President Biden released his six part COVID-19 action plan last week which includes new federal vaccine requirements for about two-thirds of the nation’s federal and private workforce, in an effort to stem the surge caused by the Delta variant and jumpstart economic recovery. President Biden excoriated unvaccinated individuals, saying “our patience is running thin” and blaming them for harming fellow Americans. He also pushed back against the politicization of the pandemic, promising to use the power of the federal government to take on state elected officials who are “undermining” the implementation of vaccination requirements, mask mandates, and other preventive measures. Under the new plan, all private sector companies employing more than 100 people will be required to mandate vaccination or conduct weekly testing, affecting about 80 million people. Workers at healthcare facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding, about 17 million people, also will have to be vaccinated, extending an earlier requirement for workers at nursing homes to include facilities such as hospitals, home-health agencies, and dialysis centers. President Biden also is requiring all executive branch employees and federal contractors to be fully vaccinated, with no testing option, covering several million more workers. If you wish to see his address to the country click here and go to 15:45.
Also last Thursday, the Los Angeles school board agreed to require coronavirus vaccinations for students ages 12 and up in the city’s public school system, with board members arguing that it is the best way to protect students and keep schools open for in-person learning. Los Angeles is by far the largest school district in the country to take this step as experts and officials across the country worry the surging and highly contagious delta variant could upend yet another school year.
People who were not fully vaccinated this spring and summer were over 10 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 11 times more likely to die of covid-19 than those who were fully vaccinated, according to one of three major studies published today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that highlight the continued efficacy of all three vaccines amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant. A second study showed the Moderna coronavirus vaccine was moderately more effective in preventing hospitalizations than its counterparts from Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson. That assessment was based on the largest U.S. study to date of the real-world effectiveness of all three vaccines, involving about 32,000 patients seen in hospitals, emergency departments and urgent care clinics across nine states from June through early August. While the three vaccines were collectively 86 percent effective in preventing hospitalization, protection was significantly higher among Moderna vaccine recipients (95 percent) than among those who got Pfizer-BioNTech (80 percent) or Johnson & Johnson (60 percent). That finding echoes a smaller study by the Mayo Clinic Health System in August, not yet peer reviewed, which also showed the Moderna vaccine with higher effectiveness than Pfizer-BioNTech at preventing infections during the delta wave.
While previous guidance recommended a minimum interval of 14 days between administration of COVID-19 vaccines and any other vaccines, the CDC has determined that COVID-19 vaccines may be administered without regard to timing of other vaccines. This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines on the same day, as well as coadministration within 14 days. When multiple vaccines are administered within the same visit, different injection sites should be used for each. More information from the CDC on currently approved COVID-19 vaccines, including coadministration guidance, is located here.
CSSE is reporting 40,731,352 positive cases in the U.S. and 656,248 deaths. FDOH has changed its reporting of data from daily to weekly. DOH reported for the week ending September 9, 3,409,165 confirmed cases in Florida, with 48,772 deaths.