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7 hours ago | The NY Times
Across the U.S., clashes intensify between city officials and the police over vaccination issues.
In many cities across the country, there is friction between governments and law enforcement unions over requirements that officers get vaccinated against the coronavirus or prove their vaccination status, leading to contentious public clashes.Even though the shots have proven to be largely effective in preventing severe disease and death, many police officers and their unions have pushed back, threatening resignations and lawsuits.John Catanzara, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police in Chicago, has urged police officers there to ignore requirements by the mayor, Lori Lightfoot, that city employees report their vaccination status. Employees who are not vaccinated will be subject to twice-weekly testing, but vaccinations are not mandatory.
12 hours ago | The NY Times
Will New Covid Treatments Be as Elusive for Poor Countries as Vaccines?
Nearly a year after the first Covid-19 vaccination campaigns began, the vast majority of the shots have gone to people in wealthy nations, with no clear path toward resolving the disparity.News this month that an antiviral medication had proved effective against the coronavirus in a large clinical trial has brought new hope of a turning point in the pandemic: a not-too-distant future when a simple pill could keep infected people from dying or falling severely ill.The drug, molnupiravir, made by Merck, is easy to distribute and can be taken at home. The trial results showed it halved the risk of hospitalization and death among high-risk people early in their infections. The company has applied for emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration; a decision could come in early December.
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22 hours ago | The NY Times
Airlines in Japan and South Korea get creative to revive pandemic-dampened demand.
Border restrictions that are part of the pandemic response in Japan have deterred most tourists from visiting the country. So one airline is taking an unusual approach to generate revenue by offering extreme discounts on domestic flights.Peach Aviation said this week that it would sell 150 unlimited passes to passengers 12 and older with valid photo identification giving a month of access to the budget carrier’s 33 domestic flights. It said it was catering especially to digital nomads in Japan who are working remotely and looking for “workcations” in places they haven’t been after months of coronavirus restrictions on travel.On Tuesday, the first 30 buyers would be able to buy a pass for as little as $173. (In comparison, a 21-day Japan Rail Pass costs $583.) For $87 more, they would get to reserve their seats and bring along a checked bag. Fares for the remaining 120 passes would cost $87 more.
24 hours ago | The NY Times
Robert Durst has Covid, his lawyer says, and is on a ventilator.
The millionaire and former real estate mogul Robert A. Durst, 78, is on a ventilator in a Los Angeles hospital after testing positive for Covid-19, days after being sentenced to life in prison for the 2000 murder of his confidante.“We were notified that he tested positive for Covid,” his lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, said on Saturday. Mr. Durst was admitted Friday night to LAC+USC Medical Center, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s inmate locator. The district attorney’s office said it could not comment because of medical privacy laws.At a sentencing hearing on Thursday, Mr. Durst sat slumped in a wheelchair. He wore a brown prison jumper and a mask. At times, his breathing appeared labored. He pulled down his mask, only to raise it again moments later.
Oct 16, 2021 | The NY Times
An F.D.A. panel explores mixing and matching vaccine doses.
When an advisory panel to federal regulators endorsed boosters for Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose Covid-19 vaccine on Friday, the scientists on the committee discussed a question many people are asking: Is it a good idea to mix and match vaccines?The question came up after the panel heard a presentation about a study showing that the mix-and-match approach gives patients who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine a stronger antibody response.Dr. Peter Marks, a top Food and Drug Administration official, told the panel that the agency might consider allowing Johnson & Johnson recipients to receive a booster shot of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. But Dr. Marks, who oversees the F.D.A.’s vaccine division, gave no timetable for that decision, saying only that authorization of a different vaccine as a booster for Johnson & Johnson recipients was “possible.”
Oct 16, 2021 | The NY Times
The Yukon Territory imposes a vaccine mandate as cases surge in northern Canada.
Coronavirus vaccinations will soon be mandatory for public service and health care workers in the Yukon Territory, government authorities there announced on Friday, as the territory’s next-door neighbors grappled with a spike in cases.The state of Alaska and the Northwest Territories, the province to the east of the Yukon, have “each dealt with widespread resurgence” of cases, the Yukon’s premier, Sandy Silver, said during a Covid-19 briefing on Friday. The Northwest Territories has the highest rate of active Covid-19 cases in Canada, according to national public health data.In the Yukon, Vaccination will also be mandatory for teachers and the staff of some nongovernmental organizations that receive government funding, such as those that serve prisons and other congregate living settings.
Oct 16, 2021 | The NY Times
Minnesota’s governor calls up the National Guard to ease crowding in hospitals.
Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota said on Friday that he would call upon the state’s National Guard to help ease staffing shortages that have kept hospitals from transferring Covid-19 patients for stepped-down care at long-term care facilities.Mr. Walz called the transfers a “very typical thing in our medical system” and said they had been bottlenecked by capacity at those facilities. He said the National Guard will be given the training necessary to provide long-term care. He did not say how many soldiers will provide that relief, but said it will be “a fairly large contingent.”The governor traveled to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale, just outside Minneapolis, to announce the plan.
Oct 16, 2021 | The NY Times
Short on Staff, Some Hospices Ask New Patients To Wait
Anne Cotton had enjoyed her years at an assisted living facility in Corvallis, Ore. But at 89, her health problems began to mount: heart failure, weakness from post-polio syndrome, a 30-pound weight loss in a year.“I’m in a wheelchair,” she said. “I’m getting weaker. I’m having trouble breathing.” On Sept. 30, Dr. Helen Kao, her palliative care doctor and a medical director at Lumina Hospice & Palliative Care, determined that she qualified for hospice services — in which a team of nurses, aides, social workers, a doctor and a chaplain help patients through their final weeks and months, usually at home.Ms. Cotton, a retired accountant and real estate broker, embraced the idea. “I’ve lived a very full life,” she said. “I’m hoping I’m near the end. I need the help hospice gives.” Her sister died in Lumina’s care; she wants the same support. For older patients, Medicare pays the cost.
Oct 16, 2021 | The NY Times
They Resisted Getting Vaccinated. Here’s Why They Changed Their Minds.
In the Bronx, a youth counselor closed his eyes and steeled himself for the shot. In Queens, a nurse calmed herself by humming gospel music. In Manhattan, a graduate student asked one last question about fertility while reviewing the consent form.With a mixture of nervousness, resentment and, sometimes relief, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers finally got a dose of coronavirus vaccine in recent weeks. In some cases, it was because they had a change of heart; perhaps more commonly, it was to keep their jobs.The uptick in vaccinations has contributed, experts say, to a flattening of the virus curve in New York City, where the numbers of new infections and hospitalizations have been falling — a trend across the United States as well.
Oct 16, 2021 | WebMD
CDC’s Holiday Guidance Emphasizes Vaccinations, Masking
October 17, 2021 -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasizes vaccination and masking in new guidance for how Americans can celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. “There are several ways to enjoy holiday traditions and protect your health,” the CDC posted on its website. “Because many generations tend to gather to celebrate holidays, the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep your family and friends safer is to get vaccinated if you are eligible.”Vaccination will go a long way toward protecting vulnerable people such as children under the age of 12 who can’t get vaccinated yet, the CDC said.The agency went on to say people who are not fully vaccinated should wear well-fitting masks in public indoor settings. Even fully vaccinated people should wear masks indoors in communities with substantial to high transmission rates. Crowded, poorly ventilated places should be avoided.
Oct 16, 2021 | WebMD
September Was Both Hazardous and Deadly for Children
Oct. 16, 2021 -- September was the worst month for new COVID-19 cases and deaths among children in the U.S., according to new data from the American Academy of Pediatrics.Cases peaked in early September, the data shows, as many schools reopened for in-person classes while the contagious Delta variant surged across the country.More than 6 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, with more than 1.1 million new cases recorded in September alone.Last week, there were more than 148,000 new cases, and children made up about a quarter of all new COVID-19 cases in the country.Only a small number of young children contract severe COVID-19 or die. Weekly data shows that COVID-19 deaths for ages 15 and under reached its highest level in September, with 41 deaths.
Oct 16, 2021 | WebMD
Unvaccinated Sailors Will Face Discharge, Navy Says
Oct. 16, 2021 -- Active-duty sailors who aren’t fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 28 could be discharged, according to new guidance issued Thursday by the U.S. Navy.The new details outline the consequences for those who don’t meet the Navy’s vaccine order. Navy Reserve members must be fully vaccinated by Dec. 28.“Sailors must be prepared to execute their mission at all times, in places throughout the world, including where vaccination rates are low and disease transmission is high,” according to the guidance. “Immunizations are of paramount importance to protecting the health of the force and the warfighting readiness of the Fleet.”To meet the deadline, active-duty sailors must receive their final dose of the vaccine by Nov. 14, which gives a two-week period for the dose to take full effect for people to be considered “fully vaccinated.” Those in the Navy Reserve must receive their final shot by Dec. 14.
