Fully vaccinated individuals who acquired the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot in a big trial had been at a 95.6% lower risk of COVID-19 an infection than totally vaccinated individuals who acquired a placebo, the businesses mentioned Thursday.
The information got here on the identical day a CDC advisory panel voted unanimously to allow booster shots of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines and to allow the additional doses to be of a distinct model than the unique pictures.
Put collectively, Thursday’s developments determine to speed up the nation’s booster program, which the Biden administration has promoted. The Pfizer-BioNTech booster pictures had been licensed for sure populations within the U.S. final month.
In a trial of greater than 10,000 folks age 16 and older who had been totally vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech pictures, the businesses discovered solely 5 instances of COVID-19 within the boosted group in comparison with 109 within the placebo group, for an efficacy of 95.6%. No security issues had been reported.
“These results provide further evidence of the benefits of boosters as we aim to keep people well-protected against this disease,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla mentioned in an announcement.
Also within the information:
►A federal decide in Oregon denied an exemption from the state’s vaccine mandate to seven unvaccinated staff who mentioned they do not want the pictures as a result of they’ve already had COVID-19, the Washington Post reported.
►A Southern California lady who refused to put on a masks or depart a grocery retailer final yr was convicted of trespassing and obstructing a enterprise or clients. Marianne Campbell Smith was sentenced her to 40 hours of neighborhood service, a yr of casual probation and a $200 positive.
►Amid Russia’s worst surge in COVID-19 infections and deaths for the reason that pandemic started, eating places, film theaters and lots of retail shops in Moscow will be closed for 11 days starting Oct. 28, together with different new restrictions. President Vladimir Putin has inspired however not mandated vaccines, which have been met with widespread skepticism.
►Georgia’s unemployment price fell to an all-time low of three.2% in September, the seventeenth month in a row that the state’s jobless price has dropped. Georgia reached an all-time excessive jobless price of 12.5% in the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020.
►Nebraska hospitals can resume lower-priority surgical procedures beginning Friday after Gov. Pete Ricketts introduced he’s ending the restrictions which have saved services from being overwhelmed with sufferers through the coronavirus pandemic.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded greater than 45.2 million confirmed COVID-19 instances and greater than 732,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 242.3 million instances and 4.9 million deaths. More than 189.9 million Americans – 57.5% of the inhabitants – are totally vaccinated, according to the CDC.
📘 What we’re studying: The FDA granted authorization for booster pictures of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday, and a CDC panel will contemplate whether or not to approve them. Here’s who can get a booster shot now. And listed below are answers to other questions about boosters, together with information on mixing and matching.
- CDC panel offers unanimous OK to Moderna, J&J booster pictures and to mixing and matching
- UK goes over 50,000 new instances in a day for the primary time in three months
- DeSantis guarantees particular legislative session to ban vaccine mandates
- Flu season, COVID may imply troublesome winter for youths
- Miami-Dade faculties may ease masks guidelines quickly
- Report: 98% of deaths since June in Washington, D.C., had been Black folks
- US has donated 200 million vaccine doses to different international locations
- Surgeon normal and Hinge staff up for pandemic courting recommendation
- Unions warn pilots to stay focused on flying, not vaccine mandates
A federal committee voted Thursday to allow booster shots of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines and in addition to allow mixing and matching of the additional doses from totally different producers than those supplied within the preliminary inoculations.
The vote by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices was unanimous, and it may open the door for the boosters to be accessible by the weekend.
Once CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky indicators off on the advice, which is anticipated to occur rapidly, Moderna and J&J boosters could be provided within the U.S. On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration authorized both for certain populations.
Boosters for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had been OK’d in September for folks 65 and older and people in high-risk situations. The Moderna booster pictures are licensed underneath the identical phrases, together with having to attend till six months after the second dose, however J&J vaccine recipients can get any booster two months after being vaccinated.
A National Institutes of Health research discovered that a shot of both the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine after J&J offers greater ranges of safety from COVID-19 than two pictures of J&J.
Letting Americans select among the many Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines as a COVID-19 booster shot would improve safety towards a illness that’s killing a mean of 1,093 Americans a day, the committee mentioned.
— Elizabeth Weise
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson inspired eligible residents to get a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine because the U.Okay. surpassed 50,000 new infections in a day for the primary time since July 17.
The 52,009 new instances recorded Thursday raised the U.Okay.’s weekly common to 46,791, the continuation of a troubling spike after that they had dropped nicely beneath 10,000 in June.
Johnson has been getting strain to reinstate restrictions and require using face masks, however up to now has resisted whereas saying new infections and deaths are near what was anticipated when social distancing guidelines had been relaxed. He additionally pointed to the effectiveness of vaccines and urged adolescents ages 12-15 to get the jab.
