travel, covid-19, health, mandate

Pfizer asks for US authorization of Covid vaccine for ages 5-11  

US drugmaker Pfizer said Thursday it has formally requested emergency use authorization for its Covid-19 vaccine in children age five to 11.

Mass. reports 1,471 new COVID-19 cases, 19 new deaths   25%

The state also reported 556 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Here's the data reported Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021.

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Covid: Will Scotland's teenagers buck the vaccination trend?   10%

Fast progress is currently being made vaccinating the 12-15 age group in Scotland.

Mozambique Closes Beaches Again Due To Low Covid Vaccinations  

With only 5 percent of the country’s adults vaccinated, Mozambique took the precaution amid fears of a renewed spread of the coronavirus.

Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine gets better boost from Moderna or Pfizer, US study shows   37%

People who got Johnson & Johnson Inc’s Covid-19 vaccine as a first shot had a stronger immune response when boosted with vaccines from Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE or Moderna Inc, a study run by the National Institutes of Health showed on Wednesday.The study, which is preliminary and has not been peer reviewed, is the latest challenge to J&J’s efforts to use its Covid-19 vaccine as a booster in the United States.The study, which included more than 450 adults who received initial shots from Pfizer,…

Biden calls on businesses to step up as he expresses optimism about the fight against the virus.  

“I’m calling on more business to step up. I’m calling on more parents to get their children vaccinated when they are eligible,” President Biden said.

Coronavirus: Philippines lifts quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers from China, dozens of other nations   -20%

Fully vaccinated foreign nationals from dozens of countries and jurisdictions on the Philippines’ “green list” will no longer be required to undergo facility-based quarantine, the government said, provided they have a negative test result from within 72 hours of departure.Mainland China, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Taiwan are among those on the green list.Meanwhile, passengers from countries on the yellow list must undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival, with the first 10 days in a facility…

400 Henry Ford Health employees quit over COVID-19 vaccine mandate; 92% fully vaccinated  

Henry Ford is one of a dozen Michigan health systems surveyed about COVID-19 vaccination rates among staff. Some were more transparent than others.


Coronavirus: South Korea debates how to live with Covid-19 and reopen economy   13%

South Korea on Wednesday established a panel to debate a strategy on how to “live with Covid-19” in the long-term, as the country seeks to phase out coronavirus restrictions and reopen the economy amid rising vaccination levels.Under the strategy, the government aims to relax coronavirus restrictions for citizens who can prove they have been fully vaccinated, while encouraging asymptomatic and mild Covid-19 patients aged below 70 to recover at home, the health ministry said last week.The…

70,000 Californians have died from COVID-19   8%

Statewide numbers of new coronavirus infections and COVID-19 hospitalizations have been falling for weeks, but daily death counts have remained high.

UKs easyJet says recovery underway after $1.3 bln pandemic losses   6%

British airline easyJet said travel was back and it would to fly 70 percent of its pre-pandemic capacity in the Oct-Dec period, higher than it planned last month, after COVID-19 restrictions drove

Sylmar basketball coach Bort Escoto is facing vaccination deadline   25%

LAUSD is requiring coaches to receive first vaccine shot by Friday, and the Sylmar basketball coach hasn't decided if he'll be vaccinated.

A mom died of covid-19 before making a baby registry. A nurse and strangers pitched in.  

Emily Robison died of covid-19 before she had a chance to hold her daughter, Carmen.

Alberta's reporting of comorbidities questioned after boy, 14, removed from COVID-19 death count   22%

Nine months after being diagnosed with a Stage 4 brain tumour — and two days after his family says he tested positive for COVID-19 — Nathanael Spitzer of Ponoka, Alta., died in hospital.

NHL Reportedly Investigating Player for Using Fake Vaccine Card   -20%

Evander Kane is being investigated by the NHL for a multitude of issues, including alleged domestic abuse and submitting a fake COVID vaccine card.

A study of COVID vaccine boosters suggests Moderna or Pfizer works best   17%

Should people who get a COVID booster get a different vaccine from their original shot? The results of a highly anticipated study suggest that in some cases the answer may be yes.

Mass. reports 1,560 new COVID-19 cases, 14 new deaths   25%

The state also reported 567 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Here's the data reported Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021.

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Covid: Misleading vaccine claims target children and parents   3%

The vaccine is being offered to children aged 12 and older.

Russia Reports More Record Coronavirus-Linked Deaths, Cases  

Russia has again reported new record daily figures related to COVID-19.

Australias Northern Territory sets broad jab-for-job Covid-19 vaccine mandate for public service workers  

Australia’s Northern Territory has announced a Covid-19 vaccine mandate for those working in public-facing jobs, including hairdressers and shop workers, requiring they get jabbed or risk fines and being barred from the workplace.
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Coronavirus digest: WHO unveils new team to probe pandemic   45%

The team of 26 scientists is set to revive the stalled investigation into the origins of the virus. Meanwhile, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro confirmed that he will not be vaccinated. Follow DW for the latest.

