US deaths from virus in 2021 surpass 2020 total; Johnson & Johnson seeks FDA clearance for booster shots: COVID updates

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In the history of the pandemic in the US, 2020 will be remembered as the most disruptive year, a time when the coronavirus shut down businesses, schools, sports, travel and many other staples of everyday life.

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But 2021 has overtaken its predecessor as the deadliest year ever.

That limit, especially given the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines in the country since spring, was crossed on Tuesday, when America’s world-leading total of coronavirus deaths surpassed 704,000. The 2020 tally was 352,000 or half that.

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On Tuesday afternoon, the Washington National Cathedral plans to toll its funeral bell 700 times in memory of the lives lost.

Severe celebrations come as COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations in the US trend downward, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Compared to four weeks ago, there has been a 26.9% reduction in hospitalizations for the latest week, and a 25.3% reduction in the number of ICU beds occupied by potential COVID-19 patients. There has also been a decrease in the mortality rate by about 12% from the peak of 22 September.

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But the misinformation-driven refusal by many Americans to refuse vaccination in conjunction with the hyper-infectious delta variant – some 70 million who are eligible haven’t received free shots – has left the country vulnerable to a virus What continues to adapt and find new prey.

More of them, in fact, in what will likely be regarded as the worst year of the pandemic.

Also in the news:

Award-winning hair and makeup designer Mark Pilcher, who was fully vaccinated and had no underlying health conditions, according to his agency, 53. has died of COVID-19 on.

FDA on Monday Authorized a new coronavirus home test That the agency says will soon double the country’s limited supply of non-prescription tests.

INew York’s largest health care provider, Northwell Health, said 1,400 employees, which is less than 2% of the total workforce, have been fired for refusing to vaccinate against COVID-19. A statewide vaccination order for all hospital and nursing home workers took effect September 27.

A New York man was charged with a felony and could face Seven years in jail for making COVID-19 vaccine card.

The European Union’s drug regulator on Monday voiced its support for giving booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine to people 18 years of age and older.

I Today’s issue: The US has recorded over 43.8 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 704,000 deaths Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: Over 235.6 million cases and 4.8 million deaths. More than 185.8 million Americans – 56.3% of the population – have been fully vaccinated, according to CDC.

I What we are reading: Vaccines for COVID-19 could be available to young children in a matter of weeks – but experts worry whether communities of color will have the same shot at protecting their children. read more here.

Keep refreshing this page for the latest news. want more? Sign up for Granthshala’s Coronavirus Watch newsletter To get updates straight to your inbox and Join our Facebook group.

Chicago CBP office seizes fake vaccine cards, unauthorized drugs

US Customs and Border Protection officials working at the International Mail Facility in Chicago O’Hare found 41 fake COVID-19 vaccination cards with ivermectin tablets and hydroxychloroquine tablets on Monday, according to Chicago Field Office spokesman Steve Bainsbach. None of those drugs are authorized to treat COVID, although some people have used them for that purpose.

The cards were found in two shipments from China that were destined for Houston and Seagraves, Texas. One package was labeled a “greeting card,” according to Bansbach. The cards resembled authentic CDC certificates provided by health practitioners when administering the COVID vaccine, but “appeared to be fraudulent because of their low-quality appearance and other discrepancies,” CBP said in a statement.

“Our CBP officers continue to fight against these crooks who are using this pandemic to make a profit by selling these fake documents,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, director of field operations at the Chicago field office.

— Grace Hockey

CDC urges non-vaccinated Americans to delay visits

CDC says Unaffiliated Americans should delay planned trips within the country until they have their COVID-19 shots.

“People who have been fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine or a vaccine authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization can travel safely within the United States,” the CDC said in a Monday update to its home travel guidance. can do.” For unvaccinated people who must travel.

Also Monday, the CDC’s list of countries where the US Travel should be avoided due to “too many” COVID-19 cases It grew again with Barbados and Croatia the most notable additions.

