U.S. deaths from virus in 2021 surpass 2020 total; J&J booster shots
Within the historical past of the pandemic within the U.S., 2020 shall be remembered as essentially the most disruptive yr, a time when the coronavirus shut down companies, faculties, sports activities, journey and lots of extra staples of on a regular basis life.
However 2021 has surpassed its predecessor because the deadliest yr.
That grim threshold, particularly lamentable contemplating the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines within the nation because the spring, was crossed Tuesday when the U.S.’s world-leading whole of coronavirus deaths went over the 704,000 mark. The 2020 tally was 352,000, or half that quantity.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Washington Nationwide Cathedral plans to toll its funeral bell 700 instances in reminiscence of the lives misplaced.
The solemn ceremony comes as COVID-19 circumstances, deaths and hospitalizations within the U.S. are trending downward, in response to Johns Hopkins College knowledge. In comparison with 4 weeks in the past, hospitalizations for the most recent week are down 26.9%, and the variety of ICU beds occupied by doubtless COVID-19 sufferers has diminished by 25.3%. The tempo of fatalities has decreased as effectively, about 12% from the Sept. 22 peak.
However the mixture of the hyper-infectious delta variant with the misinformation-driven refusal by so many Individuals to get vaccinated — some 70 million who’re eligible haven’t acquired the free photographs — has left the nation weak to a virus that continues to adapt and discover new victims.
Extra of them, actually, than in what is going to doubtless be thought to be the worst yr of the pandemic.
Additionally within the information:
►The FDA on Monday authorized a new coronavirus home test that the company says will quickly double the nation’s restricted provide of non-prescription checks.
►Northwell Well being, New York’s largest well being care supplier, mentioned 1,400 staff, lower than 2% of its whole workforce, have been fired for refusing to be vaccinated towards COVID-19. A statewide vaccination mandate for all hospital and nursing house staff took impact Sept. 27.
►A New York man was charged with a felony and will face seven years in prison for faking a COVID-19 vaccine card.
►The European Union’s drug regulator gave its backing Monday to administering booster photographs of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for folks 18 and older.
►Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison mentioned Tuesday that international guests to the nation would not be allowed again till a minimum of subsequent yr.
📈 At the moment’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded greater than 43.8 million confirmed COVID-19 circumstances and greater than 704,000 deaths, in response to Johns Hopkins University data. World totals: Greater than 235.6 million circumstances and 4.8 million deaths. Greater than 185.8 million Individuals – 56.3% of the inhabitants – are totally vaccinated, according to the CDC.
📘 What we’re studying: COVID-19 vaccines might be obtainable for youthful youngsters in a matter of weeks – however specialists fear whether or not communities of shade can have an equal shot at defending their youngsters. Read more here.
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CDC urges unvaccinated Individuals to delay journeys
The CDC says unvaccinated Americans should delay planned trips throughout the nation till they’ve had their COVID-19 photographs.
“People who find themselves totally vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine or a vaccine approved for emergency use by the World Well being Group can journey safely inside the US,” the CDC mentioned in a Monday replace of its home journey steering, which additionally outlines suggestions for unvaccinated individuals who should journey.
Additionally Monday, the CDC’s record of nations the place Individuals should avoid travel because of “very high” COVID-19 cases grew once more, with Barbados and Croatia essentially the most notable additions.
Greater than 80 international locations at the moment are on the ever-changing record of nations vacationers ought to keep away from, together with Jamaica, Aruba, Belize, the UK, Greece and different widespread vacationer locations. Read more here.
– Daybreak Gilbertson
J&J seeks FDA clearance for booster shot
Johnson & Johnson mentioned Tuesday that it submitted knowledge to the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration exhibiting a booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine is secure and considerably will increase safety towards illness.
Johnson & Johnson says its data, published last month, reveals a booster given 56 days after a primary dose of its vaccine gives 94% safety towards symptomatic COVID-19 and 100% safety towards extreme illness.
“We stay up for our discussions with the FDA and different well being authorities to help their choices relating to boosters,” Mathai Mammen, a J&J analysis government, said in a statement.
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is certainly one of three approved within the U.S., and by far the least used, with less than 15 million Americans receiving its single-dose shot. Use of the J&J vaccine was paused for 10 days in April after experiences of uncommon however harmful blood clots in six ladies who acquired the shot, however the FDA and CDC determined the vaccine’s benefits outweigh its risks.
On Tuesday, officers in Washington state confirmed a feminine resident of King County became the fourth known person in the nation to die of a blood clot after getting the J&J vaccine. Not like the two-dose mRNA vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, the J&J inoculation is an adenovirus vector vaccine.
Iowa professor punished for requiring masks plans to do it once more subsequent semester
When College of Northern Iowa professor Steve O’Kane determined to require masks in his plant systematics class this fall, he was totally conscious that he was breaking state Board of Regents coverage. Final week, O’Kane was stripped of his potential to show the category this semester consequently.
