Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 COVID-19 News from Around the Web

Novavax begins early-stage trial for combined flu/COVID-19 vaccine

TODAY - September 9, 2021

Vaccine developer Novavax said on Wednesday it has initiated an early-stage study to test its combined flu and COVID-19 vaccine. The trial, to be conducted in Australia, will enroll 640 healthy adults between the ages of 50 and 70 years and who have either been previously infected with the coronavirus or given an authorized COVID-19 vaccine at least eight weeks prior to the study.

State vaccine incentives do little to boost vaccination rates, research shows

CBS News - September 9, 2021

With millions of Americans still opting against getting vaccinated against COVID-19, retailers, companies and local governments are offering incentives including free beer, donuts and even cash to encourage them get their shots. … Yet while some vaccine holdouts may be swayed by free cash or other offers, such programs have not been shown to boost vaccination rates, new research from the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE) at UPenn shows.

Twice as Many U.S. Workers Say Work Requiring COVID Vaccine

Gallup - September 9, 2021

The percentage of U.S. workers saying their employer is requiring its employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 has doubled in the past month. Nineteen percent of U.S. employees now say their employer has such a policy in order for them to return to the workplace, compared with 9% in the prior survey from July, and 6% or less before that. Fifty-five percent of employees, down from 62% in July, say their employer is encouraging but not requiring vaccinations, while 26% say their employer has not done either.

‘Religious’ Exemptions Add Legal Thorns to Looming Vaccine Mandates

Kaiser Health News - September 9, 2021

No major denomination opposes vaccination. … And if a person claims their privately held religious beliefs forbid vaccination, that defense is unlikely to hold up in court if challenged, legal experts say. Although individual clergy members have mounted the anti-vaccine bandwagon, they have no obvious justification in religious texts for their positions. Many seem willing to cater to people who reject vaccination for another reason.

Efforts grow to stamp out use of parasite drug for COVID-19

AP - September 8, 2021

Health experts and medical groups are pushing to stamp out the growing use of a decades-old parasite drug to treat COVID-19, warning that it can cause harmful side effects and that there’s little evidence it helps. With a fourth wave of infections, more Americans are turning to ivermectin, a cheap drug used to kill worms and other parasites in humans and animals.

NIH orders $1.67M study on how COVID-19 vaccine impacts menstrual cycle

New York Post - September 8, 2021

The National Institutes of Health has announced a $1.67 million study to investigate reports that suggest the COVID-19 vaccine may come with an unexpected impact on reproductive health. … But even in the early days of vaccine rollout, some women were noticing irregular periods following their shots, as reported first by the Lily in April.

Fauci Says DeSantis Is ‘Completely Incorrect’ To Call Vaccine A Mere Personal Choice

NPR - September 8, 2021

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is "completely incorrect" to suggest vaccines are a personal choice with no broad implications, says Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease authority. … Vaccines have been the solution to public health crises such as smallpox, polio and measles, Fauci said — but they rely on wide adoption to work, he added.

Spanish-language Covid disinformation is aimed at Latinos as delta surges

NBC News - September 8, 2021

Amid a surge in Covid cases across the country, medical disinformation in Spanish persists on AM radio, social media and closed messaging apps, where people claim that masks do not work and that the vaccines are dangerous and part of the “global reset.” … A common theme is to compare international government responses to the pandemic to Nazi Germany, with groups claiming lockdowns as well as mask and vaccine mandates are the beginning of global tyranny.

Why some US Blacks and Latinos remain COVID-19 ‘vaccine deliberate’

ABC News - September 8, 2021

Instead of "vaccine hesitant," a more accurate term explaining lagging vaccine rates in communities of color is "vaccine deliberate" -- waiting and seeing if concerns about the vaccine can be mitigated, according to a report from First Draft -- an organization focused on combating online misinformation -- though arguably, some may see little difference between the two phrases.

Biden to lay out new strategy against delta variant of COVID-19

ABC News - September 8, 2021

[President] Joe Biden is set to deliver remarks Thursday on a new strategy to stop the spread of the contagious delta variant, White House officials confirmed Tuesday. "On Thursday the president will speak to the American people about his robust plan to stop the spread of the delta variant and boost vaccinations," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. In the remarks, "the president will lay out a six-pronged strategy," involving both the public and private sectors, she added.

95 percent of US counties now seeing ‘high’ COVID-19 transmission rate: CDC data

The Hill - September 8, 2021

The CDC's COVID Data Tracker revealed on Tuesday that 95.19 percent of counties in the U.S. are seeing “high” rates of transmission, meaning there were at least 100 new cases reported per 100,000 people in the past seven days. Around 2 percent of counties are seeing “substantial” and “low” rates of transmission, and less than 1 percent of counties are seeing “moderate” rates of transmission.

US hits 40 million COVID-19 cases as Delta variant spreads

TODAY - September 7, 2021

The US logged 40 million COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, as the fourth wave brought on by the delta variant continues to spread throughout the country. The country has recorded 40,000,070 cases and 651,690 deaths, according to the latest NBC News tally. On Sunday, the U.S. recorded 35,355 news cases and 279 deaths.

Pfizer Covid booster shots will likely be ready Sept. 20, but Moderna may be delayed, Fauci says

CNBC - September 7, 2021

Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine booster shots will likely be ready by the Biden administration’s Sept. 20 target date, but third Moderna doses may not start then, Dr. Anthony Fauci said. Moderna may not get regulatory approval in time for a rollout that week.

Unvaccinated Teens Hospitalized at 10 Times Higher Rate Than Vaccinated Ones, Says CDC

PEOPLE - September 7, 2021

Unvaccinated adolescents were ten times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 than fully vaccinated ones as the delta variant surged in the U.S., according to a new report from the CDC. The study looked at hospital data from 14 different states between June 20 and July 31 … During that time, the number of unvaccinated kids aged 12 to 17 who were hospitalized with COVID-19 was 10.1 times higher than those who were fully vaccinated.

First responders nationwide resist COVID vaccine mandates

AP - September 7, 2021

The resurgence of COVID-19 this summer and the national debate over vaccine requirements have created a fraught situation for the nation’s first responders, who are dying in larger numbers but pushing back against mandates.

At least 1,000 schools in 35 states have closed for in-person learning since the start of the school year: COVID-19 updates

USA Today - September 7, 2021

At least 1,000 schools across 35 states have closed for in-person learning because of COVID-19 since the beginning of the school year, according to Burbio, a New York-based data service that is tracking K-12 school reopening trends. Schools listed in the company's tracker have closed for anywhere from one day to several weeks. Most temporarily moved to remote learning. Others temporarily closed with no instruction.