The list of countries travelers should avoid now includes more than 80 countries, including Jamaica, Aruba, Belize, the United Kingdom, Greece, and other popular tourist destinations. read more here.

— Don Gilbertson

J&J seeks FDA approval for booster shot

Johnson & Johnson said on Tuesday that it has submitted data to the US Food and Drug Administration showing that a booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and significantly increases protection against the disease.

Johnson & Johnson says its data, published last monthA booster given 56 days after the first dose of vaccine has been shown to provide 94% protection against symptomatic COVID-19 and 100% protection against serious illness.

“We look forward to our discussions with the FDA and other health officials to support our decisions regarding boosters,” said Mathai Maimon, a J&J research executive, said in a statement.

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is one of three authorized in the US, and by far the least used, with less than 15 million Americans Getting a single-dose shot of it. Jammu and Kashmir’s vaccine use was halted for 10 days in April after reports of rare but dangerous blood clots in six women who had been shot The FDA and CDC determined that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh its risks..

On Tuesday, Washington state officials confirmed a female resident of King County became the fourth known person in the country to die of a blood clot After getting the J&J vaccine. Unlike the two-dose mRNA vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNtech, the J&J inoculation There is an adenovirus vector vaccine.

Iowa professor punished for requiring masks, plans to do it again next semester

When University of Northern Iowa professor Steve O’Kane decided to require masks in his plant systematics class this fall, he knew full well that he was breaking the policy of the State Board of Regents. Last week, O’Kane was stripped of his ability to teach a class this semester as a result.

Even then, he needs the mask again next semesterEven if it means ending.

“Not disobeying means accepting defeat. And what the administration is forced to do – please heed my words – what the administration is forced to do is immoral and immoral. And that’s all on Iowa politics.” Boils,” O’Kane said. an interview.

O’Kane’s defiance of Regents’ policy restricting mask requirements is the biggest escalation in weeks of back and forth between faculty at UNI, Iowa State and the University of Iowa, their administration and the Board of Regents. Protect the community as best you can from the spread of COVID-19.

– Cleo Crazy, Iowa City Press-Citizen

AstraZeneca seeks FDA authorization for its antibody treatment

AstraZeneca said on Tuesday it was seeking FDA emergency use authorization for its “long-acting” antibody combination to treat COVID-19.

AstraZeneca says its AZD7442 treatment, a combination of the antibodies tixagevimab and cilgavimab, is designed to be more durable than conventional antibodies. Most treatments are prescribed early in the course of the disease., and despite being highly effective in preventing hospitalization and death, protection is temporary. AstraZeneca says its antibody treatment can provide up to a year of protection.

In its clinical trial, AstraZeneca said the treatment reduced the risk of symptomatic COVID by 77%, and more than 75% of the study population at increased risk of serious complications from COVID.

Poor health choices are killing rural Americans, and COVID is making it worse

Rural Americans are up to 20% more are more likely to die from diseases such as cancer, heart disease and fewer respiratory infections than their urban counterparts, a New federal study confirms.

Lack of access to health care, poverty, smoking and heavy drinking all play a part in widening the disparity between rural and urban residents – a gap that is now exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of rural hospitals.

The federal study examined the 10 leading causes of death nationally from 2009 to 2019. It also found that people in cities are living longer than their rural counterparts, and health inequalities are increasing. Rural Americans are also dying from COVID-19 infection at nearly twice the rate of urban Americans, Based on the analyzed data by the Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis at the University of Iowa.

Varinder Singh, chair of the department of cardiology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said it is important to remember that health care disparities exist even in urban areas, especially within communities of color. But he said the federal study raises important questions about the growing urban-rural divide, and should be accompanied by public-health messages about how to effectively reach rural populations.

— Trevor Hughes

Director of the National Institutes of Health will step down by the end of the year

Director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis S. Collins says he is stepping down by the end of the year, after leading the research center for 12 years.

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