Nonetheless, he plans to require masks again next semester, even when it means termination.
“To not disobey is to confess defeat. And what the administration is pressured to do – please word my phrases – what the administration is pressured to do is immoral and unethical. And all of it boils right down to Iowa politics,” O’Kane mentioned in an interview.
O’Kane’s defiance of the regents’ coverage prohibiting masks necessities is the biggest escalation in what has been weeks of back-and-forth between college at UNI, Iowa State and the College of Iowa, their administrations and the Board of Regents over find out how to finest shield the neighborhood from the unfold of COVID-19.
– Cleo Krejci, Iowa Metropolis Press-Citizen
AstraZeneca seeks FDA authorization for its antibody remedy
AstraZeneca on Tuesday mentioned that it was in search of FDA emergency use authorization for its “long-acting” antibody mixture to deal with COVID-19.
AstraZeneca says its AZD7442 remedy, a mixture of the antibodies tixagevimab and cilgavimab, is designed to have extra sturdiness than conventional antibodies. Most treatments are prescribed early in the course of disease, and whereas extremely efficient at stopping hospitalization and loss of life, the safety is non permanent. AstraZeneca says its antibody remedy may present as much as a yr of safety.
In its medical trial, AstraZeneca mentioned the remedy decreased the chance of symptomatic COVID by 77%, and greater than 75% of the examine inhabitants had an elevated danger of extreme problems from COVID.
Poor well being decisions are killing rural Individuals, and COVID is making it worse
Rural Americans are up to 20% more doubtless than their city counterparts to die from sicknesses reminiscent of most cancers, coronary heart illness and decrease respiratory infections, a new federal study confirmed.
Lack of entry to well being care, poverty, smoking and heavy ingesting all play a task in driving up the disparity between rural and concrete residents – a spot doubtless now additional exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and closure of rural hospitals.
The federal examine examined the ten main causes of loss of life nationally from 2009 by way of 2019. It additionally discovered folks in cities live longer than their rural counterparts, and that the well being disparities are growing. Rural Individuals are additionally dying from COVID-19 infections at about twice the speed of city Individuals, based on data analyzed by the Middle for Rural Well being Coverage Evaluation on the College of Iowa.
Dr. Varinder Singh, chair of the cardiology division at New York Metropolis’s Lenox Hill Hospital, mentioned it is essential to do not forget that well being care disparities exist in city areas too, particularly inside communities of shade. However he mentioned the federal examine raises essential questions concerning the rising urban-rural divide, and will immediate discussions about find out how to successfully attain rural populations with public-health messages.
– Trevor Hughes
Nationwide Institutes of Well being director to step down by finish of yr
The director of the Nationwide Institutes of Well being, Dr. Francis S. Collins, says he’s stepping down by the top of the yr, having led the analysis middle for 12 years and turn out to be a outstanding supply of public info throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“There comes a time the place an establishment like NIH actually advantages from new imaginative and prescient, new management,” Collins, 71, mentioned in an interview with The Washington Publish. “This was the precise timing.”
A proper announcement was anticipated Tuesday from NIH. The Publish and Politico reported Collins’ plans Monday night time.
Based mostly in Bethesda, Maryland, and part of the Division of Well being and Human Providers, NIH is the nation’s medical analysis company and operates greater than two dozen institutes and facilities. It lays declare to being the biggest supporter of biomedical analysis on this planet.
– The Related Press
Alabama loss of life toll doubles from 2020
COVID-19 has already killed twice as many individuals in Alabama this yr because it did in all of 2020, Johns Hopkins College knowledge reveals.
The state was doubly punished by final yr’s fall-winter wave of coronavirus, then the newer delta variant-driven wave. The illness killed 4,827 folks in Alabama in 2020, and the same quantity from Jan. 1 to Feb. 23 this yr.
Since July 1, when the delta variant actually started taking off in the US, COVID-19 has killed greater than 3,100 folks in Alabama.
— Mike Stucka
Pandemic’s drain on schooling may turn out to be financial downside for Texas
Greater than 1 million Texans misplaced jobs seemingly in a single day and the state’s unemployment charge practically quadrupled when the coronavirus pandemic first slammed the financial system early final yr.
However a much less seen affect of the pandemic – a steep decline in instructional attainment by Texas college students amid the disaster – may find yourself having even larger adverse financial penalties long run, in response to the state’s high public faculty official.
“That is the biggest downside going through the state of Texas – the issue of creating positive that our citizenry is educated to reap the benefits of the alternatives” generated by the financial system sooner or later, Texas Training Commissioner Mike Morath mentioned.
Morath mentioned the proportion of third graders within the state who meet grade-level proficiency in studying and math has dropped precipitously because the begin of the pandemic. Read more here.
– Bob Sechler, Austin American-Statesman
Contributing: Mike Stucka; The Related Press