Covid-19 vaccine booster shots may be available to all fully vaccinated Americans in a week, but an expert review by international scientists – including some from the World Health Organization and the US Food and Drug Administration – says we may not need them.
The review, published Monday in The Lancet, summarizes scientific evidence from randomized controlled trials and observational studies that have appeared in both peer-reviewed journals and pre-print servers. The consistent result was that vaccines against major diseases, including the Delta variant and other major variants, remain highly effective.
“The studies currently available do not provide credible evidence of a significant decrease in protection against serious diseases, which are the primary target of vaccination,” said lead author Dr. Ana-Maria Henao-Restrepo, medical consultant for vaccine research at the WHO.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week that rich countries with large supplies of vaccines should not offer booster vaccinations until the end of the year and make the doses available to poorer countries.
Originally, President Joe Biden said that a third booster vaccination would be offered for people with healthy immune systems starting September 20, but that fell somewhat as the announcement preceded recommendations from the FDA and the Advisory Boards of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Who is eligible and when will not be decided until the next few days, when two important scientific advisory boards will meet.
– Adrianna Rodriguez
Also on the news:
►Bill Bailey, a caregiver for the Lee County Elementary in Kentucky, died of COVID-19 on Sunday. School teacher Heather Antle died of the virus two weeks ago. Two more employees are admitted to the hospital.
►Anyone attending an outdoor event with 500 or more people in Washington State, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status, must wear face covering under a mandate effective Monday.
►Four million students in Italy have returned to the classroom after the summer break. All teachers and staff must have received at least one dose of vaccine, have recovered from COVID in the past six months, or tested negative for the virus in the past 48 hours.
► Britain’s chief medical officers said Monday that children between the ages of 12 and 15 should be vaccinated against the coronavirus, despite government vaccine advisors ruling the move would have marginal health benefits.
📈Today’s numbers: The U.S. has had nearly 41 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and nearly 660,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Global Total: More than 224 million cases and 4.6 million deaths. More than 178 million Americans – 53.8% of the population – have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
📘What we read: President Joe Biden launched a nationwide vaccination mandate last week, ordering employers with 100 or more workers to be vaccinated or weekly COVID-19 tests enforced. But what are the consequences for someone who doesn’t stick to it? Does not fulfilling the mandate mean breaking the law? Read more here.
Keep updating this page for the latest news. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY’s Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox and join our Facebook group.
Veronica Wolski, anti-vaccine activist, dies of COVID
Veronica Wolski, 64, a vocal opponent of COVID vaccines and masks, died Monday, lawyer Lin Wood said. In the past few days, Wood had sponsored a campaign to pressure a Chicago hospital to treat Wolski with ivermectin. The drug, primarily a parasitic drug used in horses and cattle, is occasionally prescribed for humans for parasitic worms, skin conditions, and head lice, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has not approved ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 in humans or animals.
“It is our responsibility to make sure that these medical killings stop NOW and that the perpetrators are brought to justice,” Wood said on the Telegram social media site.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice campaigns for stings amid state infection records
West Virginia broke the rolling seven-day record for new infections in a week on Friday, Saturday, and then again on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Less than 48% of West Virginia’s adult population is fully vaccinated, the lowest of any state, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Governor Jim Justice held a press conference Monday, attended by doctors who pushed for vaccinations and discussed the dangers and long-term effects of the virus.
“You have to listen to these people,” Justice said. “These are really good people and they are really smart and they try to save your life every day.”
New York City public schools are returning to face-to-face learning
New York City public schools on Monday again welcomed students for face-to-face learning and fully reopened schools for the first time in more than a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Schools do not plan to offer remote options in hopes of getting students back into the classrooms, although the delta variant is widespread across the country and the number of children infected and hospitalized is increasing.
In New York City, students and faculty are required to wear masks. The city urged employees to receive at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 27.
The return to normal for students in New York City comes as areas across the country struggled with new case spikes and mandates, both of which impacted health care. A hospital in rural New York said it was pausing maternity services as employees quit instead of getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Booster shots a week away – but who gets them?
