COVID vaccine updates: Booster shots may be needed until infections clear up, study finds

COVID vaccine updates: Booster shots may be needed until infections clear up, study finds

NEW YORK (WABC) – Much like influenza vaccines, which are adjusted annually to fight viruses as they change and mutate, COVID-19 vaccines may require similar modifications until rates infection decline, a recent study suggests.A team of researchers at a German research hospital has found that four common cold coronaviruses that infect humans through the same spike protein mechanism that SARS-CoV-2 uses escape to the immune system, just like the flu virus.
But, according to researchers, a good sign for COVID-19 is that coronaviruses have evolved about four times slower than influenza viruses.

Still, SARS-CoV-2 is mutating at a faster rate than the coronaviruses in the study and is unlikely to slow until the rate of infections around the world drops significantly.

So vaccine producers such as Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are already working on boosters to make their vaccines more effective against the variants.

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Here are some other headlines from today:

NY, CT among 22 states with more than 10% increase in new cases
New York and Connecticut are among 22 states that have seen a more than 10% increase in the number of new cases week after week, according to new data from the Department of Health and Human Services. Meanwhile, New York and Connecticut are joined by New Jersey on the list of states with the highest case rates nationwide (7-day daily average: 310, 225, and 321 per 100,000 population, respectively) . Among these states, New Jersey had the highest positivity on the RT-PCR test in the past seven days (8.8%).

Increased cases in Connecticut
The Connecticut State Department of Public Health is reminding residents to remain vigilant against COVID-19, as case rates have increased in the past two weeks.

DPH has moved several Connecticut cities that had seen rates of COVID-19 cases declining or stable again in red alert status, as the average daily case rate for COVID-19 increased across the country. State at 25 cases / 100,000 inhabitants per day.

Over 90% of Connecticut’s population lives in a city with an average daily case rate of over 15 cases per 100,000 people. It is estimated that 40% of these new cases are variant B.1.1.7.

Fauci presents scenario where experts could loosen face mask recommendations
If a new study shows vaccinations prevent transmission of COVID-19, vaccinated Americans could be “much more liberal” in deciding whether or not to wear a face mask, said Dr.Anthony Fauci, America’s leading disease expert infectious.

But he also said he couldn’t start recommending the removal of face masks until daily COVID infections declined dramatically.

NJ Transit vaccinating bus drivers, transit workers
New Jersey Transit bus drivers and transit workers will receive COVID-19 vaccinations on Saturday. All state transit workers became eligible for the first time on March 15. At least 21 NJ Transit employees have died from complications from the coronavirus – including 11 bus drivers and a train operator.

Remembering the first priest in the United States to die of COVID
Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay, a Mexican-born Brooklyn pastor, became the first priest in the United States to die from COVID-19.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio will conduct Memorial Mass on Saturday in Bushwick, Brooklyn, at St. Brigid’s Church.

5,000 attend rock concert in Barcelona after COVID-19 screen
Five thousand music lovers are expected to attend a rock concert in Barcelona after having screened COVID-19, to test its effectiveness in preventing epidemics during major cultural events.

Saturday’s show has permission from the Spanish health authorities. The spectators will undergo an antigen test a few hours before the concert.

Those who test negative will be able to attend the indoor concert and mix freely, although face masks are mandatory. The concert is an expanded version of a case study in December based on a concert for 500 people that organizers said showed no signs of contagion.

NYC COVID Tracing Initiative

NYC is spending $ 600 million on its COVID tracking initiative. More tracers were hired in the first two weeks of March, with cases increasing after the holidays. Thanks to the renewed effort, the city was able to meet its goal of reaching at least 90% of those who test positive – a goal she hadn’t reached since around Thanksgiving.

NY Unveils ‘Excelsior’ Digital Pass to Help Reopen Businesses and Places
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced the launch of Excelsior Pass, a free and voluntary platform developed in partnership with IBM that uses secure technology to confirm the recent negative result of a PCR test or d antigen or proof of vaccination. The goal is to help expedite the reopening of businesses and event venues in accordance with State Department of Health guidelines.
Similar to a boarding pass from a mobile airline, individuals will be able to either print their card or store it on their smartphone using the Excelsior Pass Wallet app. Each Pass will have a secure QR code, which participating businesses and sites can scan using a companion app to verify evidence of negative COVID-19 test results or proof of vaccination.

Spurred on by lockdown, Spain tries 4-day week
The experiment of reducing one working day per week is about to be rolled out across the country in Spain. A three-year pilot project will use € 50 million ($ 59 million) of the European Union’s massive coronavirus recovery fund to compensate companies that are resizing their workforces or reorganizing workflows to accommodate a 32 hour work week.

While several companies have already embraced the trend, the pandemic has accelerated it. Supporters say shorter hours could promote work-life balance and three-day weekends could boost consumption. But critics argue that an economy shaken by a pandemic is no testing ground.

Israelis gather for Passover, celebrating virus release
The Israelis will once again hold large family reunions this weekend to celebrate Passover, the festive Jewish holiday reminiscent of the biblical flight of the Israelites from Egypt.

This is thanks to a highly successful coronavirus vaccination campaign that inoculated 80% of the country’s adult population. Authorities have reopened restaurants, hotels, museums and theaters and are allowing indoor gatherings for up to 20 people. It’s a dramatic turnaround from last year, when Israel was in its first of three lockdowns, with people largely confined to their homes.

China presents findings on origin of COVID, ahead of WHO report
Chinese officials briefed diplomats on Friday about ongoing research into the origin of COVID-19, ahead of the expected release of a long-awaited report from the World Health Organization.

The briefing appeared to be an attempt by China to make its views known on the report, which became entangled in a diplomatic row. The United States and others have raised questions about Chinese influence and the independence of the findings, and China has accused critics of politicizing a scientific study.

When did you realize the COVID pandemic had changed everything?
Many of us have had a moment, most often in March 2020, when we realized that COVID-19 had completely changed our lives forever. Even though we have managed to move forward and adjust to a new normal, that memory remains with us. Tell us: what was that moment for you?

Answers to the 7 main questions about the COVID vaccine
You had questions about COVID-19 vaccines and 7 On your side is giving you answers from doctors on the front lines of the pandemic.


Positive COVID-19 cases by zip code – New York City

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