FDA Fully Approves Pfizer’s COVID Vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave full approval Monday to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, a major step that will likely have significant implications for vaccination mandates nationwide. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have not yet received full FDA authorization.

The Pfizer vaccine previously received FDA authorization, which allowed its emergency use but did not give the full approval. Pfizer is the first company to receive full approval in the U.S.

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Ohio Health Care Group Fears Vaccine Mandate Could Be Devastating

President Joe Biden’s plan to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for nursing home employees could damage further an industry struggling in Ohio, the executive director of the Ohio Health Care Association said.

Pete Van Runkle said the group is pro-vaccine but a federal mandate negatively could affect services to some of the most needy people in the state and be damaging to skilled nursing facilities.

“We believe the Biden Administration’s plan, at least articulated in the press conference, would be devastating to Ohio SNFs and to their staff and residents,” Van Runkle said. “While we support vaccination and recognize that it is the most effective defense against COVID-19, the proposed mandate does not account for staffing that is already stretched beyond the breaking point.”

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Supreme Court Denies Request for Injunction in IU Vaccine Mandate Case

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Thursday denied the request for an emergency injunction to stop Indiana University’s vaccination mandate from going into effect.

Her decision, however, does not mark the end of the road for the eight IU students suing the university, or for their attorney, Jim Bopp.

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Ohio Public Schools, Colleges Cannot Require COVID-19 Vaccine

Young girl wearing a mask and reading a book in school

Ohio public schools, colleges and universities cannot require COVID-19 vaccines after Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill that originally was introduced to help military families.

The Ohio Senate amended House Bill 244, which passed in late June along party lines, to prohibit public schools from requiring any vaccine not fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and from discriminating against unvaccinated individuals. The FDA approved COVID-19 vaccines on an emergency basis.

The bill also allows military families moving into Ohio to enroll their children in school virtually or through advanced enrollments before they move into the state.

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Nearly 200 Hospital Workers Will Be Fired in Houston If They Don’t Get Vaccinated

Nearly 200 Houston hospital workers will be fired after a two-week suspension if they don’t comply with a vaccine requirement.

Houston Methodist President and CEO Dr. Marc Boom sent an email in April to employees saying that they must receive at least the first dose of the vaccine by June 7, or they would face suspension and termination.

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California Offering Awards Totaling $116.5M to Get Vaxxed

COVID Vaccine sticker

Governor Newsom announced Thursday a $116.5 million vaccine incentive program including $1.5 million in cash prizes to encourage Californians to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

California follows other states in offering big vaccine incentive payouts, New York is giving out scratch-off tickets for the chance to win up to $5 million, according to Politico.

“California has already made incredible progress in the fight against COVID-19, with the lowest case rates in the country while administering millions more vaccines than any other state,” Newsom said in a release. “But we aren’t stopping there, we’re doing everything it takes to get Californians vaccinated as we approach June 15 to help us fully reopen safely.”

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Illegal Immigrants Repeatedly Denied COVID-19 Vaccine in Florida: Report

COVID Vaccine

Undocumented immigrants in Florida have been routinely denied access to the COVID-19 vaccine, the Miami Herald reported Thursday.

A valid Florida driver’s license or government-issued I.D., utility bill or rental agreement is required to receive the vaccine, the Herald reported. Other undocumented immigrants who worked as essential workers across the U.S. haven’t been able to receive the vaccine, though some local governments are advocating for other proofs of residency so they will have access.

“What we feel is that they don’t want immigrants vaccinated,” Doris Mejia, an undocumented immigrant living in Florida told the Herald. “They see us as less, yet we work the most.”

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If a Person Had COVID, One Dose of the Pfizer Vaccine May Be Enough, Studies Suggest

A single dose of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine may offer sufficient protection against the virus for people who have already had COVID-19, two studies show.

“This could potentially accelerate vaccine rollout,” researchers at University College of London and Public Health England said in the first study. “With increasing variants, wider coverage without compromising vaccine-induced immunity could help reduce variant emergence.”