In just a week, all fully vaccinated Americans could have COVID-19 vaccine boosters available. But who exactly is eligible and when will not be decided until two major scientific advisory committees meet days before the start date of the Biden government on September 20th.
That leaves healthcare administrators like Dr. Tammy Lundstrom, chief medical officer of Trinity Health, based in Michigan, which operates 92 hospitals and 120 care facilities in 22 states, has little response time.
“We have our data team ready to push the button to help us identify all of our patients who are ready for a refresher,” said Lundstrom. “We are eagerly awaiting guidance, like everyone else.”
– Elizabeth way
“Long-distance drivers” wait for help after months of struggle with symptoms
It has taken up to 12 million Americans months to recover from the coronavirus or are still struggling with symptoms. These “long-distance runners” suffer from so-called post-acute consequences of a SARS-CoV-2 infection, better known as long COVID. They are all waiting for help and a better understanding of what makes them so unhappy. Dr. Stuart Katz is the Principal Investigator of NYU Langone’s Clinical Science Core who has been appointed by the federal government to lead long-standing COVID research activities in clinical sites across the country.
“I understand very well the feeling that your body is getting a little out of control and none of the doctors knows why,” said Katz. Read more here.
– Karen Weintraub
The New York hospital doesn’t give birth to babies after employees quit instead of getting vaccinated
A hospital in rural New York won’t give birth to babies after employees quit instead of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Six Lewis County Health System employees have resigned and seven more are unwilling to get vaccinated, which means Lewis County General Hospital is reported to be suspending babies for the time being.
“We will not be able to safely man the service after September 24th,” said Gerald R. Cayer, CEO of Lewis County Health Systems, at a press conference.
The move appears to be temporary. During the maternity hiatus, Cayer said the health system would focus on nurse recruitment to get baby births going again.
Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo passed a mandate on Aug. 16 to ensure that all health care workers in New York are vaccinated. More specifically, hospitals and long-term care workers must receive their first dose of the vaccine by September 27th.
Biden’s test plan calls for discounted COVID-19 testing
Consumers could soon get discounted coronavirus testing on Amazon, Kroger, and Walmart as part of President Joe Biden’s plan to significantly increase testing.
The Biden government said these three major retailers will be selling quick, over the counter tests “at cost” over the next three months, a discount of up to 35% off retail prices.
Biden’s strategy is to spend nearly $ 2 billion to raise 280 million rapid tests for long-term care facilities, community testing facilities, homeless shelters, prisons, and other vulnerable populations. Another 25 million free rapid home tests would be sent to community health centers and boards.
Companies say government support is needed to expand testing options as the Delta variant drives demand higher and manufacturers scramble to keep up.
“Right now there is a huge shortage across the market,” said Ron Gutman, co-CEO of Intrivo, a test maker. “We have a lot more demand than ever before.”
– Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY
What could increase vaccination readiness? Studies can provide answers.
As the United States battles reluctance to adopt COVID-19 vaccines amid a surge in cases fueled by the Delta variant, a new study co-authored by a New Mexico State University researcher examines how COVID- 19 infections in social circles can influence willingness to vaccinate.
In the study, Jagdish Khubchandani, professor of public health at NMSU, and a team of researchers conducted a national assessment of COVID-19 vaccine readiness in American adults based on COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths within their friend and family groups .
“In this study and in our previous studies, we have done extensive research on the reluctance to use COVID-19 vaccines, and some factors keep popping up as predictors of vaccine reluctance,” said Khubchandani, who has conducted several studies on reluctance to use since late 2020 COVID-19 Vaccines “Education, race and political ideology are the main factors and we need to make more efforts to reach parts of our society that are hesitant about vaccines.”
The researchers found that vaccination hesitation rates differed significantly depending on whether the study participants had a close friend or family member affected by COVID-19. Read more here.
– Carlos Andres López, Las Cruces News