Home » Texas governor orders ban on company vaccine mandates; California death count tops 70K: COVID-19 updates

Texas governor orders ban on company vaccine mandates; California death count tops 70K: COVID-19 updates

by Lester Blair
US deaths from virus in 2021 surpass 2020 total; Johnson & Johnson seeks FDA clearance for booster shots: COVID updates
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Governor Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas issued on Monday an executive order prohibiting Texas entities from mandating COVID-19 shots for consumers or employees. It is an expansion to a previous order only applicable to government agencies.

Abbott asked Texas lawmakers to address the matter during this special legislative session. He also requested that no entity within Texas be able to compel the receipt of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Abbott stated that the COVID-19 vaccine was safe and effective and is our best defense against this virus. However, it should be voluntary and not forced.

Abbott, who was previously vaccinated and also later tested positive for COVID-19, has urged Texans to get vaccinated throughout the pandemic but banned school districts, cities, counties and government agencies from requiring the shots. The state legislature passed a law earlier this year prohibiting so-called “vaccine passports,” meaning private businesses cannot require patrons to wear masks, but until Monday companies were allowed to mandate vaccines among employees.

Recent decreases in COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have been observed in Texas. However, the death toll due to the new surge in the delta variant is rapidly increasing and Texas now has 67,000 deaths since 2020 when the pandemic started.

— Madlin Mekelburg, Austin American-Statesman

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►Southwest Airlines and its pilots union steadfastly denied that workers walked off the job to protest a federal vaccine mandate after thousands of flights were canceled this weekend. 

►Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, the governor of Mississippi on Monday extended the COVID-19 emergency declaration to the state as it continues its recovery from the pandemic.

►Tea Party firebrand Allen West, a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor of Texas, was hospitalized with COVID-19 on Sunday but said he’s “doing great.”

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 44 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 714,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global numbers: Over 238 million COVID-19 cases, and more than 4.8 millions deaths. More than 187 million Americans — 56% of the population — are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

📘 What we’re reading: Duluth, Minnesota, is hiring a social worker to help people with addiction and mental health problems. Pueblo in Colorado started to pay homeless people to clean the streets. Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is building a new golf course. Cities are getting greener with federal COVID-19 aid dollars.

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.

Moderna will not share its COVID-19 recipe

Moderna has no plans to share the recipe for its COVID-19 vaccine because executives have concluded that scaling up the company’s own production is the best way to increase the global supply, the company’s chairman said Monday.

Moderna has been pressed by the United Nations to provide its vaccine formula. Afeyan stated that the company had examined whether sharing the messengerRNA technology would make sense and found it possible to increase production and provide billions more vaccines by 2022.

“Within the next six to nine months, the most reliable way to make high-quality vaccines and in an efficient way is going to be if we make them,” Moderna chairman Noubar Afeyan said. Asked about appeals from the World Health Organization and others, he contended that such pleas assumed ”that we couldn’t get enough capacity, but in fact we know we can.”

The COVID-19 vaccine is Moderna’s only commercial product. It announced last week plans to build a vaccine factory in Africa. Afeyan stated that he hopes that a decision on the exact location will soon be made. The plant could be up and running in years.

— Associated Press

Teachers and healthcare workers see high vaccine rates due to mandatory vaccinations

Almost all of Washington and North Carolina’s state health workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 99.99% of Cincinnati Public School employees have complied with the district’s mandatory vaccination policy. 

High vaccination rates can be attributed to vaccination mandates by the federal government, state governments, and local school district. A White House report released last week stated that mandated vaccines will result in more Americans becoming vaccinated.

According to the report, businesses that have mandated vaccines see their workforces get more than 90%.

California coronavirus death count tops 70K as cases fall

California’s coronavirus death toll reached another once-unfathomable milestone – 70,000 people – on Monday as the state emerges from the latest infection surge with the lowest rate of new cases among all states.

Last year at this time, cases in the state started ticking up and by January California was in the throes of the worst spike of the pandemic and was the nation’s epicenter for the virus. Everyday, 700 people died.

Summer saw the latest wave of unvaccinated children hit hard by the delta variant. At its worst during this spike, California’s average daily death count was in the low 100s.

Contributing to The Associted Media

Source: USAToday.com

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