America’s Largest Teachers’ Union to Vote on Mandatory COVID Vaccinations, Masks and Testing For Students

Fox News reported:

The National Education Association, America’s largest teachers’ union, is holding a vote on requiring mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations, masks and testing for students before classes return in the fall.

The new business meeting action item submitted by 50 delegates is “awaiting debate” on the NEA’s website.

The action item calls for “mandatory safe and effective COVID-19 vaccinations and testing for all students and staff before returning to face-to-face instruction in the fall, subject to medical exceptions, in accordance with existing law, and will widely publicize this position via social media.”

Reports of Some Getting Pfizer, Moderna ‘Boosters’ After J&J Vaccine Prompts Calls for More Guidance

U.S. News & World Report reported:

The 30-year-old Texas resident was inoculated against COVID-19 with a single Johnson & Johnson shot on March 31, at the first appointment she could get.

“It was, like, when everybody was in the mad dash trying to get appointments and we were told just to get the first available vaccine. So I kind of trusted that it would be good enough,” she says. Then, she began to have doubts. She began reading studies on the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which uses similar technology to J&J’s vaccine, on the delta variant.

She began to worry if the J&J vaccine was adequately protecting her against the variant, especially after hearing top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci warning that the variant will likely become the dominant strain in the U.S. Her worries even prompted her to stop going out sans mask and to stay home more often, despite assurances from federal officials that fully vaccinated people could go back to normal life.

White House to Send ‘Surge Teams’ to Delta Variant Hot Spots

The Hill reported:

The White House is readying COVID-19 “surge teams” to send to communities with low vaccination rates to help combat the rapidly spreading delta variant of the coronavirus, officials announced Thursday.

The teams will work with local public health authorities to conduct contact tracing, and will distribute supplies as needed or requested by states, such as therapeutics and additional tests. The teams will also help augment staffing at local vaccination sites.

CDC Experts Disagree With Pfizer on COVID Boosters, Threatening Pharma Giant’s Billion Dollar Revenue Stream

The Defender reported:

As Pfizer makes plans to keep its billion dollar revenue stream going — by assuring investors yearly COVID booster doses will be needed long after the pandemic ends — a group of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said there isn’t enough data to recommend COVID booster shots to the general population.

The COVID-19 working group of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) said June 23, they would only recommend booster shots if there’s a demonstrated decline in efficacy –– not just a waning antibody response.

1,000 Counties in the U.S. Have COVID Vaccination Coverage of Less Than 30%, CDC Says

CNBC reported:

About 1,000 counties in the United States have vaccination coverage of less than 30%, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

The counties in question are mostly located in the Southeast and Midwest and are most vulnerable to COVID infection, according to CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. The agency is already seeing increasing rates of disease in these counties due to further spread of the more transmissible delta variant, Walensky said.

Montana Governor Lifts State of Emergency for Coronavirus

The Associated Press Reported:

Gov. Greg Gianforte on Wednesday announced he is lifting Montana’s state of emergency for the coronavirus pandemic, more than 15 months after it was imposed under his predecessor.

The Republican governor announced the move during a tour of a restaurant in Billings as COVID-19 case rates continue to slowly decline.

“We’re getting back to normal,” Gianforte said. “The reductions in infections, the reductions in hospitalizations says we’re on the other side of this.”

Anti-Diabetic Drugs Have Potential to Treat COVID, Finds Hyderabad University Study

CNN News18 reported:

Amid the rush to develop cures for the coronavirus, a study by a University of Hyderabad (UoH) incubated startup, has discovered that an anti-diabetic drug has potential use as a ready to use, cost-effective solution for safely treating COVID patients.

In-vitro and in-silico studies conducted by ReaGene Innovations Private Limited, a startup company incubated at the ASPIRE-BioNEST, and INDRAS Private Limited, indicate that re-purposing the anti-diabetic drug Ertugliflozin, might provide a therapeutic solution to the COVID-19 infection.

Biden Admin Preps for Next Pandemic as Delta Variant Surges

Politico reported:

The Biden administration is rethinking its approach to COVID-19 testing as the pandemic enters an uncertain phase — one in which new infections have dropped to the lowest level since the spring of 2020, but the highly contagious Delta variant is driving fresh outbreaks.

Federal health officials, along with testing labs and test makers, are weighing how to implement the lessons they have learned from this pandemic to prepare for the next one. That includes what types of government incentives could help keep companies prepared to quickly develop tests in the face of a new emergency, and whether to stockpile key testing supplies. The administration also recently retooled the leadership of its COVID-19 testing and diagnostic workgroup.

With so Few Virus Deaths, Australians Debate Vaccine Risks

Associated Press reported:

Australia has weathered the pandemic far better than many nations — recording just a single coronavirus death since last October — but its success means many Australians are not in a rush to get vaccinated and that could delay the country’s return to normalcy.

Concerns are growing about the economic cost to Australia of being left behind by countries that suffered far higher death tolls, but urgently embraced vaccines and are increasingly opening up.

But with relatively few cases of the virus and so few deaths, many in Australia are questioning whether the slight health risks to young adults of the widely available AstraZeneca vaccine make it worthwhile.

COVID India: Women in Rural Bihar Hesitant to Take Vaccines

BBC reported:

On a sweltering June afternoon, Madhu Kumari, a healthcare worker knocked on a door in Suraudha, a village tucked deep inside Bihar state. Her job: to enrol people for COVID jabs.

On seeing her, a few women sitting outside their houses across the street, laughed.

Moments later, a woman stormed out of the house, hurling abuses at Ms Madhu Kumari. “I will make your life hell if you talk about the vaccine,” Tetri Devi bellowed, before slamming the door on the healthcare worker’s face.

Moscow Begins Booster Vaccine Campaign as Russia’s COVID Cases Surge

Reuters reported:

Health clinics in Moscow will begin offering booster vaccine shots against COVID-19 on Thursday, the city’s mayor said, as Russian officials scramble to contain a surge blamed on the highly infectious Delta variant.

The health ministry on Wednesday recommended clinics begin administering booster doses to people vaccinated six months ago or more, making Russia one of the first countries to begin re-vaccination.

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