New York City is bracing for a plethora of potential problems — including mounting trash, closed firehouses and fewer police and ambulances on the streets — as the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate looms and thousands of municipal workers remain unwilling to get the shots.

Officers in the police, firefighters and other workers within the city were required to produce proof that they have received at least one dose. A worker who doesn’t conform will be on unpaid leaves starting Monday.

Pat Lynch of the Police Benevolent Association stated that this deadline puts the city in a serious crisis.

Refusing to get vaccines is a major factor in spreading the virus. New Yorkers, according to mandate-backers, have the right to not be infected if public officials refuse to give them shots.

According to data from the city, nearly one fifth of city workers who are subject to the mandate have yet to get at least one dose of vaccines. This includes 21% police officers, 29% firefighters, EMS workers, and 33% sanitation workers. The city jail guards still have a month to adhere.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page which monitors police deaths, COVID-19 has been the most common cause of death for law enforcement officers in America. It killed 498 officers between 2020 and 2020, compared with 102 gun deaths.

After Friday’s rejection of arguments by a federal appeals panel that the mandate did not adequately protect religiously-motivated healthcare workers, New York State will now no longer allow them to exercise their right to religious exemption from the state vaccine mandate.

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► Khloe Kardashian and her daughter, 3-year-old True Thompson, have tested positive for COVID-19 and are quarantining, she In a Tweet. Kardashian has now tested positive twice, having previously been infected with the virus in 2020. According to Kardashian, the reality star has been vaccinated.

► “Piano Man” singer Billy Joel revealed he continued to pay members of his band’s salary during the COVID pandemic even though they weren’t playing shows. Howard Stern was told by Joel that he had wanted to look after the band.

📈These are the numbers of today The U.S. has recorded 45 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 743,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global summaries: There have been more than 245,000,000 cases worldwide and there were 4.9 million deaths. More than 191 million Americans – 57% of the population – are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

📘We’re looking at: Doctors, health officials and other providers agree that you can get both your flu shot as well as the COVID-19 vaccination simultaneously. Here’s what you need to know.

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.

A new study shows vaccines are more effective than ever in protecting against previous infections.

According to a new study by the CDC, vaccines are more effective at preventing COVID-19 than other infections.

Adults in the study who were hospitalized after either having a previous infection or receiving their vaccine were more than five times more likely to have COVID if they had a previous infection but were unvaccinated than those who were fully vaccinated and had no prior infection.

The study could help sway some who are hesitant to get vaccinated against COVID citing immunity from a prior infection as protecting them.

The study concluded that vaccine-induced immunity is more effective than infection-induced immunity for laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. All eligible people should get vaccinated immediately against COVID-19, even those who have been infected by SARS-CoV-2.

The study included data from nine states, 187 hospitals and more than 7000 people.

The study also found that the benefit of vaccination compared to prior infection without vaccination was higher with Moderna than Pfizer, consistent with previous studies showing Moderna’s higher effectiveness.

Supreme Court won’t stop vaccine mandate for Maine health workers

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to block a vaccine mandate for health care workers in Maine over objections that it doesn’t include a religious exemption, the latest example of the high court steering clear of the issue.   

This suit was focused on the absence of any religious exemption. The court’s ruling, which came over the objection of three of its conservatives, allows the state requirement to remain in place while litigation continues. 

In a concurring opinion, Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett noted the court has “discretionary judgment” about whether to take an emergency appeal like the Maine case. Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote that without it, applicants “could use the emergency Docket to force [the court] to issue a merites preview in cases on a short fuse.” The court’s emergency docket has come under considerable criticism in recent weeks for doing exactly that.  

– John Fritze, USA TODAY

FDA approves Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for children 5-11

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday voted to recommend Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to kids ages 5 to 11, but steps remain before children will be able to receive injections. 

The FDA cleared kid-size doses – just a third of the amount given to teens and adults –for emergency use, and up to 28 million more American children could be eligible for vaccinations as early as next week.

One more regulatory hurdle remains: On Tuesday, advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make more detailed recommendations on which youngsters should get vaccinated, with a final decision by the agency’s director expected shortly afterward.

Iowa bill says those fired over COVID vaccine mandates could get unemployment

Iowans could have wider latitude to claim medical and religious exemptions from employer COVID-19 vaccination mandates — and would qualify for unemployment benefits if a business fires them for not complying — under a bill state lawmakers approved Thursday. 

The bill would mark a significant change in the way Iowa approaches vaccination requirements by employers if Gov. Kim Reynolds is expected to sign the bill into law. 

“Not only do I plan to sign this legislation, but I am committed to doing even more,” she said in a Thursday news release. 

According to the Republican bill, employees who reject vaccines and get fired will not lose their benefits.

Employers “shall waive” a requirement that employees receive vaccines when they submit a statement saying that getting the vaccine could be harmful to their health, well-being or conflict “with the principles and practices” of the religion that an employee belongs to.

– Ian Richardson, Des Moines Register

Florida Governor calls Federal mandate “heavy-handed”, sues Biden administration

Florida filed a federal lawsuit against the Biden Administration to stop it from implementing a requirement that federal workers and contractors be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement at a news conference Thursday morning where he described the mandate for federal contractors as “heavy-handed” and an overreach by the federal government. According to DeSantis, Florida would seek a preliminary order that would prevent the federal rule’s effective Dec. 8, as planned.

Thursday’s announcement is the latest salvo in DeSantis’ ongoing battle with the administration of President Joe Biden over federal vaccine requirements. Biden claims that the mandate to vaccine will bring an end the pandemic.

DeSantis also criticized a pending rule by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which would require companies employing 100 people or more to get vaccinations and perform frequent COVID-19 testing. 

– Gary White, The Ledger

5% of unvaccinated adults have left a job because of a vaccine requirement

As the federal government prepares to unveil new vaccination rules for workplaces, 5% of unvaccinated adults say they have left a job because of a COVID-19 vaccination requirement, according to a survey released Thursday.

That represents 1% of all adults, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, which conducted the survey of 1,519 adults Oct. 14-24.

The White House is reviewing an emergency Labor Department rule requested by President Joe Biden spelling out vaccination rules for businesses with 100 or more employees. This rule will contain details regarding how larger companies must vaccinate or test regularly for the coronavirus. 

Separately, federal employees and contractors must get inoculated unless they qualify for an exemption.

— Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY

Contributing to The Associated Press


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