The United States decides on vaccine approvals and recalls, more and more institutions are adding mandates and drug makers are navigating international distribution. Here’s what you need to know:
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US announces new vaccine and recall decisions
Last week, the Biden administration announced that anyone over the age of 18 who has received two doses of an mRNA vaccine will be eligible to receive a third booster, with the rollout starting in September. At first they said these injections would be available eight months after the second dose, but now it looks like it might be increased even earlier, to six months, based on data reviewed by the FDA. Although Johnson & Johnson’s shot was not part of the initial plan, new data indicates a second dose will help generate a strong immune response, and the company hopes to be part of the booster distribution. Yet the decision to offer reminders to otherwise healthy Americans has raised questions among experts, especially with regard to global equity in vaccines.
The FDA has also granted Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine full approval this week, replacing the previous emergency fire use authorization. While some experts have said they hope it will encourage people who are still hesitant to get the vaccine, others are concerned that the decision will do little to increase immunization rates.
Vaccination mandates are becoming more and more ubiquitous in the United States
Following institutions and companies now make vaccinations compulsory, especially since the FDA has granted full approval to the shot from Pfizer and BioNTech. These include the Department of Defense, the University of California system, the municipal workforce in Los Angeles and Chicago, and even Goldman Sachs. New York’s new governor has said she will institute them, and nearly all of the major medical and medical professional associations have pleaded for mandates as well. While there are concerns about fairness – for example, that members of marginalized groups might find it more difficult to access a photo and warrants would deny them access to certain spaces – the adoption of the photos of Covid among minorities is actually quite strong. And the most important thing to know, especially with cases in the United States still highis that the mandates work.
Despite this, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced an executive order ban government mandates on vaccines in its state Wednesday. Cases remain high in Texas, so much so that recent reports have indicated that some hospitals are considering taking the vaccine status of their Covid patients into account when deciding who to treat. It didn’t actually happen, and probably won’t, but it raises difficult questions on the ethics of weighing vaccination status.
Pfizer signs new international vaccine deal as some supplies falter
Pfizer and BioNTech have has entered into a new agreement with Eurofarma, a Brazilian pharmaceutical company, to manufacture doses of their Covid-19 vaccine in and for Latin America. The region has seen its share of supply problems, but vaccinations are on the rise. The deal is a first for Latin America and comes as drug makers come under increasing pressure to secure vaccine supplies to the poorest countries. President Biden has also been criticized for not keep promises to fight the coronavirus around the world.
Elsewhere, Japan has suspended the use of over 1.5 million doses of Moderna this week after they were found to be infected, an unfortunate turning point as the country tries to speed up vaccinations as cases rise. Best news, India officially gave at least one shot to more than half of its eligible population, and Myanmar announced today that it will vaccinate Rohingya minority.
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Something to read
Recently, the world has seen in shock the Taliban rapidly taking control of Afghanistan. Some disease experts have focused on the uproar for one particular reason: Afghanistan is one of two countries where the circulation of the poliovirus has never been interrupted, and regime change could interfere with the campaign. eradication of the disease. at a critical moment.
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What happened to contact tracing?
Recently, contact tracing has all but disappeared from the conversation about how to end the pandemic. And the little coverage he got was mostly noting that the efforts were unsuccessful. But just as we are now bringing back masking and social distancing to combat Delta’s rise, some experts are arguing that we need to devote more resources to contact tracing – and adapt it to meet the moment. Some have suggested renaming it as Covid Support Services and offering support to people after learning they’ve been notified of an exposure. With federal funds available to stimulate contact tracing programs, this is not beyond the realm of possibility. And that could make all the difference in this next phase of the pandemic.
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