12-15 yr olds might qualify for vaccinations this week
Hesitation about vaccines has become the predominant mindset of Americans who have not yet been vaccinated, making the pursuit of herd immunity increasingly elusive.
Only 11% of American adults not vaccinated for COVID-19 say they will definitely get the shot, while 34% say they definitely will, according to a new survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research won’t do. Another 27% say they likely will and 27% say they probably won’t.
The vaccination surge has slowed, and President Joe Biden practically met with six governors on Tuesday to discuss ways to revive the momentum. Biden wants 70% of American adults to be at least partially vaccinated by July 4th. Some experts say this is needed to get the pandemic under control. Currently, fewer than half of Americans have received at least one shot.
Getting children vaccinated could help the numbers. The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for emergency use for children ages 12-15. Some cities offered shots less than 24 hours later. Most, however, are waiting for a federal advisory council, which will meet on Wednesday, to issue approval en route.
Biden said last week that 20,000 pharmacies are ready to start vaccinating teenagers once the necessary approvals are in place.
Older adolescents aged 16 and 17 have been allowed to receive the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine since it was approved in December. The other two US-approved vaccines from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson were not available to minors as studies are ongoing.
Also in the news:
►San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., one of the top young baseball stars, is out at least 10 days after testing positive for the coronavirus.
►US employers saw a record number of jobs available in March, the latest data available, as companies struggled to recruit in the recovering economy.
►America’s non-tribal casinos grossed over $ 11.1 billion in the first three months of this year, hitting their best quarter to date as customers continued to return due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the money was spent on internet and sports betting contributed to increased sales.
►Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said Tuesday that effective June 12, she will cut federal unemployment insurance benefits created at the start of the pandemic last year. Reynolds believes the increased payments are holding back the economy. Alabama governor Kay Ivey says she will end Alabama’s participation in federal unemployment programs on June 19.
►The USS Constitution will find its way through Boston Harbor and be open to the public again on May 21, the Navy said. Public visits by the ship Old Ironsides, launched in 1797, were suspended at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
📈 Today’s numbers: The United States has more than 32.7 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 582,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The grand total: over 159 million cases and 3.3 million deaths. More than 334 million vaccine doses have been distributed and more than 263 million administered in the United States, according to the CDC. More than 116.5 million Americans have been fully vaccinated – 35.1% of the population.
📘 What we read: A year of social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing and staying home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus made the 2020-2021 influenza season virtually non-existent. Read more here.
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Getting Vaccines to the People: Governors Share Success Stories with Biden
When the federal government reaches out to tens of millions of Americans who haven’t received the COVID-19 vaccine and even offer free transportation to get the shots, President Joe Biden listened to a handful of governors on Tuesday about what was going on in their states.
A common theme: convenience is important.
To that end, Biden announced a deal with hail shipping companies Uber and Lyft to bring people to and from vaccination sites free of charge from May 24th to July 4th.
Biden, who suggested that the CDC would soon issue new guidelines on what vaccinated people can do, is aiming for 70% of the country’s adults to have received at least one dose by Independence Day.
During his call to the Republican governors of Ohio, Utah, and Massachusetts, and the Democratic governors of Maine, Minnesota, and New Mexico, Biden was told that they are meeting people where they are to get them to be vaccinated. The heads of state emphasized the importance of mobile units, pop-ups and walk-ins to improve the availability of the bumps.
“It goes out, it’s trying to innovate and figure out how to get it straight to the people,” said Mike DeWine, Ohio governor, adding that there is a lot of interest in Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine. “They want this one shot to be taken.”
The Missouri attorney general is suing for the ending of restrictions in St. Louis County
Missouri Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit against St. Louis County’s pandemic restrictions, citing the implications for religion, education, and personal freedoms. According to Schmitt, vaccines are available to all adults so the restrictions aren’t necessary. The lawsuit filed against Sam Page, the county health department and its director, seeks an injunction to end the restrictions.
“From the requirement of an outdoor mask to the government’s pre-approval for private events is enough,” Schmitt said in a statement. “The seemingly endless control over people’s lives must end.”
In India, numerous corpses swam on the Ganges
More than 70 dead have been found swimming down the Ganges in East India as the country battles the world’s worst coronavirus crisis. Pictures on social media sparked outrage and speculation that COVID-19 was the cause of death, although authorities said post-mortems could not confirm this due to the decomposition of the bodies.
The Indian health and funeral facilities have been overwhelmed in recent weeks as there is no more oxygen in hospitals and crematoria are in operation around the clock. Surinder, a Ghazipur resident who uses a name, told the Associated Press that villagers did not have enough wood to cremate their dead on land.
“Bodies from around 12-13 villages were buried in the water,” he said.
Schools strive to get high school graduates on the right track to graduate
Data is not yet available on how the pandemic has affected the country’s overall dropout rate, and many school officials say it is too early to know how many students who have stopped enrolling in distance learning are not returning want. But an increasing number of students who fail classes or are chronically absent have experts fearing the worst, and schools have been busy tracking down wayward seniors through social media, knocking on their doors, and assigning staff to help them help make up for lost time and, in some cases, even loose graduation requirements.
The impact of the pandemic could wipe out US gains in lowering its dropout rate, which fell from 9.3% in 2007 to 5.1% in 2019, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
“If we lose a student, it will be after we kicked and yelled and fought tooth and nail for them,” said Troy Pitsch, who oversees the Kansas City, Kansas school principals.
Which antibodies protect against COVID? It is not yet known
Fifteen months after the pandemic broke out in most of the world, researchers are still trying to determine how much of a certain type of antibody a person needs to avoid serious illness, hospitalization, or death. It’s something that scientists around the world would find extremely useful as more vaccines and potential boosters are developed. The information would help show quickly whether a vaccine is effective enough without the need for extensive, lengthy studies.
“All you have to do is vaccinate people with a new vaccine, measure their antibodies, and that’s it,” says biostatistician Dr. Peter Gilbert. “And you could do it with maybe 400 people instead of 40,000.”
– Elizabeth way
Education Department to Fund College Retirement
The education department will release $ 36 billion in colleges nationally to help universities and students struggling during the pandemic. The funds are part of the US rescue plan, and half of the funds are to go directly to students.
In addition to the direct grants, the department can use the money to keep students or re-enroll those who have dropped out of college due to the pandemic. Colleges could also use the money to vaccinate students or prevent the coronavirus from spreading on campus. Public and private non-profit universities can use some of the funds to offset costs associated with the pandemic, such as lost revenue, expenses related to providing online education or training for faculty and staff. Nonprofit colleges must pass all of the money they receive on to students.
International students and DACA recipients who were excluded from previous emergency funding under former President Donald Trump are included in the program, Education Minister Miguel Cardona said.
Novavax plans to release US data on its vaccine shortly
Novavax, the Maryland-based biotech company whose vaccine has performed well in clinical trials in the UK and South Africa, expects data on its US study to be released “in a few weeks,” but will not be ready for regulatory approval until some time Obtaining Approval In the second half of the year, CEO Stanley Erck told USA TODAY that Novavax had been addressing manufacturing issues that had prevented the company from making the vaccine to scale and that it was “on track” to apply for approval for to bring the emergency to the FDA.
In a quarterly report released on Monday, Novavax said it intends to get this approval, as well as the OK from European regulators, by the third quarter. The company has reduced its expected capacity to 100 million cans per month by the end of September. Novavax has a manufacturing and manufacturing agreement with the Serum Institute of India and its vaccine is widely expected in developing countries.
Contribution to this column: Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY; The Associated Press