England eases COVID-19 testing rules for most incoming passengers from Oct. 24   -25%

Fully vaccinated passengers arriving in England from low-risk countries from Oct. 24 will no longer have to take expensive COVID-19 tests, the British government said on Thursday.Last month the

FDA advisers unanimously recommend booster doses of Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine  

FDA vaccine advisers are meeting Friday to decide whether to recommend a booster dose of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Covid-19 vaccine.

New COVID cases continue downward trend, but officials urge caution as flu season approaches   -29%

Health officials say COVID-19 cases are still trending downward nationally but warn that a hard flu season could put more pressure on the health care system.

The mystery of how long Covid damages our memory   50%

Since Chrissy Gibson was diagnosed with Covid-19, she has had to re-learn many aspects of her life.

When will supply chains be back to normal? And how did things get so bad?   26%

COVID-19 led to logjams at ports and borders that continue to ripple through many parts of our economy and everyday life. When will it get better?

US to lift restrictions for fully vaccinated international travelers on 8 November   12%

Early last year, the US banned visitors from more than 30 countries, including China, the UK and most of the EU

The US will lift restrictions for international travelers who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 on 8 November, a White House official said on Friday, allowing people from dozens of countries to reunite with their families and take leisure trips to the US for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.

The White House assistant press secretary Kevin Munoz said international air and land travel would be permitted for vaccinated travelers on 8 November.

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Facing major campus disruption and firings, LAUSD extends staff COVID-vaccine deadline  

Employees had faced termination if not fully immunized againt COVID-19 by Oct. 15. But they'll still need their shots.

What went wrong with the UKs handling of the Covid pandemic?   -13%

A parliamentary report says the initial handling of the coronavirus outbreak was one of the worst public health failures in UK history. Could tens of thousands of deaths have been avoided – and what are the lessons for the future?

Nearly 19 months after the coronavirus pandemic was declared, a landmark Commons report – the first major report looking into the UK’s response to coronavirus – has been published. The 151-page report, titled Coronavirus: Lessons Learned to Date, led by two former Conservative ministers, praises the government’s handling of the vaccine rollout and says that it has saved many lives.

But it finds that the initial handling of the crisis – from the delay going into lockdown to the protection of older people in care homes – amounted to one of the worst public health failures in British history.

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Is There Another Reason Biden Likes Boosters?   -6%

Scientists don’t agree on whether approving COVID-19 boosters for certain non-elderly Americans, as the CDC did recently, was the right move. The president, the CDC, and the FDA have issued a series of conflicting statements on the issue. Some experts have indignantly resigned. Others have published frustrated op-eds.

President Joe Biden, who got a booster shot this week and called on other eligible Americans to do the same, remains enthusiastic. The split between Biden-administration scientists, such as Chief Medical Adviser Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, and other scientists over boosters might seem confusing. One possible explanation for it has largely escaped notice: Vaccinated Americans seem to really want boosters, which means that the shots could have benefits that go well beyond extra protection against COVID. Those benefits could be psychological and economic—and, for the president, political.

The administration’s booster decision was not intended to inspire confidence or encourage economic activity, a White House official who was granted anonymity to discuss internal decision making told me. Biden was following the science and his experts’ recommendations, the official insisted. Every presidential administration claims that its decisions are the products of pure, high-minded policy debates. But like all political operations, Biden’s White House closely monitors public sentiment, and the president’s team is no doubt aware of how popular boosters are.


New data back up the idea that most vaccinated Americans are eager to get boosters. In a new Atlantic/Leger poll, 62 percent of vaccinated respondents said they are likely to get a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. Even the majority of respondents in their 30s and 40s—considered a less at-risk population—said they’re likely to get a booster. The poll of 1,001 Americans was conducted from September 24 to 26. Our results mirror past polls suggesting that among people who take COVID-19 seriously, boosters are extremely popular. In several late-August polls, about three-quarters of vaccinated adults said they’d get one, and concern about the Delta variant was the leading reason they cited.

So far, boosters are less widely available in the U.S. than Biden had initially suggested they would be. In mid-August, the president said the government would “be ready to start this booster program during the week of September 20, in which time anyone [fully] vaccinated on or before January 20 will be eligible to get a booster shot.” The CDC has ultimately recommended boosters for a narrower group: People over 65 and nursing-home residents, as well as non-elderly frontline workers and those with underlying health conditions, starting this month. Perhaps to the chagrin of the Johnson & Johnson crowd, only Americans who received the Pfizer shot qualify for a booster right now.


Many scientists remain skeptical. There’s no evidence that vaccinated young and healthy people face an increased risk of hospitalization or death, even if their COVID-vaccine antibodies fade over time, says Céline Gounder, an infectious-disease expert at New York University. She was vaccinated eight months ago, but she doesn’t feel the need to get a booster. Non-elderly people with normal immune systems might never really need one, she told me. (In an interview with my colleague Ed Yong at The Atlantic Festival recently, Fauci disagreed, saying, “It is likely, for a real complete regimen, that you would need at least a third dose.”)