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Johnson & Johnson’s Coronavirus Vaccine Offers Strong Protection, Reduces Spread, FDA Analysis Finds

Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine is effective in preventing severe and fatal coronavirus cases, and may reduce the virus’s transmission among vaccinated people, the FDA said in new analyses Wednesday.

The drug maker announced in January that its vaccine was 72% effective against the virus in the United States and 64% effective in South Africa, where a mutated, more transmissible strain has become dominant. Its vaccine was 86% effective in preventing severe virus cases in the U.S., meaning that a vaccinated individual is at a far smaller risk of being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19.

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Johnson & Johnson Files for Emergency Authorization for Its Coronavirus Vaccine

Johnson & Johnson filed for emergency use authorization from the FDA on Thursday for its coronavirus vaccine.

The drug maker’s application followed its announcement that its vaccine was 72% effective in combating the virus. Although that’s slightly lower than Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, Johnson & Johnson’s requires one dose instead of two.

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Johnson & Johnson’s Coronavirus Vaccine Is 72 Percent Effective, But Offers Weaker Protection Against New Strains

Johnson & Johnson announced on Friday that its coronavirus vaccine was 72% effective in combating COVID-19, but only 57% effective against a novel South African strain.

While slightly less effective than Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, which were both approved by the FDA in December, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines provides significant distribution advantages that could be crucial in the nation’s fight against the virus. Unlike Pfizer and Moderna, Pfizer’s vaccine is just one shot, and can be stored in refrigerators instead of freezers.

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Commentary: Five Ways Hospitals Can Help Fix Vaccine Rollout Debacle

Hospitals have come under sharp criticism for their part in the chaotic COVID-19 vaccine rollout. That’s because in the rush to get the vaccine out quickly, many hospitals were shipped more vaccine than anticipated and fewer staff took it than anticipated. As a result, hospitals accrued a vaccine surplus and offered it to their low-risk grad students and young administrative staff working from home and are now scrambling to figure out what to do with the rest. The answer should be simple: give it to older members of your community, but a recent letter from the American Hospital Association cited a number of important barriers to effective vaccine distribution including a lack of coordination and guidance from federal, state, and local governments. 

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Trader Joe’s, Instacart, Dollar General Will Pay Workers to Get Vaccinated

Trader Joe’s is the latest business offering financial incentives to encourage their workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The grocery chain said Thursday it will give employees two hours of pay per dose for getting the vaccine. The Monrovia, California based company said it will also shift around schedules to make sure employees have time to get vaccinated, according USA Today.

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HHS Expected to Recommend Vaccine Distribution Extended to Elderly

The Trump administration is expected to alter its coronavirus vaccine distribution guidance, recommending that people aged 65 and older are made eligible to be inoculated, The New York Times reported.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense are expected to announce the new guidance at a noon press conference, an anonymous official briefed on the announcement told the Times. The change to the recommendations is intended to quicken the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine, which has been far behind pace.

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Victor Davis Hanson Commentary: If You Thought 2020 Was Hard, Wait Until You Get a Load of 2021

The proper conservative response to last Wednesday’s violent entry into the Capitol and vandalism, as well as assaults on law-enforcement, is to identify the guilty parties and ensure they are arrested.

Such deterrence will prevent any future devolution from legal popular protests into thuggery. No constitutional republic can tolerate its iconic heart stormed, breached, and defiled.

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Pfizer Vaccine Effective Against Contagious Coronavirus Strain, Study Shows

The vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech protects against a highly contagious strain of coronavirus that originated in South Africa and the U.K., according to a study published Thursday.

The study, which was commissioned by Pfizer, is likely to alleviate some fears that the virus variant would evade protections offered by the vaccine.

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Rollout Leaves More Than 70 Percent of COVID-19 Vaccines Unused

More than 70 percent of COVID-19 vaccines have gone unused, still sitting in freezers US health officials said on Monday.

