Making such patients eligible for an extra shot, doctors say, is preferable to having worried patients seek out additional inoculations illicitly which is already happening. Federal health officials have estimated that about 3 percent of U.S. adults are immunocompromised. They are more likely to become seriously ill from covid-19, experts say.
Here are some significant developments:
- Anti-government protesters in Thailand clashed with police for a second day in the capital, Bangkok, with police firing tear gas and rubber bullets. Demonstrators are demanding the prime ministers resignation over the governments handling of the pandemic.
- Australias capital, Canberra, announced a week-long lockdown starting Thursday evening after reporting its first locally acquired coronavirus case in more than a year.
- New Zealand said Thursday it could open its borders early next year to vaccinated travelers from low-risk countries, although the move would depend on the island nation speeding up its lagging vaccination effort.
- Millions of coronavirus vaccine doses around the world are set to expire as some countries decline to send their unused shots abroad to countries in need of the vaccine.
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on Wednesday, recommending that pregnant people be vaccinated against the coronavirus after it found no increased risk of miscarriage among those who have been immunized.
The next step in the process for immune-deficient patients occurs Friday, when a CDC advisory committee is scheduled to vote on recommending whether people should get the extra doses. The panel is expected to endorse the idea and urge patients to talk to their doctors about it. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is expected to sign off on the decision Friday afternoon.
The FDA said it is closely monitoring data as it becomes available from studies administering an additional dose of the authorized covid-19 vaccines to immunocompromised individuals. The agency, along with the CDC, is evaluating potential option on this issue, and will share information in the near future.
Most severe covid cases, deaths in DMV region are among the unvaccinated
On Wednesday, Chile began administering booster shots to those inoculated with Sinovacs coronavirus vaccine. Almost 70 percent of its population has been fully vaccinated, predominantly with Chinas Sinovac shot, but authorities last week said studies have shown that a booster was necessary to shore up immunity. Lines of elderly citizens, eager to participate in the campaign, formed at vaccination centers across the capital, Santiago, Reuters reported.
They arrived very early, like on an election day, very well dressed, very happy, Rodolfo Carter, mayor of La Florida on the outskirts of the city, told the outlet. I think it is a great sign of hope.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Aug. 11 mandated that teachers and school staff “submit a verification of vaccination and/or submit to weekly testing.” (Reuters)
The expected announcement from the FDA comes as the delta variant fuels a surge in cases across the United States, leaving hospitals in some hard-hit areas scrambling for resources.
In Mississippi, the federal government is sending medical workers to a hospital that has warned of a potential failure of the system, as it is overrun by a flood of covid-19 patients.
A parking garage at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., is also being transformed into a field hospital, which will be staffed by federal doctors, nurses, pharmacists and respiratory therapists. The makeshift facility will provide some needed relief to the hospitals emergency department, the university said, as up to 50 covid-19 patients are expected to be treated at the field hospital as soon as Friday. The hospitals 90 ICU beds stay full as Mississippi reports among the highest rate of daily new cases in the country.
If we continue this trajectory for the next five to seven days, we will see failure of the system, said Alan Jones, a hospital official. Were in a pretty serious situation when you see federal teams come in. It should open peoples eyes.
Republicans risk becoming face of delta surge as key GOP governors oppose anti-covid measures
The federal government also recently approved sending hundreds of ventilators and other equipment to Florida a response to the record number of coronavirus hospitalizations in the state, which has become the main hotbed of the U.S. pandemic.
At Floridas request, the Department of Health and Human Services approved sending 200 ventilators and 100 smaller breathing devices and related supplies earlier this week, agency spokesperson Weesam Khoury told The Washington Post on Wednesday. The devices came from the U.S. governments Strategic National Stockpile, the federal repository for medical response.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Tuesday cast doubt on the ventilator request, telling WPLG, the first to report the news, that he was unaware of the federal allocation of more equipment.
We have a lot of stuff that we stockpiled over the last year and a half through the department of emergency management. I have not had any requests across my desk. I havent been notified of that, he said.
Despite the public health crisis in Florida, which is now reporting a fifth of all new U.S. infections and hospitalizations, DeSantis has banned mask mandates in the state and recently accused reporters of creating hysteria about rising hospitalizations.