Oct 15, 2021 | The NY Times
New Zealand Attempts a Record-Setting ‘Vaxathon’
AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Since New Zealand closed its borders in March 2020, setting the stage for one of the world’s most successful Covid-19 responses, the wide-body jets that once ferried its citizens to every corner of the globe have mostly been redeployed for shipping freight. And the vast majority of Kiwis have, throughout the pandemic, been as flightless as their eponymous birds. But on Saturday, some 300 residents of Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, boarded an Air New Zealand Boeing 787 jet once again at the city’s international airport. This time, it was not to take a trip, but to receive a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the booth of a business-class seat. The doses were kept cool with dry ice on the trolleys that typically offer a choice of chicken or beef.
Oct 15, 2021 | The NY Times
F.D.A. Panel Unanimously Recommends Johnson & Johnson Booster Shots
WASHINGTON — A key federal advisory committee voted unanimously Friday to recommend Johnson & Johnson booster shots, most likely clearing the way for all 15 million people who got the company’s one-dose coronavirus vaccine to receive a second shot.If the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention accept the recommendation, as expected, boosters could be offered by late next week. But many committee members made clear that they believed Johnson & Johnson recipients might benefit from the option of a booster of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, something a top F.D.A. official said the agency was considering.With a series of votes over the past month to recommend boosters for all three coronavirus vaccines used in the United States, the panel set aside significant divisions and skepticism about whether extra shots are needed and edged ever closer to the goal that President Biden laid out in August when he called for boosters for all adults.
Oct 15, 2021 | The NY Times
F.D.A. Panel Endorses J.&J. Covid-19 Vaccine Boosters
A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended authorizing booster shots of Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years or older, at least two months after the first dose.
Oct 15, 2021 | The NY Times
Italy Puts in Force Tough New Law Requiring Workers to Test or Vaccinate
ROME — Italy on Friday set a new bar for major Western democracies seeking to move beyond the pandemic by enacting a sweeping law that requires the nation’s entire work force — public and private — to have government-issued health passes, essentially forcing Italians to choose between getting a pass and earning a living.With the step, Italy, the first democracy to quarantine towns and apply national lockdowns, is again first across a new threshold, making clear that it is willing to use the full leverage of the state to try to curb the pandemic and get the economy moving.Italy’s measures, which require proof of vaccination, a negative rapid swab test or recent recovery from Covid-19 to go to the workplace, now stand as some of the toughest among Western democracies, which have struggled to balance public health needs with civil liberty concerns.
Oct 15, 2021 | The NY Times
Chicago’s mayor and the city’s largest police union clash over vaccinations.
A clash between Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago and the head of the city’s largest police union over coronavirus vaccinations intensified on Friday as the city filed a complaint against the union, arguing that it was threatening an illegal strike.City employees in Chicago are required to report their vaccination status by the end of Friday, but John Catanzara, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police in Chicago, has urged police officers to ignore the order and risk discipline or loss of pay. Employees who are not vaccinated will be subject to twice-weekly testing, but vaccinations are not required.Mr. Catanzara released a video on Tuesday predicting that Chicago police officers would not report to work because of the policy. He said that if a large number of police officers refuse to submit to testing or reporting their vaccination status to the city, “it’s safe to say the city of Chicago will have a police force at 50 percent or less for this weekend coming up.”
Oct 15, 2021 | The NY Times
When Outdoor Diners and Homeless People Meet, Restaurants Struggle to Cope
When Stephen Werther, an owner and the chef of the West Village restaurant and market Suprema Provisions, opened his business for outdoor dining in the summer of 2020, he noticed people aggressively panhandling his customers.He hired security guards, but concluded after a couple of months that the strategy wasn’t working. Instead, he found a better solution.“We make them food,” Mr. Werther said. He lets the panhandlers order whatever they want, and each one has developed a go-to: a hamburger, pasta Bolognese, spaghetti pomodoro. “It’s created more of a community relationship with homeless people and the panhandlers, rather than an adversarial one,” he said.Economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic has worsened already increasing levels of homelessness across the country. And in New York City, where nearly 12,000 restaurants have been approved to offer outdoor dining, reports of diners being approached for money have become more widespread.
Oct 15, 2021 | The NY Times
For Some Breast Cancer Survivors, October Is the Cruelest Month
There’s a quote from “Anne of Green Gables” that I’m already sick of hearing. “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers,” said Anne. “It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it?”No disrespect to one of literature’s most beloved protagonists, but actually, that sounds pretty great.October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I am a person who’s had breast cancer, which means for me October is basically 31 days of low-key PTSD. My inbox is crammed with marketing emails featuring other survivors’ stories. My hummus suddenly has a pink lid. I appreciate the focus on fund-raising, but the spotlight is a double-edged sword. And with 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, I’m not alone.
