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Politics Overnight Health Care: NIH director says Israeli data builds case for boosters | Biden walks fine line on vaccine mandates | Lawmakers ask FDA about timeline for vaccines for children

10:30  13 september  2021
10:30  13 september  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Red Sox place right-hander Nick Pivetta on COVID-19 IL as outbreak worsens

  Red Sox place right-hander Nick Pivetta on COVID-19 IL as outbreak worsens The Red Sox now have a combination of 12 players and coaches sidelined due to the coronavirus. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts; utility man Enrique Hernandez; second baseman Christian Arroyo; infielder Yairo Munoz; and pitchers Matt Barnes, Hirokazu Sawamura and Martin Perez tested positive for COVID-19, while left-hander Josh Taylor and first-base coach Tom Goodwin are in quarantine as close contacts. Quality control coach Ramon Vazquez has also tested positive for the virus.

Welcome to Tuesday's Overnight Health Care. The Washington Post TikTok Guy breaks down why a third shot might be recommended-Delta V is waiting.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Overnight Health Care: NIH director says Israeli data builds case for boosters | Biden walks fine line on vaccine mandates | Lawmakers ask FDA about timeline for vaccines for children © Greg Nash Overnight Health Care: NIH director says Israeli data builds case for boosters | Biden walks fine line on vaccine mandates | Lawmakers ask FDA about timeline for vaccines for children

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Today: An announcement on booster shots is coming tomorrow, the White House walks a fine line on vaccine mandates, and lawmakers ask the FDA for answers on authorizing vaccines for children.

Union urges NFL to adopt daily COVID-19 testing for vaccinated players

  Union urges NFL to adopt daily COVID-19 testing for vaccinated players There’s a decent chance that the COVID-19 pandemic will play more of a role during the 2021 NFL season than last year. We’re seeing relaxed protocols from the league as it relates to fully vaccinated players with Week 1 of the campaign slated to get going Thursday evening. It has already led to some COVID-related issues for teams. That includes star guard Zack Martin and the Dallas Cowboys with their opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers mere days away. Despite being fully vaccinated, Martin tested positive for the virus and will miss the game.NFLPA president JC Tretter of the Cleveland Browns touched on this recently.

We'll start with boosters:

Keep an eye out tomorrow for a White House announcement on booster shots after 8 months...in the meantime NIH director Francis Collins gave a glimpse at the rationale

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins said Tuesday that data from Israel on vaccine effectiveness waning over time helps show the need for booster shots eight months after initial vaccination.

Collins's comments largely confirmed what was first reported by The New York Times late Monday night, that the Biden administration is poised to recommend booster shots after eight months.

"As you may have seen from the information overnight, the notion is to encourage boosters eight months after initial vaccinations," Collins said on "The Hugh Hewitt Show."

Fact check: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines all passed animal testing

  Fact check: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines all passed animal testing Each of the three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the U.S. passed animal testing studies. Claims otherwise are false.Now some proponents of the anti-parasitic drug traditionally used for animals are falsely claiming COVID-19 vaccinations haven't passed animal studies.

Looking at data from Israel, "unsurprisingly, vaccine protection does gradually wane over time," Collins said.

"And so in the Israeli data the people who got immunized in January are the ones that are now having more breakthrough cases," he added. "Mostly of course these are symptomatic but not serious, but you're starting to see a little bit of a trend towards some of those requiring hospitalization."

Collins said officials, who have been meeting "almost daily," are also reviewing U.S. data.

Read more here.

Biden walks fine line on vaccine mandates

The Biden administration is walking a fine line on vaccine requirements, as it encourages employers to mandate shots for their workers but stops short of promoting other measures.

The White House, in an effort to boost a vaccination rate that has slowed from its April peak, has praised businesses that are mandating vaccinations for employees. Those steps in the private sector largely followed President Biden's requirement last month that federal workers get vaccinated or submit to regular testing.

Alaska's largest hospital implements crisis standards of care; Florida makes death data public after secrecy: COVID-19 updates

  Alaska's largest hospital implements crisis standards of care; Florida makes death data public after secrecy: COVID-19 updates Alaska’s largest hospital applies rations care, prioritizing resources to those patients who have the potential to benefit the most. COVID-19 updates.“While we are doing our utmost, we are no longer able to provide the standard of care to each and every patient who needs our help,” Dr. Kristen Solana Walkinshaw, chief of staff at Providence Alaska Medical Center, wrote in a letter addressed to Alaskans distributed Tuesday.

But there are several far-reaching measures Biden could impose - and that some experts are calling for. So far, the president has decided against implementing the kind of requirements implemented by U.S. allies.

Among them:

  • Requiring vaccines for air travelers, as Canada announced on Friday
  • Giving a full-throated call for more cities to follow New York and San Francisco's lead in requiring proof of vaccination for activities like indoor dining.

"I think he's leaving a lot of effective tools on the table," Lawrence Gostin, a public health law expert at Georgetown University, said of Biden, while giving him "high marks" for his actions on vaccines for federal workers.

Read more here.

Pressure ramps up: Over 100 lawmakers ask FDA about timeline for vaccines for children

A group of more than 100 House lawmakers on Tuesday sent a letter to the FDA asking for an update on its timeline on authorizing COVID-19 vaccines for children, given the current "alarming" situation.

