U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers in Memphis have intercepted thousands of fake COVID vaccine cards. They believe that the cards would have ended up in New Orleans. The latest seizure brings the total to 3,017 cards intercepted through 121 seizures.
FDA Approves 3rd COVID Dose
On August 12, 2021, the FDA approved giving people with a weakened immune system a third dose of the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines. The third dose is recommended for about 2.7% of the population, 2.7 million individuals, that are immunocompromised, including those with certain cancer patients, people with HIV and organ transplant recipients. Dr. Fauci says that a third dose would be recommended for the general population only when results show that coverage has fallen below a certain level in the general population. Scientists are still struggling to determine that level.
California Mandates Vaccine or Weekly Testing for All TeachersRead More »
San Francisco Announces New Vaccination Policy
If you are planning to attend an event in San Francisco, bring your vaccine passport with you. On Thursday, August 12, the city became the first U.S. major city to require everyone over 12 to be vaccinated before they can enter indoor restaurants, bars, gyms, theaters or any venue designed to hold over 1,000 people. The new mandate will begin on August 20.
New Orleans Implements New COVID Mandates
On August 13, New Orleans Mayor Cantrell announced new COVID mandates. People who want to go to indoor restaurants, bars, stadiums, gyms, event spaces, pool halls, bowling alleys, indoor play centers, arcades, skating rinks, indoor playgrounds and arcades, racetracks, casinos and many other places will need to present a LA Wallet App’s SMART Health Card, CDC Vaccination Card or an official proof from another state or foreign government. Those unable to submit the proof will need to show a negative COVID test within 72 hours of entry.
United States Department of Veteran Affairs Requiring All Workers be Vaccinated
The United States Department of Veteran Affairs became the first federal agency to require all employees, contractors and volunteers to get vaccinated. These individuals have eight weeks to present their vaccine passports to their supervisor or face termination. The department offers the vaccine free or gives the employee four hours paid time off to get it from a private source.
Mayo Clinic Announce Break-through Cases Lower With Moderna
In a study that must still be peer-reviewed, researchers at the Mayo Clinic say that they have determined that break-through cases of COVID are much lower with the Moderna vaccine than with the Pfizer vaccine. The study found that the rate of break-through cases in Florida, where COVID is running rampant, is 40% higher in fully vaccinated people who took the Pfizer vaccine than those receiving the Modena vaccine. The study found that across Minnesota, the Moderna was 76% effective at preventing COVID, but the Pfizer vaccine was 46% effective.
Texas Governor Abbott Being Sued Over No-mask Order
On May 18, Governor Abbott used an executive order to stop governmental entities from issuing masks mandates. The mandate extended to counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities and government officials. Now, numerous school districts are taking Abbott to court over his right to make the no-mask mandate. Multiple schools have reinstated school mask orders as school starts in Texas. Those districts include the state’s four largest districts, including Harris, Dallas, Bexar and Travis counties.
Texas and Florida Account for Nearly 40% of all COVID Hospitalizations
According to White House pandemic response coordinator Jeff Zients, nearly 40% of all COVID hospitalizations are in Florida and Texas. He says that the hospitalization rate in Florida is particularly dire since the rate of hospitalization equals the pace of the 30 lowest infected states combined. He says that the rate of vaccination, which is 44.7% in Texas and 49.8% in Florida, is far too low to halt community transmission of the disease as that requires about 80% of the population to be vaccinated. While not naming names, President Biden began prepared remarks at the White House on Thursday by thanking local and county officials who refused to obey the governor’s orders.
Teachers Unions Support Mandatory Vaccination
The two largest teacher unions, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, have announced that they support mandatory vaccinations for teachers. The Delta variant is hitting young people much harder than the original strain of COVID. Therefore, they are asking that teachers face mandatory orders to take the vaccine. There may be some wiggle room for teachers willing to submit weekly COVID tests and choose not to take the vaccine. The unions maintain that the local unions should work out the details with local boards. Dr. Fauci also said that he supports mandatory teacher vaccination but believes it must happen locally.
India Gives Approval Stage 2 Testing to Begin on Nasal COVID Vaccine
The Department of Biotechnology in India has given its approval for Stage 2 test to begin. This is the first vaccine to get government approval for further testing to continue. The vaccine must undergo more extended testing before they approve it. Meanwhile, the Indian government has given emergency approval for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be given.
British Columbia Mandates Vaccine for Some Health Care Workers
The Canadian government has been slower than many worldwide to mandate vaccines, but on August 12, the British Columbia government mandated the vaccine for all workers in long-term care facilities. The mandate applies to all people working in assisted-living facilities and nursing homes.
Indonesia Turns Ferry Into COVID Isolation Area
Indonesia has one of the highest rates of COVID in Asia. Now, they have turned a ferry into an isolation area for people who have mild symptoms. The government hopes that by isolating patients away from the city, they can slow the spread of the disease. Officials have installed 800 beds on the ferry, and 60 medical workers are onboard.
Those are the highlights in COVID news for this week.
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