Oct 15, 2021 | The NY Times
For Papua New Guinea, a Long Journey to Cricket’s Big Stage
Thousands turned up at the airport to welcome Papua New Guinea’s cricket team on that sunny day in 2019. They wore the team’s colors and carried its flag and cheered their returning heroes, the players and coaches who had just qualified the nation for cricket’s Twenty20 world championship for the first time.More than a few people, in the crowd and in the team, were in tears.“To make the World Cup is a tremendous feeling,” said Greg Campbell, the chief executive at Cricket PNG, the body responsible for the game in Papua New Guinea. “Watching some of these boys cry when we returned back home from Dubai to 4,000 people at the airport was an emotional moment.”The World Cup in Australia was still a year away that afternoon. There was, back then, plenty of time to process the achievement and celebrate it with family and friends and then get back to the hard work of preparing to face the world’s best teams.
Oct 15, 2021 | The NY Times
Italy Enforces National Health Pass for Entire Work Force
Italy is the first major European country to require all workers, private and public, to show proof of vaccination, a negative rapid swab test or recent recovery from Covid-19 before returning to offices, schools or hospitals. Employers can verify health passes on a cellphone app.
Oct 15, 2021 | The NY Times
Protests fizzle as activists fail to galvanize the masses against the new mandate.
In the days leading up to the introduction of a mandatory health pass for Italian workers on Friday, anti-vaccine activists and opponents to the measure plotted on chat groups about major demonstrations and “war.”But as of late Friday afternoon, the opponents to the Green Pass, as the health pass is known, had struggled to raise an army.A week after more than 10,000 vaccine skeptics and other Green Pass opponents staged a Rome demonstration that was infiltrated and turned violent by hard-right extremists, opponents to the Green Pass convened only sparsely attended and scattered protests around the country’s major cities. The strikes in its ports also seemed underwhelming.Rome’s Circus Maximus, the ancient chariot-racing track often used for major rallies, dwarfed the couple of hundred protesters who waved banners reading “Liberty” and “The Green Pass Is Just the Beginning” on one end of the field. Hardly any of those present wore masks.
Oct 15, 2021 | The NY Times
A lab in England issued about 43,000 false negatives on virus tests, U.K. says.
An estimated 43,000 people in Britain were mistakenly informed that they had tested negative for the coronavirus after previously testing positive, the U.K. Health Security Agency said in a statement on Friday.The agency, which was formed two weeks ago, suspended operations at a private laboratory in Wolverhampton, in the West Midlands of England, after an investigation by the N.H.S. Test and Trace program, which is designed to track down anyone who has been exposed to the coronavirus.The investigation revealed that about 43,000 people — most of whom were based in southwestern England — had received false negatives on P.C.R. tests from Sept. 8 to Oct. 12, after previously testing positive on lateral flow devices.
Oct 15, 2021 | The NY Times
Vaccinated travelers from abroad can enter the U.S. on Nov. 8.
International travelers fully vaccinated against the coronavirus who have been barred from entering the United States during the pandemic will be able to enter the country on Nov. 8, according to a White House official, marking an end to restrictions that had walled off tourists and relatives seeking to visit their families.The specific date for when the Biden administration would lift travel restrictions for those traveling by air or hoping to cross the land border was previously unclear. The administration last month said it would be implementing a new system in which fully vaccinated foreigners who show proof of a negative coronavirus test would be able to fly to the United States in early November.
Oct 15, 2021 | The NY Times
Have an F.S.A.? You May Be Able to Carry Over More Money in 2022.
Do you have a flexible health spending account through your job? Rules for the accounts have changed temporarily because of the pandemic, and that may affect how much you’ll want to save next year.Flexible health spending accounts, or F.S.A.s, let employees set aside pretax money from their paychecks to help pay for medical and dental care that insurance doesn’t cover.In many cases, if you don’t spend the money by a certain deadline — often the end of the calendar year — you forfeit the cash in your account.“They are typically ‘use it or lose it,’” said Lisa Myers, director of client services with the benefits consultant Willis Towers Watson.Employers already had the option of offering wiggle room, like allowing workers to carry some of the money in their accounts into the new year or giving grace periods of a couple of months after the deadline for spending the money. About three-fourths of accounts offered one of those options in 2019, according to the nonpartisan and nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute.
End of News List