"As transmission rates increase and schools reopen for in-person instruction, parents need to know when their kids will be able to get vaccinated," states the letter, led by Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Katie Porter (D-Calif.).

FDA advisory committee to determine if COVID-19 vaccine boosters are widely needed now

  FDA advisory committee to determine if COVID-19 vaccine boosters are widely needed now Are extra shots a 'luxury' or needed for full protection against COVID-19? Food and Drug Administration experts will take up the question Friday.At root is whether the extra shots are "luxuries" or an essential part of providing complete protection against the virus, presidential adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said this week.

The lawmakers wrote that they "respect the scientific process and the FDA's dedication to safety," but say that the current rise in cases due to the delta variant adds urgency to the situation.

They request a briefing from the FDA within 10 days on its timeline and where it is in the process of reviewing data from vaccines for children under 12.

"The current situation is alarming for parents, whose children ages 2-11 will be in months of school without vaccinations available," the lawmakers wrote.

What's happening: Attention has been rising on the lack of vaccines for children under 12 as schools go back into session and the number of cases rise among children, though outcomes are still generally seen as less severe for them.

Read more here.

WHO warns Afghanistan's collapse could worsen coronavirus crisis

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned Tuesday that the collapse of Afghanistan's government could worsen the COVID-19 crisis as people are displaced amid the Taliban's takeover.

The chaos in Afghanistan following the U.S. withdrawal of troops has sparked fear among diplomats and citizens seeking to flee the country, making coronavirus precautions difficult to maintain, WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said during a United Nations briefing.

'Tremendous hypocrisy': All the GOP governors banning COVID-19 vaccination mandates require other vaccines

  'Tremendous hypocrisy': All the GOP governors banning COVID-19 vaccination mandates require other vaccines Experts say there's no legal or substantive difference between mandating COVID-19 vaccines and requiring other approved vaccines.Four years ago, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb mandated meningitis vaccines for public college and university students. Now, he says choosing whether or not to be vaccinated is a "fundamental" right.

"Obviously, when we have situations with people on the move, these individual and collective measures are difficult to put in place and thus increases the risk of COVID-19 but other infectious diseases as well," Jasarevic said.

The pandemonium at Kabul's international airport is also "delaying urgently needed" health supplies, he said, noting that "disruption to health services can have a dire" effect.

"The ongoing conflict is setting a heavy toll on the already fragile health system in Afghanistan that has been facing a shortage of essential medical supplies and equipment in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic," Jasarevic said.

At the same time, COVID-19 vaccinations have slowed in the country, Jasarevic noted, saying he hopes they pick up again "depending on the security situation."

Read more here.

Masks are back: National Park Service reinstates mask mandate in buildings, crowded public spaces

The National Park Service on Monday reinstated mask requirements, ordering visitors at national parks around the country to don face coverings when they are inside buildings or in crowded outdoor spaces.

According to the National Park Service, the requirement will apply to all park-goers, regardless of their vaccination status.

"Visitors to national parks are coming from locations across the country, if not across the world," National Park Service Deputy Director Shawn Benge said in a press release.

"Because of this, and recognizing that the majority of the United States is currently in substantial or high transmission categories, we are implementing a service-wide mask requirement to ensure our staff and visitors' safety," Benge added.

US panel backs COVID-19 boosters only for seniors, high-risk

  US panel backs COVID-19 boosters only for seniors, high-risk WASHINGTON (AP) — Dealing the White House a stinging setback, a government advisory panel overwhelmingly rejected a plan Friday to give Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots across the board, and instead endorsed the extra vaccine dose only for those who are 65 or older or run a high risk of severe disease. The twin votes represented a heavy blow to the Biden administration's sweeping effort, announced a month ago, to shore up nearly all Americans' protection amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.

"Masking in addition to being vaccinated will help prevent the spread of new variants and protect those who are more at risk of severe disease," Capt. Maria Said, an epidemiologist in the National Park Service Office of Public Health, said. "This simple act of kindness allows us to be safe while we continue to enjoy the benefits of our national parks."

Read more here.

What we're reading

Troubling CDC vaccine data convinced Biden team to back booster shots (Politico)

How to talk to vaccine-hesitant friends and family about getting the shot (The Washington Post)

'Tainted' blood: Covid skeptics request blood transfusions from unvaccinated donors (Kaiser Health News)

How the pandemic laid bare America's diabetes crisis (Reuters)

State by state

Cyber company obtains data from 750,000 Hoosiers in attack on Indiana COVID tracing survey (Indianapolis Star)

Texas governor tests positive for COVID-19, in 'good health' (The Associated Press)

Amid new virus surge, Florida skeptics reconsider vaccines (The Associated Press)

Op-eds in The Hill

Time to get serious about uncovering the pandemic's origins

Pfizer announces 500M more vaccines to lower-income countries; California has lowest virus transmission in US: COVID-19 updates .
Meanwhile, California's rate of transmission is an average of 94 cases per 100,000, which is considered "substantial" by the CDC. More COVID updates.It is the only state in the country reporting transmission levels considered "substantial" by the CDC, along with the territory Puerto Rico. All other states currently have "high" levels of transmission." High transmission consists of 100 or more cases per 100,000 people in the last week.

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