“It really is, right now, a viral blizzard because there are so many infections,” said Dr. Samer Antonios, clinical director of Ascension Via Christi Health in Kansas, where Governor Laura Kelly signed a state of emergency disaster this week. due to the challenges of Covid-19.
Due to staff shortages in some health care systems across the country, through illness or people dropping out due to burnout, the nation “cannot provide the same quality of care to 130,000 patients now as we did last year. “Dr. Taison Bell, director of the medical intensive care unit at the University of Virginia Health, told CNN on Saturday.
Vaccine requirements change
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorization for Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine on Friday, shortening the time period between the initial vaccination and the booster shot from at least six months to five. months for those over 18 years of age.
“Vaccination is our best defense against Covid-19, including circulating variants, and shortening the time between completion of a primary series and a booster dose can help reduce waning immunity,” said Dr. Peter Marks, Director. from the FDA Center. for Biological Evaluation and Research.
The FDA has already shortened the time needed before receiving a booster shot of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine from six to five months. The Pfizer booster is licensed for everyone 12 years of age and older.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced Friday that she is forcing all healthcare workers to receive a Covid-19 booster shot within two weeks of eligibility.
“Healthcare workers will be asked to do this with no exemptions other than a medical exemption and no trial options,” Hochul said. Previously, all healthcare workers had to be fully vaccinated in September.
Neighboring Connecticut issued a similar order Thursday, as long-term care staff and hospital employees are due to receive booster doses in the coming weeks.
Debate on Covid-19 Security Measures in Schools
Nearly 13% of New York City students tested positive for Covid-19 over a 24-hour period, according to a test sample from the city’s department of education on Thursday. No schools are currently closed due to Covid-19 cases, according to additional DOE data, but six school classrooms remain closed.
The Chicago Teachers Union had voted to teach remotely due to the rise in Covid-19, but the school district canceled classes, saying it wanted to learn in person.
The Georgia Department of Public Health published an updated administrative order on Wednesday allowing teachers and school personnel, regardless of vaccination status, to return to work after an exposure to Covid-19 or a positive test for Covid-19 if they remain asymptomatic and wear a mask. while at work.
“Students, parents, and educators have made it clear to us that they want to be in the classroom, and we are looking for many methods to continue learning in person safely, including updated isolation and quarantine protocols, reduced contact tracing requirements. and increased testing opportunities, “read Kemp and Toomey’s letter.
Local school districts can still develop and follow their own quarantine and isolation requirements, in accordance with the order.
CNN’s Naomi Thomas, Deidre McPhillips, Kaitlan Collins, Chris Boyette, Michelle Watson, Carma Hassan, Laura Dolan, Steve Almasy, Melissa Alonso, Raja Razek, and Rob Frehse contributed to this report.