WHO calls for moratorium on vaccine booster shots as global infections surpass 200M: Latest COVID-19 updates

Written by on August 4, 2021

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The director-general of the World Well being Group known as for a moratorium on coronavirus vaccine booster photographs to permit vaccine entry to international locations struggling to acquire jabs as the worldwide whole of COVID-19 circumstances surpassed 200 million Wednesday.

“We name on everybody with affect – Olympics athletes, traders, enterprise leaders, religion leaders and each particular person in their very own household and group – to help our name for a moratorium on booster photographs…  till at the least the top of September,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned.

Tedros mentioned the purpose was to give attention to enabling at the least 10% of the inhabitants of each nation to be vaccinated.

High U.S. well being officers have mentioned there may be not but sufficient knowledge to help booster photographs, even for the aged and immunocompromised, although Israel is now recommending them for these teams. However WHO’s name for a booster moratorium comes as infections are surging throughout the U.S. – pushed by the extremely contagious delta variant – the place vaccine is plentiful however vaccine hesitancy stays a critical concern.

Greater than 90% of recent coronavirus infections throughout the U.S. are from the delta variant, in keeping with the newest knowledge from the Middle for Illness Management and Prevention. The first delta strand accounted for 83.4% of infections within the two-week interval that ended July 31, the CDC says. Different delta strands represented one other 10%.

Present vaccines have proven effectiveness in defending towards or at the least minimizing the injury from a delta an infection, and the overwhelming majority of infections and hospitalizations are among the many unvaccinated.

Additionally within the information:

►Barack Obama turned 60 on Wednesday, however his birthday bash has been scaled again due to virus issues. Spokesperson Hannah Hankins mentioned the previous president will now be celebrating the milestone second with household and shut pals instead of the massive outside social gathering he had deliberate.

►Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who prompt final 12 months that the desert’s warmth would maintain the coronavirus at bay, mentioned she examined optimistic and quarantined for 10 days.

►In case you’ve misplaced your COVID vaccination card, that is how one can get a brand new one.

►Carnival Cruise Traces mentioned it would require masks for all passengers no matter vaccination standing in sure areas indoors onboard its ships, in addition to necessary pre-cruise COVID-19 testing.

►Genesis Healthcare, the nation’s largest nursing house operator with almost 400 amenities, informed its 70,000 staff this week they should get COVID-19 vaccinations to maintain their jobs.

?At this time’s numbers: The U.S. has had greater than 35.3 million confirmed COVID-19 circumstances and 614,700 deaths, in accordance to Johns Hopkins College knowledge. The worldwide totals: Greater than 200 million circumstances and 4.25 million deaths. Greater than 165.Three million Individuals – 49.8% of the inhabitants – have been absolutely vaccinated, in keeping with the CDC.

?What we’re studying: After greater than 18 months of a pandemic, with 1 of each 545 Individuals killed by COVID-19, a considerable chunk of the inhabitants continues to say their very own particular person liberties over the frequent good. Learn the complete story.

Maintain refreshing this web page for the newest information. Need extra? Join USA TODAY’s Coronavirus Watch e-newsletter to obtain updates on to your inbox and be part of our Fb group.

As the college 12 months approaches in a lot of the nation, there’s rising proof — each numerical and anecdotal – of kids’s vulnerability to the coronavirus and its extremely transmissible delta variant.

The American Academy of Pediatrics mentioned that as of July 29, nearly 4.2 million youngsters have examined optimistic for the virus because the pandemic started, almost 72,000 of them within the final week. That is nearly twice as many because the 39,000 infections from the earlier week. For perspective, about 79,000 Individuals of all ages examined optimistic in every week of late June.

Spring Schmidt, deputy director of the St. Louis County well being division, mentioned Wednesday about one in 5 present whole circumstances in county hospitals have been individuals beneath 19, a few of them in intensive care.

