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‘Where the Hell Are the Data?’: Biden Officials Grow Frustrated With Lack of CDC Visibility
Between the lines: Top Biden officials are growing frustrated with the lack of internal visibility into data being collected by the CDC, particularly as they try to deal with Delta’s spread.
25-Year-Old Develops Myocarditis After Moderna Vaccine, Mother Says Doctors ‘Downplayed’ Connection
Christopher Brenner, a healthy 25-year-old from Ohio, was hospitalized with severe heart inflammation after receiving his first dose of Moderna’s COVID vaccine.
In an exclusive interview with The Defender, Christopher’s mother, Deborah Brenner, said she was frustrated when cardiologists initially pretended everything with her son was fine, and later refused to acknowledge his heart inflammation was caused by the vaccine.
The U.S. Hasn’t OK’d Boosters for Those Who Got the J&J Vaccine. But Some Are Getting One Anyway.
In early April, Mark Dinan got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at a middle school campus near his home in East Palo Alto, California. He felt fortunate to get a “one-and-done” shot, and the side effects were mild.
But this summer, as the delta variant of the coronavirus started to spread across the United States, he grew increasingly concerned.
He read about a study that suggested the one-dose J&J vaccine might be less effective in fending off coronavirus variants than two-dose mRNA shots. He was especially troubled by one of the findings: the one-dose AstraZeneca vaccine, which is similar to the J&J shot, showed only about 33% efficacy against symptomatic disease caused by delta. What if he was vulnerable?
FDA Approval of the COVID-19 Vaccine Could Mean More People Will Get Vaccinated for an Unexpected Reason
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is currently only authorized for emergency use in the United States, but its full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could happen within weeks.
The ramifications could alter the course of the pandemic in several ways.
First, full approval of a COVID-19 vaccine could persuade more people to get vaccinated.
More than 30% of the eligible population in the United States still hasn’t gotten a vaccine.
Over 900 People Have Gotten Third COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Before FDA Recommendation
An Associated Press review of a database run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that U.S. health care providers have reported the additional inoculations but the full extent of people who received them is unknown, as reporting to the database is voluntary. It’s also unknown if every person who received a third shot was trying to get it as a booster.
“I don’t think that anyone really has the tracking” in place to know how widespread people receiving third doses is, said Claire Hannan, executive director for the Association of Immunization Managers.
COVID-19 in Iceland: Vaccination Has Not Led to Herd Immunity, Says Chief Epidemiologist
While data shows vaccination is reducing the rate of serious illness due to COVID-19 in Iceland, the country’s Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason says it has not led to the herd immunity that experts hoped for. In the past two to three weeks, the Delta variant has outstripped all others in Iceland and it has become clear that vaccinated people can easily contract it as well as spread it to others, Þórólfur stated in a briefing this morning.
The current social restrictions will remain in place until Aug. 13. The Chief Epidemiologist says the government must make the final call on next steps in response to the current wave of infection. Health authorities have sent a formal memorandum to the government expressing concern about the heavy strain on the healthcare system cause by the current record rate of infection.
‘The Vaccination Queen’: Nurse Practitioner Takes Covid Shots House to House in Puerto Rico
Abigail Matos-Pagán entered a bright-blue house in Mayagüez earlier this summer and was met by Beatriz Gastón, who quietly led the way to her mother’s small room. Matos-Pagán had come to provide a COVID-19 vaccine for Wildelma Gastón, 88, whose arthritis and other health concerns confine her to bed.
Wildelma Gastón asked for her rosary to be placed on her chest and motioned to her “good arm,” where Matos-Pagán injected a first dose of the Moderna vaccine. The Gastón household, made up of five family members, breathed a collective sigh of relief. Though the vaccine had been available for months, Wildelma had been unable to reach a vaccination site.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Data Tracker, Puerto Rico’s vaccination rate in March was one of the lowest among U.S. states and territories despite receiving more than 1.3 million vaccine doses. The rollout highlighted disparities in access to medical services, and the challenges of tracking and reaching remote citizens, such as Wildelma.
Anderson AFB Sends 77 Freezers to Vietnam to Store COVID-19 Vaccine
Anderson Air Force Base’s 36th Contracting Squadron said Monday it has finalized a $691,000 contract to provide Vietnam with COVID-19 relief.
Under the contract, the squadron has partnered with the government of Vietnam to purchase and send 77 ultra-low temperature freezers, worth $691,000, the base announced in a press release.
The contract fulfills the government of Vietnam and the Vietnamese Ministry of Health’s official request for the storage units based on their acquisition of 31 million Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines due to arrive by Aug. 30.
Austin, Texas, Activates Emergency Alert System in Response to COVID Surge
Austin, Texas, activated its emergency alert system to warn the public of a “severely worsening COVID-19 situation” as area hospitalizations continue to surge. In an alert sent via text, city authorities wrote “the COVID-19 situation in Austin is dire. Healthcare facilities are open but resources are limited due to a surge in cases.”
Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said in a press release on Saturday that the situation in the Texas capital is “critical.” Walkes said hospital bed availability and critical care is “extremely limited in our hospital systems, not just for COVID-19 patients, but for anyone who may need treatment.”
“Our hospitals are severely stressed and there is little we can do to alleviate their burden with the surging cases,” Walkes said. “The public has to act now and help or we will face a catastrophe in our community that could have been avoided.”