The UK, which has administered about 4.7 million booster pictures, is in “incomparably better position than last year because of vaccines,” Johnson mentioned.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday mentioned he’ll convene a particular legislative session subsequent month to move payments to fight vaccine mandates enacted by companies. The Republican outlined coverage targets for the particular session, together with holding companies accountable for antagonistic reactions to vaccines, eradicating authorized legal responsibility protections for employers with vaccine mandates and added protections for folks fired for not being vaccinated.
Other states are contemplating anti-mandate payments. GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott final week issued an govt order to ban any entity from requiring vaccines.
“You shouldn’t be discriminated against based on your health decisions,” DeSantis mentioned throughout a information convention. “We want to provide protection for people, we want to make it clear that, in Florida, your right to earn a living is not contingent upon whatever choices you’re making in terms of these injections.”
Flu season is developing, and no one is counting on a repeat of last winter’s reprieve from that annual scourge. Jennifer Erdahl, nurse supervisor of the pediatric ICU on the University of Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital, mentioned her workers is bracing for the present surge of younger sufferers to proceed deep into the winter. Many Americans hoped tales of packed hospitals would fade because the pandemic waned in early summer season. The introduction of vaccines for adults was adopted by plummeting case charges and hovering optimism. The late summer season COVID surge deflated such hopes.
“It feels daunting and a little overwhelming that we’re two months into it and we’re still very busy,” Erdahl mentioned. “And we think we have months more to go.”
– Tony Leys and Jessica Koscielniak
The masks mandate for college kids in Florida’s Miami-Dade County may add an opt-out inside days due to falling an infection and hospitalization charges, college Superintendent Alberto Carvalho says. The variety of college students needing to quarantine within the district’s faculties has dropped considerably since lessons began in August, he mentioned.
The district will proceed to depend on “science and data” locally and faculties to information decision-making, he mentioned. Miami-Dade County Public Schools consists of greater than 500 faculties and virtually 350,000 college students.
“In light of these favorable data trends both in our schools and community, @MDCPS will continue to review protocols on a weekly basis to identify opportunities for further relaxation, including adjustments to mask protocols,” Carvalho tweeted.
Forty-nine of the 50 individuals who died of COVID-19 in Washington, D.C., since June had been Black residents, and 42 of them weren’t vaccinated, in response to an evaluation of information by DCCovid.com. City Health Department information reveals that 63,305 folks in D.C. had been contaminated with COVID-19 as of Tuesday. Of these, 33,119 – simply over half – had been Black. The native web site DCist studies that of the 1,184 Washingtonians who’ve died through the pandemic, 911 of them had been Black residents, or 77%.
Black folks make up about 40% of the town’s inhabitants of virtually 700,000.
“People are uncertain and afraid,” D.C. resident Elvera Patrick advised DCist earlier this yr. “It’s been so many stories and myths about the vaccination that many don’t know what’s the truth.”
The U.S. has donated 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines globally as of Thursday morning, the White House introduced.
The United States Agency for International Development and COVAX, a world initiative to ship vaccines globally, plans to ship greater than 1 billion U.S.-made vaccine doses to low-income international locations within the subsequent yr, USAID Administrator Samantha Power mentioned.
“Today, Americans have 200 million reasons to be proud,” Power mentioned in a White House assertion. “USAID is honored to be at the forefront of this global vaccination effort unprecedented in scale, speed, and complexity, to counter the worst pandemic in modern history.”
Mask up or make out? Dating is hard through the pandemic, however in response to a brand new video by Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and the courting app Hinge, it’s possible to make connections and still avoid COVID-19.
“Dating during the COVID-19 pandemic: It’s not simple, but it’s definitely possible,” Murthy says in a video launched Tuesday by Hinge. “Recognize that getting vaccinated is the one most essential factor we are able to do to cut back our threat.”
Murthy recommends following a risk-assessment checklist to decide whether to go for a kiss: Consider whether the person is fully vaccinated, has interacted with anyone who isn’t and has taken precautions such as wearing a mask.
– Keira Wingate, USA TODAY
Pilots at American and Southwest airlines are being warned to keep vaccine mandate issues out of the cockpit because of potential flight safety concerns.
The Allied Pilots Association, which represents American’s 14,000 pilots, sent a memo to members Tuesday about an increase in distractions because of looming deadlines to get vaccinated and sharply divided views on the topic. The subject line: “Distractions can’t have an effect on security.”
“We are seeing distractions in the flight deck that can create dangerous situations,” the memo from the union’s safety committee said.
The number of pilots self-reporting vaccine mandate talk or concerns to the Federal Aviation Administration as a distraction on the job has spiked, union spokesman Dennis Tajer said.
– Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY
Contributing: The Associated Press