Ochsner Well being, Louisiana’s largest hospital system, mentioned it had no pediatric COVID sufferers a number of weeks in the past, however the final two weeks the quantity has ranged from 5 to 15. Dr. William Lennarz, head of pediatrics at Ochsner Hospital for Youngsters, mentioned that doesn’t imply the delta variant is disproportionately affecting youngsters.

“What’s totally different is that youngsters now make up essentially the most inclined inhabitants as a result of youngsters beneath 12 are 100% not vaccinated,” he mentioned.

Practically all international guests will be required to be vaccinated towards COVID-19 earlier than getting into the U.S., in keeping with a plan the Biden administration is engaged on, The Related Press reported.

The requirement would come as a part of the administration’s phased strategy to easing journey restrictions for international residents to the nation. No timeline has but been decided, as interagency working teams research how and when to securely transfer towards resuming regular journey.

The administration has stored in place journey restrictions which have severely curtailed worldwide journeys to the U.S., citing the unfold of the delta variant of the virus.

As a part of Denver’s mandate that every one metropolis staff and private-sector staff in high-risk settings get vaccinated towards COVID-19 by the top of September, faculty personnel will likely be required to get the photographs. That makes Denver Public Faculties the primary massive district to situation such a mandate. The district has about 92,000 college students and greater than 10,000 staff.

Mayor Michael Hancock’s public well being order issued this week has some enamel, contemplating it comes with the specter of termination for individuals who do not comply. The one exemptions will likely be for medical or spiritual causes. 

“There may be some people who might lose their jobs behind this,” he mentioned, in keeping with the Denver Put up.

Different massive faculty districts, together with New York Metropolis’s, have mentioned faculty employees must be vaccinated or in any other case bear common testing for the virus. However in Denver, faculty staff who don’t need to be vaccinated received’t have that choice.

Denver’s mandate applies to employees in any respect town’s training establishments, together with private and non-private Ok-12 faculties, faculties and universities.

Dan Domenech, the manager director of the Faculty Superintendents Affiliation, mentioned Denver often is the first to situation such a requirement of college employees, however it will not be the final. “I am positive others will comply with,” he mentioned.

– Alia Wong

Keep in mind all of the hand-wringing concerning the Sturgis Bike Rally being held amid a pandemic final 12 months? Properly, the huge annual gathering of bikers in South Dakota is again this 12 months, now with the extremely infectious delta variant threatening to show the occasion right into a superspreader of big proportions.

About 700,000 individuals are anticipated to attend the rally, which begins Friday and has develop into a haven for individuals keen to flee coronavirus precautions. These hardly deterred individuals final August, when roughly 460,000 attended. Masks have been principally ditched as bikers crowded into bars, tattoo parlors and rock exhibits.

Contact tracers reported 649 infections from each nook of the nation linked to the 2020 rally, together with one demise. A crew from the CDC concluded in a broadcast research that the gathering “had many traits of a superspreading occasion.”

“The rally is a behemoth and you can not cease it,” mentioned Carol Fellner, a Sturgis resident who anxious that this 12 months’s occasion would trigger a contemporary outbreak of circumstances. “I really feel completely powerless.”

Regardless of the danger the delta variant poses to the unvaccinated, it is the individuals inoculated towards COVID-19 who’re extra involved concerning the extremely contagious model – and extra prone to change their habits, in keeping with a new ballot launched Wednesday. Vaccinated adults are almost twice as prone to fear that new variants equivalent to delta will worsen the pandemic nationally and regionally, in keeping with the newest monitoring ballot from the Kaiser Household Basis.

The phone survey of 1,517 adults was performed from July 15-27, earlier than the CDC mentioned vaccinated individuals ought to masks up indoors in areas with “substantial” ranges of COVID-19 transmission. About one in 5 unvaccinated adults mentioned variants have made them extra prone to get vaccinated.

“Seeing their pals get sick and native hospitals refill once more with COVID sufferers might pace them alongside,” basis CEO Drew Altman mentioned.

Maureen Groppe

The delta variant has pushed a pointy surge in U.S. infections and hospitalizations that has educators throughout the nation cautious as the brand new faculty 12 months approaches. The U.S. Division of Training’s highway map for return to high school consists of steering for carrying masks that in lots of faculty districts is pitting educators towards state officers.

