Covid, vaccines and Delta variant booster shots: live updates – .

Covid, vaccines and Delta variant booster shots: live updates – .

Credit…Bryan Anselm for The New York Times

Johnson & Johnson plans to ask U.S. federal regulators earlier this week to authorize a recall of its coronavirus vaccine, according to officials familiar with the company’s plans. The company is the latest of three federally licensed vaccine suppliers to request additional injections, amid growing evidence that at least the elderly and other high-risk groups need more protection.

Federal officials are increasingly concerned that the more than 15 million Americans who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are at too high a risk of severe Covid-19. The Food and Drug Administration has scheduled an Oct. 15 meeting of its expert advisory committee on Friday to discuss whether to grant emergency use authorization for a booster of the vaccine.

This is part of a larger government effort to strengthen the protection provided by the three vaccines. Regulators authorized a booster last month for many recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and plan to do the same this month for recipients of Moderna.

The fact that the Johnson & Johnson advisory board meeting was scheduled even before the company filed a request with the Food and Drug Administration reflects a particular sense of urgency on the part of the Biden administration to offer more protection to recipients. of this vaccine.

Although the federal government has been insisting for months that all three vaccines are very effective, a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine was only effective at 71 % against Covid hospitalizations, compared to 88%. for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 93 percent for the Moderna vaccine.

“Real-world data suggests that the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine regimens offer more protection” than the single-dose Johnson & Johnson, the researchers said. Other research found that recipients of Johnson & Johnson were more likely to have breakthrough infections or symptomatic Covid than recipients of the other two vaccines.

Johnson & Johnson cites a few studies with better results: A study of nearly two million people, funded by the company, estimated the vaccine to be 81% effective against hospitalization. Other research suggests that the protection against the Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not wane over time like the protection against the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Nonetheless, Johnson & Johnson now appear to agree with federal officials that a single injection of their vaccine is not enough.

Last month, the company announced that a second dose, given two months after the first, increased the effectiveness of the symptomatic Covid vaccine by about 22 percentage points, to 94%. Johnson & Johnson also said two injections were 100% effective against serious illnesses, although this estimate is less conclusive.

Credit…Jeff Chiu / Associated press

Andrew Wiggins, the Golden State Warriors guard who had resisted getting a Covid-19 vaccine, received one, team coach Steve Kerr told reporters on Sunday.

This means Wiggins will be able to play in home games in San Francisco, as city ordinances require individuals to be fully vaccinated to enter facilities such as indoor gyms. Wiggins had tried to get around those restrictions by filing a religious exemption request, which the NBA denied.

The NBA had publicly stated that while players in markets with similar tenures – namely the Nets and Knicks, who play in New York, and the Warriors, who play in San Francisco – cannot play due to their status no vaccinated, they could lose their wages. .

Initially, it looked like Wiggins would hold out and miss the home games. He told reporters last week that his back “was against the wall, but I will continue to fight for what I believe”.

The league has said in recent days that 95% of NBA players have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. The players’ union has rejected the establishment of a league-wide vaccination mandate. Wiggins was one of a small group of prominent players who weren’t vaccinated. But Wiggins has received support from vaccinated teammates like Draymond Green, who has said he will not push Wiggins to take the vaccine.

“To me, I feel like this has turned into a political war,” Green told reporters last week. “When you talk about vaccination and the unvaccinated, I think it has become very political. And for someone who isn’t very keen on politics, when you’re doing something so political and not everyone is in politics, then you can turn those people off as well. I think there is something to be said about people’s worry about something that is in such a rush. Like, why are you pushing this point so hard? “

Green’s comments received support from top NBA star LeBron James, as well as frequent NBA critic Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas. The senator also said in a Twitter message on Wednesday, “I’m with Andrew Wiggins,” along with other unvaccinated players including Jonathan Isaac of the Orlando Magic and Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards.

Credit…Anna Watts for The New York Times

New York City’s requirement that virtually everyone who works in the city’s public schools be vaccinated against the coronavirus has forced thousands of Department of Education employees to be vaccinated against Covid during the last week, resulting in extremely high vaccination rates among educators, according to preliminary data released on Friday.

At least 98% of principals and 93% of teachers, as well as 90% of non-teaching staff, had been vaccinated by Friday, city officials said.

The union that represents the city’s teachers, which separately tracked vaccinations among its members, said about 95 percent of its members had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The New York tenure, which takes effect when the school day begins Monday, is the mayor’s first attempt to require vaccination without a testing option for city employees. The requirement applies to more than 150,000 people who work in the country’s largest school system.

School workers who failed to prove they had received at least one dose of the vaccine were automatically placed on unpaid leave on Friday evening. Anyone who got an injection over the weekend would be allowed to show up to school on Monday and be added to the payroll.

Educators who do not provide proof of vaccination will be prohibited from entering schools and will be placed on unpaid leave, with health insurance, for one year. Those who get vaccinated after Monday may return after receiving a first dose.

While the mandate has clearly prompted many employees to get vaccinated, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to impose it will be tested again this week as some schools grapple with possible staff shortages caused by the departure of ‘unvaccinated employees.

In many schools, the mandate will have little or no effect. But some schools may need to use large numbers of substitute teachers. Others will likely have to switch from serving hot breakfasts to offering take-out options due to a lack of cafeteria aids.

As of Friday afternoon, around 4,000 teachers were still unvaccinated and around 30 principals or vice-principals had not been vaccinated. About 15,000 non-educational staff have not been vaccinated.

Union officials expressed particular concern over school security officers who refused to be vaccinated. They work for the police department and cannot be easily replaced.


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