Gao Fu, director of the China Centers for Disease Control, speaking at a vaccines and health conference in Chengdu, southwest China, on Saturday.

A version of this story appeared in the April 12 edition of CNN’s Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction newsletter. Sign up here to receive the need-to-know headlines every weekday.

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But President Joe Biden’s administration does expect the private sector to create such documents. For many college students returning to campus, proof of inoculation may be the quickest way back to university life.

“The protection rates of existing vaccines are not high,” Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said Saturday. “It is time to formally consider whether we should use vaccines developed from different technologies to boost immunization,” he said, adding that China must not overlook mRNA vaccines.

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots used widely in the United States and several other countries use mRNA technology, a new type of vaccine that sends messages to cells in the body to produce a protein that provides protection against Covid-19. The two most commonly used Covid-19 vaccines in China – the locally developed Sinovac and Sinopharm – are based on inactivated viruses.

But Gao’s remarks were controversial in China and, as his comments gained traction on social media and international news platforms, Chinese censors quickly scrubbed discussions online. State media swiftly put out an interview with Gao to walk back his comments.

Global Times, a state-run nationalist tabloid, quoted Gao as saying reports about his admission were “a complete misunderstanding,” and published new, toned-down remarks from Gao.

Early Tuesday, US health officials recommended pausing the rollout of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine over concerns the shot may be linked to a very small increased risk of rare blood clots.

YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.

Q. If I am young and healthy, then why should I take the vaccine?

A. Millions of Americans took flights this week, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is still urging people to avoid non-essential travel, even if you’ve been fully vaccinated, because the majority of Americans have not had their shot yet.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 72% effective against Covid-19 among US trial participants and 85% effective against severe disease. Like the other two vaccines, no one who was vaccinated during the clinical trial died from Covid-19.

But that doesn’t mean Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is worse than the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. Johnson & Johnson’s was tested later, when coronavirus cases were surging and new variant strains were spreading more widely. And unlike the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which require two doses, the Johnson & Johnson shot requires only one dose.

Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.

WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY

Black respondents were less likely than their White or Hispanic counterparts to report adequate supply of vaccine doses or vaccine sites in their communities.

After four months under strict lockdown, people across England can now go shopping, get their hair cut, and go for a drink or a meal at a pub beer garden or restaurants with outdoor seating, in what UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called a “major step forward in our roadmap to freedom.”

Biden rebuffs Michigan over vaccines as US rollout hits its stride

B.1.1.7 variant is more transmissible but does not increase disease severity, studies suggest

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government has drafted a law to give the federal government the power to impose a national lockdown, German newspaper Welt reported, as infection cases there steadily rise and doctors warn that intensive care units (ICUs) are under severe strain.

Germany surpassed 3 million infections on Monday, official public health data shows, after a daily increase of more than 13,000 cases and 99 more deaths. The total death toll is now 78,452 in the nation of 83 million. The country’s intensive care association director Christian Karagiannidis said Germany had reached “the peak” of ICU bed occupancy, warning that healthcare workers are “breaking down.”

Two new studies suggest that the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant, which was first identified in the UK, is more transmissible but does not appear to impact disease severity.

CDC studies find racial and ethnic disparities in Covid-19 hospitalizations

Lyth Hishmeh felt ill for months after being infected with the coronavirus last year. The 26-year-old was once a regular runner, but he felt fatigued and breathless, and struggled to function, with chest pains and poor concentration. Yet medical professionals kept telling him he simply could not still be ill. “They were telling me it’s all in my head,” he told CNN’s Ivana Kottasová.

Proving they are still sick months after being infected has been half the battle for people around the world suffering with long Covid. In the UK alone, almost 700,000 people in the country reported having symptoms for three months after infection. Some 70,000 say the symptoms lasted for more than a year.

Health experts are now warning of a global “second pandemic” of longhauler Covid-19. They say the UK is failing to address the problem adequately, and are worried less wealthy nations could suffer even more.

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Crowds gather for a dip in the Ganges River, in Haridwar, India, on Monday.

TODAY’S TOP TIPS

Pets – like their humans – had to adjust during the pandemic.

To navigate the complexity, she tells families that she would never judge parents or accuse them of not loving their kids any less if they’re afraid of vaccinations. She just asks that they talk about it, and skeptical parents often come around.

Bracho-Sanchez is now applying those hard-won experiences in how she talks with her own family members hesitant to get their Covid-19 shot. “These are new vaccines and that comes with a reaction and a fear that is very real,” she said. “I think we also have to remember there is massive misinformation out there.” Her skills, and those of pediatricians like her, can help you as you talk with your own loved ones about getting protected against Covid-19. Here’s how.

TODAY’S PODCAST

“I’m actually alive today because of a drug that was developed 30 years ago for another condition.” – Dr. David Fajgenbaum, a researcher working to find already approved drugs to repurpose as Covid-19 treatments.

— Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

How do we provide vaccines to people who can’t make it to a doctor’s office, pharmacy or state-run vaccine site? CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta looks at the mobile vaccine units being set up by Sean Penn’s non-profit, CORE. Listen now.