In Florida, Duval County Public Faculties could have a masks mandate with an opt-out choice, whilst Gov. Ron DeSantis threatens district funding if faculties situation one. In Tennessee, Shelby County Faculties will maintain a masks mandate in place, even begin faculty remotely relying on circumstances this fall. The state’s Home speaker has threatened to name a particular session prohibiting it.

And a contingent of Democratic lawmakers from Oklahoma is calling for a particular legislative session to repeal a brand new regulation that prevents faculty districts from imposing masks mandates except a state of emergency is in impact. Tulsa Public Faculties anticipate however do not require masks always for college kids and employees, no matter vaccination standing.

“What has to occur earlier than we take COVID critically?” Democratic Home Minority Chief Emily Virgin mentioned. “We now have youngsters in ICU.”

As COVID-19 circumstances surged within the U.S. final weekend, Chicago’s downtown was a sea of principally unmasked humanity as lots of of hundreds crowded collectively for the outside music competition Lollapalooza. Greater than 385,000 individuals packed the four-day occasion. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot defended the choice to carry the competition, citing pandemic precautions that required concertgoers present proof of vaccination or a detrimental COVID-19 take a look at and to put on a masks. Lollapalooza mentioned 90% of attendees on the primary day of the occasion proved they have been vaccinated. Lightfoot mentioned lots of have been turned away.

Nonetheless, some specialists sounded an alarm. Tina Tan, a Northwestern College Feinberg Faculty of Drugs professor, known as the competition “a recipe for catastrophe.” 

“You are much less in a position to transmit COVID in an outside house, however that does not imply you could pack 100,000 individuals right into a small, enclosed house the place they’re on high of one another and anticipate no one’s going to transmit,” Tan mentioned. “That is not the way it works.”

Adrianna Rodriguez and Christine Fernando

A fourth wave of COVID-19 is threatening to overwhelm U.S. hospitals in areas the place massive swaths of unvaccinated individuals present little resistance to the extremely contagious delta variant. Nowhere is the pressure extra obvious than Florida, which reached a new peak Tuesday of 11,515 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19, in keeping with knowledge from the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers.

Hospitals in Jacksonville and Orlando final week crashed by means of their pandemic peaks, and hospitals in Miami-Dade County are at or approaching report coronavirus hospitalizations this week, mentioned Mary Mayhew, CEO of Florida Hospital Affiliation. And circumstances proceed to surge: 110,477 residents examined optimistic for COVID-19 for the week ending July 29, foreshadowing extra individuals needing hospital care within the weeks forward. 

“The delta variant is ripping by means of the unvaccinated,” Mayhew mentioned.

Ken Alltucker

The USA is once more reporting multiple new coronavirus case each second. Johns Hopkins College knowledge launched by means of Tuesday evening exhibits at the least 620,226 new coronavirus circumstances reported within the newest week, rather more than the 604,800 seconds in that week.

The U.S. hadn’t hit that mark since Feb. 14. At its worst, the nation was reporting almost three circumstances each second on common in mid-January.

– Mike Stucka

South Korea on Tuesday reported two new circumstances of the delta-plus variant, which some specialists say is extra transmissible than the unique delta variant. First recognized in Europe in March, the delta-plus variant refers back to the addition of the Ok417N spike protein mutation, additionally present in some sub-strains of the alpha variant, in keeping with a U.Ok. report launched in July. 

“Up to now, there is no such thing as a clear proof that it conveys sufficient of a profit to the virus to permit it to dominate the unique delta variant,” Colin Angus, senior analysis fellow on the College of Sheffield, informed the Washington Put up. “So though it’s clearly right here, there is no such thing as a apparent signal that it has gained a foothold over present variants of the virus.”

The variant is displaying up extra in younger individuals, Angus mentioned, however vaccinated individuals are nonetheless displaying an immune response to the variant in a small knowledge set.

Contributing: Related Press

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