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US White House signals flexibility over Dec. 8 vaccine deadline

05:25  28 october  2021
05:25  28 october  2021 Source:   reuters.com

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The Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccination deadline will not require immediate action on the part of employers against unvaccinated employees when it comes into force on Dec . 9 executive order and subsequent White House guidance requiring all covered federal contractor employees to be vaccinated by Dec . 8 unless they got a religious or medical exemption. The White House comments suggest federal contractors employing millions of U.S. workers have significant flexibility in enforcing COVID-19 rules and will not be required to immediate lay-off workers, but will have time for education

Meanwhile, the White House is rolling out an 'advertising' campaign to convince parents and kids that the vaccine is safe and effective . According to the report, "the administration believes trusted messengers — educators, doctors, and community leaders — will be vital to encouraging vaccinations ." And I think it’s a reasonable thing to consider to get those vaccination rates high. And it’s also consistent with what we’ve done for other childhood vaccines , like measles, mumps, polio."

By David Shepardson

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announces members of his health team in Wilmington, Delaware © Reuters/Kevin Lamarque FILE PHOTO: U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announces members of his health team in Wilmington, Delaware

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccination deadline will not require immediate action on the part of employers against unvaccinated employees when it comes into force on Dec. 8, the White House coronavirus response coordinator said on Wednesday.

Some lawyers previously interpreted President Joe Biden's Sept. 9 executive order and subsequent White House guidance requiring all covered federal contractor employees to be vaccinated by Dec. 8 unless they got a religious or medical exemption.

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The White House cited Israeli data arguing that vaccines ’ protectiveness wanes over time, while Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said at a recent press briefing “protection against severe disease and hospitalization is currently holding up pretty well” for people who received two doses. Still, the White House has moved forward with its plan to make Americans eligible for a third dose of either Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines eight months after the date of their second injection, even though that plan requires authorization from the FDA and CDC first. “With 50% of its overall budget and 75

The United States plans to ease travel restrictions on all fully vaccinated foreign visitors starting in November, the White House said Monday, relaxing a patchwork of bans that had begun to cause fury in Europe and replacing them with more uniform requirements for inbound international air passengers.

The White House comments suggest federal contractors employing millions of U.S. workers have significant flexibility in enforcing COVID-19 rules and will not be required to immediate lay-off workers, but will have time for education, counseling and other measures before potentially ending employment.

Jeff Zients said he expects federal agencies and contractors "will follow their standard HR processes and that for any of the probably relatively small percent of employees that are not in compliance they'll go through education, counseling, accommodations and then enforcement."

Zients said he does not expect any disruptions to the U.S. economy as a result of the mandate.

"We’re creating flexibility within the system … There is not a cliff here," Zients said, emphasizing the goal is to get people vaccinated "not to punish them so we do not expect any disruptions."

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Every Friday, VAERS makes public all vaccine injury reports received through a specified date, usually about a week prior to the release date. Today’s data show that between Dec . 14, 2020 and April 8 , a total of 68,347 total adverse events were reported to VAERS, including 2,602 deaths — an increase of 260 over the previous week — and 8 ,285 serious injuries , up 314 since last week. Of the 2,602 deaths reported as of April 8 , 27% occurred within 48 hours of vaccination , 19% occurred within 24 hours and 41% occurred in people who became ill within 48 hours of being vaccinated . In the U.S., 174.9 million

Fully vaccinated travelers from other countries will be able to enter Canada beginning September 7. Before implementing such a plan, the U.S. has a lot of hurdles to clear. It must not only figure out what types of proof of vaccination it will accept, but whether it will accept vaccines that are authorized in some countries but not in the U.S.. At this time, the United States has no “ vaccine passport” and no national digital system for processing travelers’ vaccination records. Instead, the government has left it to airlines and other businesses to figure out how to navigate this quagmire.

He added: "These processes play out across weeks not days."

His comments were more explicit than those https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/us-airlines-white-house-say-vaccine-mandate-will-not-impact-holiday-travel-2021-10-21 last week.

Zients also said a new emergency measure will soon be finalized to ensure private sector workers at companies with 100 or more employees are fully vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 at least weekly.

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines said last Thursday they did not think the Dec. 8 deadline would impact holiday travel or result in employees leaving.

Some airlines and industry-watchers initially feared an exodus of unvaccinated airline or government employees involved in travel just before the Christmas season.

Southwest Airlines Chief Executive Gary Kelly said last week: "We want our employees to know that nobody is going to lose their job on December 9 if we're not perfectly in compliance... "We're not going to fire anybody who doesn't get vaccinated."

Vikings' Kirk Cousins, Nate Stanley expected to return Thursday from COVID-19 list

  Vikings' Kirk Cousins, Nate Stanley expected to return Thursday from COVID-19 list Kirk Cousins and backup Nate Stanley are expected to return to practice Thursday. Both were deemed high-risk close contacts when Kellen Mond tested positive for the coronavirus. Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer would not say when Mond, who must miss at least 10 days per the league's protocols, may be back at practice. Vikings cornerback and eight-time Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson has campaigned for more of his teammates to get their COVID-19 vaccine shots amid reports that only 64.5% of Minnesota players are fully vaccinated.

" Vaccines for SARS, MERS and RSV have never been approved, and the data generated in the development and testing of these vaccines suggest a serious mechanistic concern: that vaccines designed empirically using the traditional approach (consisting of the unmodified or minimally modified coronavirus viral spike to elicit neutralizing To determine how MERS affects the immune system, the researchers infected white rabbits with the virus. The rabbits got sick and developed antibodies, but those antibodies were not the neutralizing kind, meaning the kind of antibodies that block infection.

" Vaccinated persons presumably have a higher rate of social contact than unvaccinated persons and may also have lower adherence to safety measures," they wrote. "This behavior could reduce real-world effectiveness of the vaccine as compared with its biologic effectiveness, possibly explaining the waning of protection." But it's a signal that countries should prepare for fresh surges of Covid-19. "These findings suggest that a large proportion of the vaccinated population could lose its protection against infection in the coming months, perhaps increasing the potential for new epidemic waves," they wrote.

American Airlines Chief Executive Doug Parker said last week he did not expect any employees to leave as a result of the vaccine mandate.

A group representing FedEx Corp, United Parcel Service Inc and other cargo carriers told the White House last week it would be virtually impossible to have 100% of their respective work forces vaccinated by Dec. 8.

Many federal contractors have told employees that they risk losing their jobs if they are not vaccinated by Dec. 8. Raytheon Technologies' (RTX.N) Chief Executive Greg Hayes warned in a CNBC interview Tuesday the U.S. aerospace and defense firm will lose 'several thousand' employees who refuse to take COVID-19 vaccines, as it prepares to meet the Dec. 8 deadline.

Republican Senator Roger Wicker on Wednesday urged Biden to abandon the plan, saying "we cannot afford to gut our transportation network of tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of essential, good-paying jobs."

(Reporting by David Shepardson; additional reporting by Tom Hals and Nandita BoseEditing by Alistair Bell and Diane Craft)

CDC gives go-head for kids vaccine; Arizona schools can keep mask mandates: COVID-19 updates .
Children ages 5 to 11 are now eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and could start getting shots this week. Latest COVID-19 updates.Late Tuesday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine after an expert panel's recommendation.

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