To political strategists, though, Biden’s promise of boosters for all is a no-brainer. It’s the Oprah Winfrey school of politics: YOU get a booster, and YOU get a booster. The Delta wave of COVID-19 cases “has led to a resurgence in COVID concern, especially among people who are already vaccinated,” says Matt Grossmann, a political-science professor at Michigan State University. Boosters are “one thing that can be offered that doesn’t have an obvious downside,” unlike a mandate or a lockdown.

Of course, launching a booster program right now might have less obvious costs. Administering boosters takes up the time and resources of health-care workers when they are already stretched. Billions more dollars will go to vaccine manufacturers at a time when many of Americans’ basic needs, such as food and shelter, aren’t being met. Some experts have argued that rather than boost Americans, the Biden administration should donate vaccine doses to poorer countries, some of which have administered so few doses that they won’t reach herd immunity until 2023. And, if further data support the need for boosters for all, future vaccination efforts could be hampered if the public sees boosters mainly as a political tool.

But those critiques may not sway many voters. “The American people are not going to blame Joe Biden for being too aggressive in combatting the pandemic,” says Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist. “If there’s a fire in your neighborhood, nobody complains that the fire department sprayed too much water.” That’s perhaps why some governors were promoting boosters weeks before the CDC’s official announcement.

During times of heightened health anxiety, some people will do whatever they can to stay healthy, even if it’s premature or unnecessary. During the 1918 flu, some people died not of the virus but of overdoses of the aspirin they took to treat it. Even in modern times, some people have doubled up on the flu vaccine, says Steven Taylor, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia. “People who are highly worried about their health tend to have greater medical knowledge than the average person,” Taylor told me. These people have not only heard about boosters; they’ve already read a bunch of articles about them and mapped out the nearest booster sites to their house. In our poll, the most common motivator for boosters, selected by 45 percent of respondents, was that though people believe their immunity to COVID-19 is fine, they want “extra” immunity. As Gounder put it, “You have people who think vaccines are great, and if they’re great, one is good, two is better, even more is even better.”


Boosters could also aid the economy. In mid-September, Fauci told Reuters that one motivation for boosters is to reduce the number of “breakthrough” infections among the fully vaccinated. Though two doses of the vaccine may protect against severe disease, boosters might keep more people from testing positive and having to quarantine. “What boosting does is that it increases your antibody levels,” says Larry Corey, a virologist at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. “The risk perception of going to a restaurant, the risk perception of going to any indoor event or outdoor event will markedly go down because you're enhancing the vaccine efficacy.” Unlike Gounder, Corey would feel more comfortable going to a baseball game after getting a booster.

He and others say this seems to have played a role in the administration’s thinking about boosters. “​​President Biden stated this. If you bring the pandemic to an end more quickly, you open up the economy more quickly,” Andy Slavitt, a former adviser to the White House’s COVID-19 response team, told MarketWatch.

Boosters could help the economy even if they don’t immediately reduce breakthrough infections, simply by making some Americans get out more. A quarter of vaccinated respondents in our poll said that getting a booster would change their day-to-day behavior, making them feel more comfortable going on vacation, visiting friends and family, or doing indoor activities with others.

“Boosters are going to be contributing to increased economic activity,” says Tina Dalton, a health-economics professor at Wake Forest University. “More people can go to work; there’s fewer days off of work; people feel more confident about being in the economy.”

Unvaccinated people are driving COVID-19 hospitalizations, but getting people who already like vaccines to get even more vaccines is easier than getting people who refuse vaccines to accept them. Unvaccinated people are “a complicated policy question that is going to involve a lot more than just money to solve,” Dalton told me. “But an easy one is just to put boosters out there. Everyone feels very happy about getting their booster, and you feel like you’re moving the needle.”

Experts will be arguing for months about whether the boosters are truly necessary for younger people, and what the global downsides of focusing extra doses on Americans might be. But they overlook a simple political reality: The boosters aren’t just boosting COVID-19 resistance—they’re boosting morale.

Biden Says Vaccine Mandates Are the Only Way to Defeat Covid  

The president spoke in Chicago, where United Airlines recently announced a vaccine mandate for its 67,000 U.S. employees.

Saudi Arabia to begin lifting some COVID-19 restrictions from Sunday: Ministry  

Saudi Arabia will begin easing COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday, allowing gatherings and lifting some mask mandates for those who have received both vaccine doses, the interior ministry announced

When will UK-US travel reopen?   -4%

The US will lift its travel ban for double vaccinated foreign nationals only from November

When Vaccine Mandates Collide  

Companies are juggling conflicting federal and state orders on coronavirus vaccine mandates.

Most African Nations Fall Short of W.H.O. Target for Covid Vaccination   -10%

Only nine of 52 African countries met the W.H.O.’s benchmark, as the continent continues to lag behind global coronavirus vaccination rates.

Freedom picnics bring with them a curly question for some   -30%

It turns out there’s a more awkward question to ask than “are you double vaccinated” this picnic season.