President Joe Biden signed an executive order Thursday requiring vaccinations of most federal workers and contractors, tightening previous policies announced in July that encouraged – but did not require – vaccinations for many federal workers.
The executive order affects employees working for the executive, about 90% of the federal workforce. The change will be one of the new steps to take over the pandemic that Biden will announce on Thursday afternoon, a source familiar with the plans told USA TODAY.
Some federal health workers, including those working for the Veterans Department, already need to be vaccinated. Members of the U.S. military must also have a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
But other civilian federal employees and contractors only had to disclose their vaccination status and, if not vaccinated, get tested regularly, socially distance themselves, wear masks, and be subject to restrictions on most work trips.
– Maureen Groppe
Also in the news:
►Connecticut College canceled classes on Wednesday and will lead them at a distance for at least a week after more than 50 students tested positive for COVID-19, the school in London said.
► Issues, including the demand for increased vaccination in developed countries, mean that Africa will receive about 25% less than the expected dose of the vaccine this year, said the director of the World Health Organization for Africa. Less than 4% of people across the African continent are fully vaccinated.
►Italian anti-terrorist police on Thursday searched the homes of eight people who allegedly advocated violence, especially against journalists, at the upcoming protests against the government’s demands for a vaccine against COVID-19.
►Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Thursday announced an extension of the coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and 18 other areas until the end of September, saying health systems remain under great pressure. Tokyo hosted the Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games without spectators.
►The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell to 310,000 last week, the Department of Labor reported on Thursday. The total number is pandemic low and is a sign that the increase in the number of people infected with coronavirus has not yet caused widespread discharges.
► Popular podcaster and UFC commentator Joe Rogan criticizes media coverage, especially from CNN, about how he reacted to his diagnosis of COVID-19.
📈 Today’s issues: The United States recorded more than 40.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 652,600 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Globally: More than 222.6 million cases and 4.5 million deaths. More than 177.1 million Americans – 53.3% of the population – have been fully vaccinated, According to the CDC.
📘 What we read: After lying low for months since the Capitol uprising, members of the far-right street gang Proud Boys appeared in protests against the mandate of masks and demands for a coronavirus vaccine. How Proud Boys Offer Muscle at Anti-Mask Rallies.
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Schools in Los Angeles are expected to vaccinate 12-year-old students
The Los Angeles Board of Education is expected to vote today on whether to require all students ages 12 and older to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus to participate on campus classes in the country’s second-largest school district. The proposal, scheduled for discussion at a special afternoon meeting, would be one of the most aggressive measures taken by a large U.S. school district to protect children from infections.
“Without a significant increase in the number of vaccinated eligible residents, there is a danger of an increase in the number of cases this fall and winter because COVID-19 is easily spreading among those who have not been vaccinated,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.
Study: The number of deaths in nursing homes missed 16,000 deaths
The government counts coronavirus destruction among the most vulnerable seniors he probably missed more than 16,000 He died of COVID-19 in nursing homes in the U.S. during the first months of the pandemic, an academic study released Thursday showed. Missing deaths make up up to 14% of what researchers estimate as the true number of deaths in nursing homes for the entire past year, according to an analysis at the JAMA Network Open, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Medical Association. Researchers estimate that the total number of deaths in nursing homes is 118,335 by the end of 2020.
Airlines are struggling to recover as the delta variant reduces the number of bookings
The rise in COVID-19 cases in the delta variant is damaging airline reservations and hampering the recovery of the travel industry, several airlines reported on Thursday. American Airlines said the slowdown, which began in August, continued in September, and the airline cut its revenue prospects in the third quarter. United Airlines said its flights and revenues are weaker than previously expected, and is shortening its schedule for later this year to meet lower demand. United predicts a pre-tax loss in the third quarter that could extend into the fourth quarter if the virus epidemic continues.
Delta Air Lines said it still expects to release adjusted pre-tax profit for the third quarter, but that revenue will be towards the lower end of the previous forecast.
Fauci says the infection rate is 10 times higher than needed to end the epidemic
The rate of coronavirus infection in the United States caused by the delta variant is more than 10 times higher than the rate needed to end the pandemic, says Dr. Anthony Fauci. Fauci, in an interview with Axios, he said the nation is battling about 160,000 new cases a day – “not even modestly in good control” – and will not be significantly better until more Americans are vaccinated, he said.
