The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges Americans to have their vaccines before the holiday season.

“Because many generations tend to gather to celebrate holidays, the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep your family and friends safer is to get vaccinated if you’re eligible,” the CDC said in its guidance for the 2021 holidays, which was issued on Friday.

Even if fully vaccinated, the CDC suggests social distancing or masking indoors for those living in high- and substantial transmission areas. Protect young children who are not yet vaccinated by making sure their family members are.

These guidelines are not as detailed or strict as those for last year’s holiday season. This is because vaccines have made it much easier to get together. Last year, traditional trick-or-treating door-to-door for Halloween, for example, was advised against, but this year CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on CBS, “If you’re able to be outdoors, absolutely,” to trick-or-treating.

The CDC recommends that you eat healthy and get enough sleep in order to “prevent chronic diseases,” as well as a seasonal flu shot.

You can also find the latest news here: 

► A Cook County, Chicago judge issued a restraining order against Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara on Friday to prevent him from continuing to discourage vaccines among police officers despite the city’s requirements. CBS 2 Chicago reported that the order was part of an ongoing legal dispute.

► The Arizona Cardinals will be without their head coach, Kliff Klingsbury, when they play the Browns on Sunday. His COVID test was positive, the team said.

►British health officials said on Friday that an estimated 43,000 people in England may have got a false-negative COVID-19 test because of problems at a private laboratory. 

► COVID tests in France are no longer free for unvaccinated adults unless they are prescribed by a doctor. In an effort to encourage vaccination, they remain free for unvaccinated children and adults.

► At least two dozen lawsuits have been filed by people trying to force hospitals to treat COVID-stricken loved ones with Ivermectin, a drug for parasites promoted by conservative commentators without any conclusive evidence it works on the virus. 

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 44.8 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 723,700 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global sum: Over 240,000,000 cases, 4.8 Million deaths. More than 188.6 million Americans — 56.8% of the population — are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

📘We’re looking at: Recent uproar over a hospital requiring a Colorado woman to get a vaccine before being considered for an organ transplant reveals the kind of decisions transplant centers make every day. The hospitals make tough decisions

For the most recent news, keep checking this page. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY’s Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates directly to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

“I didn’t see it coming”: The outgoing director of NIH didn’t anticipate so much anti–vax sentiment

Dr. Francis Collins of National Institutes of Health stated that misinformation regarding vaccines spread quickly and becomes so entrenched.

Collins is retiring after twelve years of service. He told USA TODAY false information and fears about vaccinations are also dangerous. 

He said, “I didn’t see it coming.” “I knew there were anti-vax sentiments out there. There were many people who strongly disagreed with the idea, sometimes for scientific reasons. 

But, Collins said, “I didn’t realize that this was going to be so contagious. Then I realized that social media would allow misinformation to spread quickly and effectively, while the correct information is more difficult to find. 

– Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY

US to allow foreign tourists who are vaccinated back into the country on Nov. 8.

The United States is set to overhaul its travel restrictions Nov. 8, ushering in a new system that makes U.S. tourism possible for millions of fully vaccinated foreign nationals. 

“The US’ new travel policy that requires vaccination for foreign national travelers to the United States will begin on Nov 8,” Kevin Munoz, White House assistant press secretary said in a tweet Friday. “This announcement and date applies to both international air travel and land travel. Public health is the guiding principle of this policy. It’s strict and consistent.

The new travel system essentially drops the travel ban that has prevented most inbound travel from dozens of countries – including most European Union member states, the United Kingdom and China – since early 2020.

– Bailey Schulz and Morgan Hines, USA TODAY

Panel recommends additional J&J dose

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine should be considered a two-dose vaccine rather than the one-and-done shot that had received initial authorization, a federal panel decided Friday.

The committee felt all 15 million Americans who got a single dose of the “one and done” J&J vaccine would be substantially better protected with a second one. 

The unanimous decision from the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee came after real-world data showed J&J’s one-shot vaccine is not as effective as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

On Thursday, the advisory panel endorsed a booster dose of Moderna for elderly people and those at highest risk.

The committee decisions on both the Moderna and J&J supplementary shots still need to be verified by a different advisory panel as well as top federal officials.

– Elizabeth Weise and Karen Weintraub

Contributing to The Associated Press

Source: USAToday.com

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