Is The USA in Epidemic to Endemic Stage of COVID?

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About 90,000 Americans likely died from June through September for failure to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Kaiser Family Foundation analysis that says the disease was the country’s second-leading cause of death last month, published on USA Today.

Deaths remain Preventable

The high number of preventable fatalities was caused by insufficient vaccination rates, a spike in coronavirus infections fueled by the delta variant, and the loosening of social distancing restrictions, the analysis found.

It used even though COVID-19 has been waning in the fall, it claimed the lives of 49,000 Americans in September, the report estimates.

That trails only heart disease among the nation’s leading killers, and it was No.

1 in the 35-54 age group, which has a lower vaccine uptake than seniors.

7 in July as vaccines became widely available.

“The overwhelming majority of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths continue to be preventable,” the analysis concludes.

J&J vaccines wait for approval

While 8.5 million people who got the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have received a booster shot, those inoculated with Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines continue to wait for the companies’ boosters to be authorized.

A federal advisory committee will meet for two days this week to discuss the safety and need for those boosters, but its members won’t have much data to go on for the J&J extra shot.

The information posted by the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday showed about 8,000 people had been studied after receiving a J&J booster two months after getting the first dose of the single-shot vaccine, and only 17 were tracked after getting a second shot at six months.

It’s not clear whether that will be enough data for the FDA panel to grant its approval.

“Now things have gotten a little more complicated,” said Dr. William Schaffner, medical director for the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. 

Vaccinated global tourists will be permitted into the US

Starting next month, the United States will allow fully vaccinated foreign visitors to cross its land borders for non-essential purposes such as tourism or seeing friends and family.

The change would allow foreigners to enter the U.S. through land or ferry ports for the first time since March 2020.

Government officials have not yet announced a date for the policy change but said it will take place in “early November,” in tandem with the country’s updated international air travel rules.

“This is an important step that will further enhance the safety of international travel and the safety of Americans at home,” senior administration officials said. 

Vehicle, rail, and ferry travel between the U.S. and Canada, and Mexico has been largely restricted to essential travel, such as trade, since the earliest days of the pandemic.

Boeing to require shots for 125,000 US workers

Boeing says it will require its 125,000 U.S. employees to get vaccinated by Dec. 8 to meet the requirements of an executive order issued by President Joe Biden affecting federal employees and contractors.

Boeing, which builds commercial planes as well as military aircraft for the U.S. government, said in a statement that exemptions will be approved for “disability or sincerely held religious belief.”

Chicago-based Boeing has major operations throughout the U.S. – including Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order this week banning businesses from enforcing COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Federal contractors have until Dec. 8 to be fully vaccinated under guidance issued by the federal Safer Federal Workforce Task Force.

The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) issued a statement saying it is talking to employers to ensure “implementation gives proper consideration to members’ concerns, health issues and abides by the provisions of our negotiated contracts.”

Cases decline globally however, CDC chief alerts about high transmission

New coronavirus infections in the U.S. fell 12%, hospitalizations 11%, and deaths 5% last week, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday.

In addition, the World Health Organization said the global number of new cases and deaths dropped 7% and 10% respectively, continuing a downward trend that began in late August.

However, Walensky pointed out an average of 1,400 Americans died each day over the seven-day period that ended Tuesday, and much work remains in the battle against the pandemic.

“Most cities across the country are still experiencing substantial to high levels of community transmission,” she said at a White House briefing.

“We are certainly not in a place where our cases are under control.”

A mother’s inevitable loss

A Virginia mother whose 10-year-old daughter died of COVID spoke at a school board meeting this week, warning that “COVID is not over” and pleading for people to “do everything we can to protect our children.”

Nicole Sperry, a teacher from Suffolk, Virginia, spoke at the Chesapeake Public Schools’ board meeting.

Her daughter’s funeral service was Sunday.

Sperry alleged in a post on Facebook that daughter Teresa Sperry was required by a teacher to walk sick classmates to a nurse’s office at Hillpoint Elementary School before testing positive for COVID-19.

“My message for you and all that are listening is that COVID is not over, no matter what people who have been standing up here have said,” Sperry said.

Florida county faces $3.57M state fine for vaccine requirement

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has made good on his threat to fine local governments that require employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, giving Leon County until Nov. 5 to pay a $3.57 million penalty.

In all, 14 employees were fired because they declined to do so.

Democratic lawmakers representing Tallahassee claimed the decision to impose a fine was an overreach by the governor’s office.

Local governments cannot just sit on their hands and should have the ability to issue emergency standards.

“Vaccines are an important tool that is helping us control this pandemic.”

Kyrie Irving restrained from team activities until vaccination

The Brooklyn Nets took a drastic step to compel All-Star guard Kyrie Irving to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

NBA star Kyrie Irving won’t play or practice with his team “until he is eligible to be a full participant,” Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement Tuesday.

The NBA has tried to get players vaccinated through education and health and safety protocols that will make the season easier for vaccinated players and more onerous for unvaccinated players.

New York City has a vaccine mandate that states Irving, who isn’t vaccinated, and other Nets and New York Knicks players must be vaccinated to play at Barclays Center or Madison Square Garden.

The Nets faced a scenario in which Irving would play road games but not home games –a suboptimal situation for any team, especially one with the talent (Kevin Durant, James Harden) to win an NBA championship – and ultimately opted to play without the point guard unless he becomes vaccinated.

Southwest, American Airlines defying the governor

Two of the nation’s largest airlines – Southwest and American – said Tuesday that they plan to follow looming federal guidelines and require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, despite an order from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott that attempts to block such mandates.

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines last week ordered all of its estimated 55,000 employees to be vaccinated against COVID 19 by Dec. 8.

That followed a directive from President Joe Biden, who in September said all private companies with more than 100 workers must require employees to be vaccinated or conduct weekly tests for the coronavirus.

Southwest said in a statement Tuesday that the president’s executive order “supersedes any state mandate or law,” adding that the company is required to adhere to it despite Abbott’s action “to remain compliant as a federal contractor.”

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Source: USA Today

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