“The ultimate game is to fight the virus,” Fauci said. “In a country our size, you can’t roll around and have 100,000 infections a day. You have to fall well below 10,000 before you start feeling comfortable.”
More vaccinations won’t completely end the infections, but “you won’t have that as a threat to public health,” he said. He said that the current variants, although problematic, can be controlled with current vaccines. And the longer it takes for the pandemic to end, the more likely it is that a “monster variant” will emerge that eludes vaccines, he said.
Pfizer’s science chief is defending the vaccine
The Pfizer vaccine contains only a portion of the key active ingredient found in Modern’s sting, and also produces a lower antibody response, according to one study.
A study of 1,600 Belgian health workers published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the Modern COVID-19 vaccine produced twice as many antibodies as Pfizer, six to 10 weeks after vaccination.
Pfizer’s vaccine against COVID-19 has 30 micrograms of mRNA, while Modern has 100 micrograms. Philip Dormitzer, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer, told the Financial Times this week that Pfizer and its developer BioNTech used the minimum dose level to get an immune response. The higher dose risked more side effects, he said.
“If you look at what’s happening with all the COVID-19 vaccines, side effects have often occurred,” Dormitzer said. Vaccines, however, produce similar side effects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Vaccination does not increase the chances of miscarriage, the study says
A new study by researchers from Minnesota indicates that Vaccination against COVID does not increase the chances of miscarriage. The study, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, examined data on more than 100,000 pregnancies. Data were taken from eight major health systems – Kaiser Permanente: Washington, Northwest, Northern California, Southern California, and Colorado; Denver Health; HealthPartners; and Marshfield Clinic, Wisconsin – December 2020 to June 2021.
The results were similar for all vaccines approved or approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Countries running out of intensive care beds are considering streamlining care
Some states are approaching the point where they need to streamline hospital care with an increase in hospitalizations due to COVID. At Kootenai Medical Hospital in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the conference center has been converted into a field hospital with patients treated with ventilators in classrooms. At a nearby hospital, patients with COVID in the emergency department spill into the hallways. Only nine intensive care beds were available nationwide on Tuesday, officials said. The state has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country: only 40% are fully vaccinated.
And Kentucky is fast approaching a crisis standard of care, its governor said Wednesday. More than two-thirds of hospitals have a critical shortage of staff, he said. Gov. Andy Beshear told CNN that the state is “right” or that it is “fast approaching that point” when hospitals will have to start streamlining care.
“So we are in a very precarious situation,” he said.
White House: The U.S. can share vaccines globally, giving stimulus injections at home
The Biden administration says the U.S. has the option of offering incentive injections to its residents and distributing the vaccine to other nations, after the head of the World Health Organization called for a moratorium to be tightened by the end of the year.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said low-income countries cannot be a “second or third priority” for COVID-19 vaccines, saying their health workers, the elderly and other at-risk groups have the same right to protection as those in richer countries. .
But White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that this was a “fake choice”. Psaki said the U.S. has so far shared 140 million doses with more than 90 countries. The boosters are expected to be available in the U.S. from Sept. 20 to those who received two doses of the mRNA vaccine at least eight months earlier.
“The president and this administration have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect people in the United States, in this country,” she said. .. Our position is that we can do both. “
A federal judge blocked Florida’s ban on masked schools
A judge from Florida on Wednesday blocked Governor Ron DeSantis ’ban on mandatory masks in schools not to remain in force while appealing an earlier judgment revoking his order.
District Judge John Cooper approved the lawyers’ request that parents sue DeSantis for the masks, supporting their view that maintaining the ban would create a potential health risk in schools.
Ejecting the automatic retention of his earlier order is unusual, Cooper admitted. But he added: “We are not in normal times. We’re in a pandemic. ”
DeSantis has ordered counties to allow parents to have their children simply waive requests for masks. But Cooper decided that school boards were authorized to order all students to wear protective masks, unless they received a medical exemption.
-John Kennedy, Capital Bureau, USA TODAY Network-Florida
Contributor: Associated Press