Australia have as much or more biodiversity than lands set aside for conservation by federal and other governments, researchers have found.

That is in stark contrast from the history of conservation, which has a troubled record of forcing people off their land. So, it is with a mixture of hope and worry that many Indigenous leaders view this latest global goal, known as 30×30, led by Britain, Costa Rica and France. Some want a higher target — more than 50 percent, according to Mr. Díaz Mirabal’s organization — while others fear that they may once again be pushed out in the name of conservation.

In the Brazilian Amazon, Awapu Uru Eu Wau Wau puts his life on the line to protect the riches of his ancestral lands: jaguars, endangered brown woolly monkeys, and natural springs from which 17 important rivers flow. His people, the Indigenous Uru Eu Wau Wau, have legal right to the land, but must constantly defend it from armed intruders.

murdered last April, part of a chilling pattern among land defenders across the Amazon. In 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, at least 46 were murdered across Latin America. Many were Indigenous.

The community’s efforts have outsized benefits for the world’s 7.75 billion people: The Amazon, which accounts for half the remaining tropical rainforest in the world, helps to regulate Earth’s climate and nurtures invaluable genetic diversity. Research shows Indigenous property rights are crucial to reducing illegal deforestation in the Amazon.

Nature is under assault because humans gobble up land to grow food, harvest timber and dig for minerals, while also overfishing the oceans. Making matters worse, the combustion of fossil fuels is warming up the planet and making it harder for animals and plants to survive.

conservationists, has been taken up by a coalition of countries. It will be part of diplomatic negotiations to be held in Kunming, China, this fall, under the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity. The United States is the only country, apart from the Vatican, that has not joined the convention, though President Biden has ordered up a plan to protect 30 percent of American waters and lands.

Indigenous communities are not recognized as parties to the international agreement. They can come as observers to the talks, but can’t vote on the outcome. Practically though, success is impossible without their support.

They already protect much of the world’s land and water, as David Cooper, deputy executive secretary of the United Nations agency for biodiversity, pointed out. “People live in these places,” he said. “They need to be engaged and their rights respected.”

agreement to protect at least half of the planet. Scientific research backs them up, finding that saving a third of the planet is simply not enough to preserve biodiversity and to store enough planet-warming carbon dioxide to slow down global warming.

A half century ago, where boreal forest meets tundra in Canada’s Northwest Territories, the Łutsël K’é’ Dene, one of the area’s Indigenous groups, opposed Canada’s efforts to set up a national park in and around its homeland.

“At that time, Canada’s national parks policies were very negative to Indigenous people’s ways of life,” said Steven Nitah, a former tribal chief. “They used to create national parks — fortress parks, I call it — and they kicked people out.”

But in the 1990s, the Łutsël K’é’ Dene faced a new threat: Diamonds were found nearby. They feared their lands would be gutted by mining companies. So they went back to the Canadian government to revisit the idea of a national park — one that enshrined their rights to manage the land, hunt and fish.

The park opened in 2019. Its name, Thaidene Nëné, means “Land of the Ancestors.”

Collaboration among conservationists, Indigenous nations and governments holds a key to protecting biodiversity, according to research.

Without local support, creating protected areas can be useless. They often fail to conserve animals and plants, becoming so-called “paper parks.”

Researchers have found that biodiversity protection often works best when local communities have a stake.

On islands in Papua New Guinea, for example, where fish is a staple, stocks had dwindled in recent decades. Fishers ventured farther from shore and spent more time at sea, but came back with smaller catches. So they partnered with local and international nonprofit groups to try something new. They changed their nets to let smaller fish escape. They reduced their use of a poison that brings fish to the surface. Most critically, they closed some waters to fishing altogether.

Meksen Darius, the head of one of the clans using these measures, said people were open to the idea because they hoped it would improve their livelihoods.

It did.

“The volume, the kinds of species of fish and other marine life, they’ve multiplied,” Mr. Darius, a retired lawyer, said.

Recent research from around the world shows that marine protected areas increase fish stocks, ultimately allowing fishing communities to catch more fish on the edges of the reserves.

To Iliana Monterroso, an environmental scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research in Lima, Peru, what matters is that people who live in areas of high biodiversity have a right to manage those areas. She pointed to the example of the Mayan Biosphere Reserve, a territory of two million hectares in Guatemala, where local communities have managed the forest for 30 years.

Under temporary contracts with the national government, they began harvesting limited quantities of timber and allspice, selling ornamental palms and running tourism agencies. They had an investment to protect. “The forest became the source of livelihood,” Dr. Monterroso said. “They were able to gain tangible benefits.”

Jaguars, spider monkeys and 535 species of butterflies thrive there. So does the white-lipped peccary, a shy pig that tends to disappear quickly when there’s hunting pressure. Community-managed forests have fewer forest fires, and there is almost zero rate of deforestation, according to researchers.

Erwin Maas is among the hundreds of Guatemalans who live there, too. He and his neighbors run a community-owned business in the village of Uaxactún. Mahogany is plentiful, but they can take only so much. Often, it’s one or two trees per hectare per year, Mr. Maas said. Seed-producing trees are left alone.

“Our goal is to sustain ourselves with a small amount and always take care of the forest,” he said.

Nic Wirtz contributed reporting.

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