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

Hospitals fear staffing shortages as vaccine deadlines loom

AP - September 28, 2021

Hospitals and nursing homes around the U.S. are bracing for worsening staff shortages as state deadlines arrive for health care workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. With ultimatums taking effect this week in states like New York, California, Rhode Island and Connecticut, the fear is that some employees will quit or let themselves be fired or suspended rather than get the vaccine.

Biden, McConnell get COVID-19 boosters, encourage vaccines

AP - September 28, 2021

Seventy-eight-year-old Joe Biden and 79-year-old Mitch McConnell got their booster shots Monday, the Democratic president and the Republican Senate leader urging Americans across the political spectrum to get vaccinated or plus up with boosters when eligible for the extra dose of protection.

Concerns about Delta transmission, overburdened hospitals and Covid-19 deaths drove recent rise in vaccinations, poll says

CNN - September 28, 2021

Among those vaccinated since June 1, 39% said they were motivated by transmission of the Delta variant, 38% by the growing burden of Covid-19 on hospitals and 36% by knowing someone who became seriously ill or died. Thirty-five percent said a major reason was to participate in activities where vaccinations are required, such as traveling. Nineteen percent said it was because it was mandated by their employer.

Highest Parental COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Seen Among Most Impacted

HealthDay - September 28, 2021

[Researchers] surveyed 1,425 parents to compare hesitancy toward a future COVID-19 vaccine for children among various sociodemographic groups in a major metropolitan area. The researchers found that one-third of parents reported hesitancy for their child, but this number was higher for Black parents (48 percent) and Hispanic parents (33 percent) versus non-Hispanic White parents (26 percent).

Life expectancy of American men fell by 2 years amid COVID pandemic: study

Fox News - September 28, 2021

The life expectancy of American men dropped by more than two years during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study has found. Oxford University said in the study published Monday that the life expectancy among men fell by 2.2 years in 2020, the largest drop since World War II, according to Reuters. Life expectancy fell by more than six months compared to 2019 for 22 of the 29 countries analyzed for the study, which included the U.S. and European nations.

In a matter of days, Pfizer CEO says they’ll be ready to ask for approval of a Covid-19 vaccine for kids

CNN - September 27, 2021

Pfizer/BioNTech plans to ask for authorization of a Covid-19 vaccine for some children under 12 soon, bringing the US one step closer to offering protection to a population that has grown particularly vulnerable as the fall season gets underway. "It is a question of days, not weeks," Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla told ABC News Sunday about when the company will submit data on children ages 5 to 11 to the FDA for consideration.

US has enough COVID-19 vaccines for boosters, kids’ shots

AP - September 27, 2021

With more than 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccines available, U.S. health authorities said they’re confident there will be enough for both qualified older Americans seeking booster shots and the young children for whom initial vaccines are expected to be approved in the not-too-distant future. The spike in demand — expected following last week’s federal recommendation on booster shots — would be the first significant jump in months.

Trials Show COVID Vaccines Well Worth It for Cancer Patients

HealthDay - September 27, 2021

If you have cancer and you think coronavirus vaccines may do you little good, don't let your hesitation stop you from getting the shots: A pair of clinical trials finds that patients' immune systems ramped up after vaccination. The findings were presented this week during a virtual meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO Congress 2021).

A Daily Pill to Treat Covid Could Be Just Months Away, Scientists Say

Kaiser Health News - September 27, 2021

The Kellys have a role in developing what could be the world’s next chance to thwart covid: a short-term regimen of daily pills that can fight the virus early after diagnosis and conceivably prevent symptoms from developing after exposure.

Biden’s chaotic messaging on Covid-19 boosters is pitting the White House against the government’s scientific advisers

STAT - September 27, 2021

The White House’s chaotic, contradictory messaging on Covid-19 vaccine booster shots has given Americans whiplash. But more concerning, experts say, is that it risks undermining President Biden’s campaign pledge that he would listen to the scientists and adhere to official approval processes. The administration’s latest move — a decision to expand booster eligibility that came in the middle of the night Friday — puts the spotlight on Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, who overruled her own advisory panel of scientists to make the call.

Unvaccinated Americans are at higher risk from COVID-19 but express less concern than vaccinated adults

Pew Research - September 27, 2021

[Adults] who are not vaccinated are about half as likely as those who have received at least one vaccine dose to see COVID-19 as a major threat to the health of the U.S. population (37% vs. 70%) and 14 percentage points less likely to see it as a major threat to their own personal health (21% vs. 35%).

Covid-19 vaccine boosters can begin for some US adults as CDC partially diverges from its advisers’ recommendations

CNN - September 24, 2021

Following days of lengthy debate among vaccine experts, booster shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine can now be officially administered to some adults in the U.S. Early Friday morning, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky diverged from the agency's independent vaccine advisers to recommend boosters for a broader group of people -- those ages 18 to 64 who are at increased risk of Covid-19 because of their workplaces or institutional settings -- in addition to older adults, long-term care facility residents and some people with underlying health conditions.

Covid vaccines don’t increase risk of miscarriage or birth defects, CDC says

CNBC - September 24, 2021

The CDC tracked 1,613 pregnant women who received a Covid-19 vaccine, 30% of whom were vaccinated in the second trimester. The remaining 70% received their inoculations in the third trimester. Participants gave birth to 1,634 infants, including 42 twins.

Asthma organization warns of new social media trend using hydrogen peroxide to treat COVID-19

Fox News - September 24, 2021

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has issued a warning about a concerning new social media trend in which people are breathing in hydrogen peroxide through nebulizers to treat or prevent COVID-19. In a Tuesday blog post, the AAFA said that the "dangerous trend" was circulating on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok. "DO NOT put hydrogen peroxide into your nebulizer and breathe it in. This is dangerous!" the association said.

Has the spread of Covid-19 peaked in the U.S.? What future Covid spread could look like

NBC News - September 24, 2021

The number of new Covid-19 cases in the United States seems to have peaked, with cases in states hit hard by the delta variant earlier edging downward over the last week, according to an analysis by NBC News. It’s the longest sustained decline in cases in nearly three months, giving hope to some leading pandemic forecasters. Some hospitals in areas of the country with low vaccination rates are still in crisis mode, but overall the hospitalization rate in the U.S. has dropped…

No, Vaccinated People Are Not ‘Just as Likely’ to Spread the Coronavirus as Unvaccinated People

The Atlantic - September 24, 2021

This misunderstanding, born out of confusing statements from public-health authorities and misleading media headlines, is a shame. It is resulting in unnecessary fear among vaccinated people, all the while undermining the public’s understanding of the importance—and effectiveness—of getting vaccinated. So let me make one thing clear: Vaccinated people are not as likely to spread the coronavirus as the unvaccinated.