CDC says the Moderna vaccine remains particularly effective. COVID updates
New research released on Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the effectiveness of the Moderna vaccine remains particularly strong.
Over the course of five months of research, from March to August, the effectiveness of any vaccine at keeping people out of hospital due to COVID among people without compromising conditions was highest in Moderna recipients at 93%. The overall effectiveness of Pfizer was 88% and that of J&J was 71%.
Pfizer’s effectiveness decreased from 91% to 77% after 120 days of the study period, while Moderna’s effectiveness did not see a similar decrease. The initial effectiveness of 93% only decreased to 92% with Moderna.
“Although this real-world data suggests some variation in the level of protection provided by vaccines, all FDA approved or cleared COVID-19 vaccines provide significant protection against COVID-19 hospitalization,” the researchers concluded.
The report came hours before an FDA committee decided not to recommend a booster dose for Pfizer vaccinated people, except in the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
Also on the news:
► The White House announced on Friday that it would be convening a virtual COVID-19 summit on September 22nd. The summit will revolve around equitable global vaccine access as well as increasing the availability of COVID-19 tests, personal protective equipment and medical equipment for oxygen supply, which is needed to treat patients, among other things.
► Beginning next month, Los Angeles County will require proof of vaccination or a recent COVID-19 negative test to enter the Dodger Stadium, SoFi Stadium and Major League Soccer venues at events with more than 10,000 people, the Los Angeles Times reported.
► Nine big cats at the National Zoo – six African lions, one Sumatran tiger, and two Amur tigers – were suspected to test positive for COVID-19 after caregivers noticed symptoms such as decreased appetite, cough, sneezing and lethargy. Final results confirming the suspected positive tests are expected in the coming days.
► The World Health Organization on Friday declined to say how many of its employees have been vaccinated, despite repeated calls for vaccinations from the health authority. “We won’t have that because it’s confidential,” said Dr. Margaret Harris, a spokeswoman for the WHO.
► A New York restaurant hostess was allegedly attacked by a group of Texas customers while asking for proof of vaccination. The New York Fire Department said she was repeatedly beaten and her necklace was broken. Three suspects were taken into custody.
► An Arizona couple, Frank Robert Montoya and Victoria Parra-Carranza, were sentenced to jail terms after coughing up Walmart employees asking them to wear masks and then fighting with police.
►A federal judge has again prevented Tennessee Governor Bill Lee from allowing parents to sign out of school masking duties, which aim to limit coronavirus infections.
► In Louisiana, a child died of COVID-19, state health officials said on Friday. The child, who was between 5 and 11 years old, is the 15th minor to have died of the virus since the pandemic began in the state.
📈Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 41.9 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 672,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Global Total: More than 227.7 million cases and 4.6 million deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 180.5 million Americans – 54.4% of the population – have been fully vaccinated.
📘What we read: Opinion makers Drs. Atul Grover and David J. Skorton say the nation’s severely flawed COVID response can be improved. Read the whole piece.
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Colored children disproportionately affected by the pandemic, according to a new report
As a mirror of the racial differences among adults, colored children have borne the brunt of the effects of the pandemic as they faced disproportionate infection and hospitalization rates, more barriers to vaccination and heightened threats to mental, social and academic growth, according to a new report released Thursday was published by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Research shows that black, Hispanic, and Asian children are significantly more likely to be infected despite lower test rates, the report said.
Hispanic and American Indians, as well as Alaskan children, also had the highest hospitalization rates, followed by children from Hawaii and other Pacific islanders and black children, the report said.
The pandemic had a negative impact in particular on the “intellectual, social and academic growth” of Hispanic and black children, the KFF said. The foundation also said that Black and Hispanic parents “are more likely to say that their household suffered a work interruption in the past year due to childcare needs and that the interruption had a major impact on their family’s finances and stress levels”.
The report points to a lack of available data on childhood vaccination rates by race and ethnicity. But the data available convey racial differences, including white children with higher vaccination rates than black children.
Compared to white parents, black and Hispanic parents were also more likely to have concerns about barriers to access to vaccines, according to the report.
“Taken together, these data suggest that COVID-19 has disproportionately negatively impacted the physical and mental health, academic growth and economic security of children of color,” the report said.
Public service officials, including teachers, in 26 states are facing federal vaccine mandates
The measures President Joe Biden took this month to increase the number of workers vaccinated against COVID-19 don’t just apply to most federal employees and larger corporations. State and local government employees in 26 states, including teachers and school staff, will also be affected by the new Washington workplace rules.
These include workers in some states like Arizona who have banned civil servants’ vaccination requirements, leading to yet another clash between GOP-led states and the Democratic government.
After months of persuading Americans to get immunized against the coronavirus, Biden took his strongest steps yet in areas of authority by announcing that most federal employees and millions of federal entrepreneurs will need to be vaccinated.
This order does not apply to the federal legislature and judiciary, which the President does not control.
Biden directed OSHA to require employers with 100 or more workers to ensure that those workers are vaccinated or tested for the coronavirus on a weekly basis. Employers could face fines of up to $ 13,600 per violation for failing to comply.
The government estimates that more than 80 million private sector workers will be affected by the emergency rule.
– Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY
FDA panel recommends Pfizer boosters only for high risk elderly people
After hours of discussion and a request that the question posed to them be revised, a key federal advisory committee on Friday recommended a third dose of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine six months after full vaccination for those 65 years of age and older Risk of Severe COVID-19.
Pfizer’s initial question would have made the booster accessible to everyone aged 16 and over.
There is still insufficient evidence that boosters are necessary for people under 65, said members of the Food and Drug Administration’s Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biological Products.
Those at high risk include health care workers, first responders and people who are likely to be exposed to the virus at work, committee members said.
– Elizabeth Weise and Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY
UK Government Simplifies COVID Travel Rules After Complaints
Amid complaints that its rules for international travel were too complicated, England announced on Friday a change in current regulations to prevent the spread of COVID.
Instead of a red, yellow, or green light system for classifying countries based on their prevalence of COVID, with changes in classification confusing travelers, the country will adopt a two-tier system starting October.
Under the new system, countries will be either red or open. Turkey, Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya were removed from the red list this week.
The testing requirements are also made easier for travelers from open countries who are fully vaccinated.
Facebook overrun by COVID vaccine flights, the report said
Anti-vaccine activists flooded Facebook to sow doubts about the COVID-19 vaccines and overwhelmed efforts to stop them, despite telling the world it was not responsible for vaccine hesitation, a new one revealed Wall Street Journal report.
Of around 150,000 users who post to Facebook groups that are disabled due to the spread of COVID-19 misinformation, 5% created half of the posts and 1,400 invited half of the new members, the newspaper found from a document .
The report paints a picture of a company being outwitted by a small but crafty group of anti-vaccine activists it calls the “big whales.”
Facebook researchers compared the problem in May with QAnon and allegations of electoral fraud, “with a relatively small number of actors making up a large percentage of the content and growth.”
– Brett Molina and Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY
Contribution: The Associated Press