In Daytona Beach, hundreds of senior citizens camped out in their vehicles in chilly overnight temperatures in the low 40s to secure a place in a vaccination line Tuesday morning, a day after seniors jammed the roads to the vaccination site,  NBC Miami reported.

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Millions of COVID-19 Vaccines Have Yet to Be Used Since First U.S. Distribution

Over 9 million COVID-19 vaccines have yet to be administered in the U.S. since they were initially distributed on Dec. 13, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the 12,409,050 doses of the vaccines that have been distributed, only 2,794,588 have been administered as of Wednesday morning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Ohio Moves Up School Employees for Vaccines to Get Students Back in Classrooms

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine plans to offer vaccines to all schools in the state that want it by mid-January in an effort to get children back to in-person learning in districts that want to return.

At his regular news conference Wednesday, DeWine announced new phases of vaccine distribution that included adults in school districts, those 64 years old and older, along with those with severe medical conditions.

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CDC Says More Than a Million Americans Have Been Vaccinated for COVID-19

More than a million Americans have received the first round of vaccinations for the coronavirus as of Wednesday at 9 a.m., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced.

Over nine million coronavirus doses have been distributed and 1,008,025 doses have been administered, according to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker.

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BioNTech CEO ‘Confident’ That Coronavirus Vaccine Is Effective Against New European Strain

The CEO of BioNTech, the German drug maker who partnered with Pfizer in developing the world’s first approved coronavirus vaccine, said that he was “confident” it will be effective against a mutated strain of the virus found in the United Kingdom.

“The likelihood that our vaccine works… is relatively high,” Uğur Şahin told reporters during a Tuesday press conference, explaining that the mutated strain still shares approximately 99% of the original strain’s spike protein.

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Pelosi Claims ‘Faith-Oriented’ Lawmakers Say They ‘Don’t Believe in Science’

Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Monday that “faith-oriented” people in Congress have told her they “don’t believe in science.”

The California Democrat spoke Monday on the house floor where she discussed coronavirus relief and the recently approved vaccines, accusing the White House of spreading “quackery” notions of herd immunity.

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Coronavirus Vaccines Can Guard Against New, More Contagious UK Strain, Experts Say

The two coronavirus vaccines that have been approved for emergency use authorization in the U.S. will be able to combat a new, more contagious strain of the virus in the U.K., experts said Monday.

Vaccines made by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna will be effective against the new strain, which is “very similar” to previous strains at the genetic level, University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation affiliate assistant professor Vin Gupta told CNBC. The Food and Drug Administration has approved both vaccines for emergency use authorization after large-scale human trials showed efficacy of more than 90%.

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FDA Grants Moderna’s Coronavirus Vaccine Emergency Authorization

The FDA approved Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use Friday, making the United States the first country to have approved two safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19.

Its approval follows a key FDA panel’s overwhelming vote Thursday to endorse the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. The Moderna vaccine’s approval means that its distribution could begin within hours, providing hospitals and long-term care facilities across the country thousands of much-needed doses.

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US Wants to Double COVID-19 Vaccine Order from Pfizer

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said on CNN Monday that the U.S. is seeking to double its COVID-19 vaccine order.

“So far, we have an agreement with the U.S. Government to provide them 100 million doses and this is a fixed order and we will provide those 100 million doses starting from now by the end of the first quarter and we will honor this commitment,” Bourla told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta on “New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.”

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Moderna Asks FDA for Emergency Approval of COVID-19 Vaccine, Second Company to Pass Milestone

Pharmaceutical company Moderna announced Monday that it will submit its coronavirus vaccine to the federal government for emergency use authorization approval.

Moderna said it would ask the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval after its large-scale human trial concluded and showed the company’s vaccine to have an overall efficacy of 94.1%, according to NBC News. The vaccine was found to be 100% effective in preventing severe cases of coronavirus, according to Moderna.

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