Restrictions on who can get COVID-19 booster shots have been rolled back after federal agencies took multiple actions Friday, clearing the way for all adults to get a booster dose.

Even though initial vaccines have not yet proven to be effective in protecting against serious disease or hospitalizations, they are doing a great job at protecting young people who are healthy. Their effectiveness against all infections begins to decline after six months. Boosting brings the level of protection back up above 90%, Pfizer-BioNTech data shows.

This virus can be reduced by widespread booster shots. Officials said that vaccines are not proven to decrease the person’s risk of contracting the virus for long periods. However, they may still be sufficient to make it through winter and holiday season.

Officials in the health sector have begun to prepare for a possible spike in winter cases. The latest projection from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation warns of a worst-case-scenario where cases — fueled by seasonal spread and the delta variant — surge far higher than last winter. The current projection predicts that the number of cases will stay flat for the next several months. 

Although boosters have been available to a limited population for a while, only about 16% of those eligible for the extra shots have gotten them so far. Some states allow boosters to all adults.

— Karen Weintraub

In the news also:

► Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said Friday that he won’t renew COVID-19 State of Emergency and will let it expire Friday Night. Lee has officially ended a 20 month-long state of emergency that gave Governor Lee elevated authority over suspending laws and regulations within the state to combat COVID-19. 

► COVID-19 vaccines got a shoutout at a Thanksgiving tradition on Friday. When President Joe Biden pardoned two Thanksgiving turkeys, he said they were selected based on their “temperament, appearance and, I suspect, vaccination status.” Biden joked: “Instead of getting basted, these two turkeys are getting boosted today.”

►The European Union’s drug regulator signed off Friday on the emergency use of the COVID-19 antiviral pill molnupiravir for adults who test positive for the virus.

📈Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 47 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 768,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global summaries: There have been more than 256,000,000 cases worldwide and there has been a staggering 5.1 million deaths. More than 195 million Americans – 58.9% of the population – are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

📘This is what we are reading The pandemic has spurred many workers to reevaluate their lives and the role work plays in them, leading some to set fresh boundaries, find new jobs or maintain the side hustles that got them through the shutdowns and layoffs. Learn more.

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CDC research highlights the dangers of COVID infected during pregnancy

Two studies published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlight the dangers of COVID infection during pregnancy, further emphasizing the importance of vaccination.

For women who are currently pregnant infected with the Delta variant are at an increased risk of stillbirth, according to one of the studies that analyzed outcomes of more than 1.2 million pregnancies among U.S. womenBetween March 2020 and September 2021

Stillbirths are still rare. However, the study revealed that stillbirths were common among infected women. Only 0.65% of pregnant people who have not been infected had stillbirths.

While the overall risk for stillbirth is still low, Dr. Mark Turrentine, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said pregnant people shouldn’t underestimate COVID-19.

“What’s really sad is we have 10 months of a vaccine that’s been highly effective and we just can’t convince people to take advantage of this,” Turrentine said.

The CDC has also released a report analyzing the 15 COVID-related death among pregnant women in Mississippi between March 1, 2020 and Oct. 6, 2021. Study found an increase of deaths among pregnant womenThe Delta variant took over as the dominant. There were five cases of death in every 1,000 pregnant women who had been exposed to Delta before it became dominant, but only 25 per 1000 after Delta was predominant.

Protest against the COVID bans is met with violence by police officers in the Netherlands

Protesters were attacked by police in violence in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The rioting erupted around Friday’s demonstration against COVID-19. The Dutch city’s mayor called it “an orgy of violence.”

Police stated that two of the rioters who were hit with bullets were in hospital. Investigations were ongoing to determine if police shot them. It was not known what the condition of the wounded rioters were.

According to police, 51 arrests were made, approximately half of which were minors. One police officer was hospitalized with a leg injury sustained in the rioting, another was treated by ambulance staff and “countless” others suffered minor injuries.

Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb told reporters in the early hours of Saturday morning that “on a number of occasions the police felt it necessary to draw their weapons to defend themselves” as rioters ran rampage through the port city’s central shopping district, setting fires and throwing rocks and fireworks at officers.

— The Associated Press



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