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West Virginia Will Pay Young People $100 To Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19

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A young man receives a COVID-19 vaccine in Charleston earlier this month while overlooking the West Virginia Capitol building. Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images hide caption

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Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Young people who get the COVID-19 vaccine in West Virginia won’t just gain protection against a deadly virus — they’ll also make money.

The state will offer a $100 savings bond to everyone between the ages of 16 and 35 who gets vaccinated, Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, announced at a Monday briefing. It’s part of an ongoing push to get shots into the arms of younger residents, who have been largely slow to roll up their sleeves so far.

“Our kids today probably don’t really realize just how important they are in shutting this thing down,” Justice said. “I’m trying to come up with a way that’s truly going to motivate them — and us — to get over the hump.”

The initiative will apply retroactively to people in this age group who have already gotten their shots. It is funded with money from the CARES Act, with Justice adding that officials have “vetted this in every way that we possibly can.”

West Virginia’s vaccine rollout got off to a famously strong start earlier this year. Despite challenges such as a widespread lack of Internet access, the largely rural state had managed to fully vaccinate such a large percentage of its eligible population by late February that, had it been a country, it would have ranked third in the world.

But as eligibility expanded, the pace of vaccinations slowed. The state now ranks 29th in the country, according to NPR’s vaccine tracker, which says 29% of the population has been fully vaccinated and 35.3% has had at least one dose.

West Virginia opened vaccinations to residents ages 16 and older in mid-March but is continuing to prioritize vaccinations for those 65 and older. As of Monday, Justice said, more than 78% of people in the older age group have received at least one dose, while 68.5% have been fully vaccinated.

Demand for vaccines has dipped in recent weeks, with West Virginia Public Broadcasting noting that “most who wanted to be vaccinated have been, and the remaining West Virginians just don’t want the shot, leaving local health officials scrambling to use up their shipments.”

So the state has turned its attention to vaccinating young people, who are now getting infected at noticeably higher rates.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting reported earlier this month that people younger than 20 were accounting for 26% of all cases statewide, compared to 16% over the course of the pandemic. More than 30 school outbreaks had been reported at the time, many tied to extracurricular activities and social events.

Justice said Monday that the state’s 380,000 residents between 16 and 35 are “not taking vaccines as fast as we’d like them to take them.”

“If we really want to move the needle, we’ve got to get our younger people vaccinated,” he added.

Justice’s goal is to get more than 70% of West Virginia’s eligible population vaccinated. He said that if approximately 80% of people in this age group who have not yet gotten the shot choose to do so, the overall statewide vaccination rate will exceed that number.

“If we can get to 70%, we’ll shut this virus down,” he said. “If we do that, the masks go away, the hospitalizations go away, and the deaths become minimal.”

As of Monday, the state’s health department had recorded 151,671 total coronavirus cases and 2,821 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

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Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/04/27/991173625/west-virginia-will-pay-young-people-100-to-get-vaccinated-against-covid-19

Covid19

The FDA Extends The Expiration Date On Johnson & Johnson’s COVID Vaccine To 6 Months

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Federal regulators have approved a longer shelf life for the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Damian Dovarganes/AP hide caption

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Damian Dovarganes/AP

WASHINGTON — Federal health regulators on Wednesday again extended the expiration dates on Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, providing health workers with six more weeks to use millions of doses of the shot.

The Food and Drug Administration said in a letter to J&J that the shots remain safe and effective for at least six months when properly stored and refrigerated. It’s the second time the FDA has extended the shelf life on the vaccines since June, when the agency said they could be used for up to 4 1/2 months. When first authorized in February, the FDA said the vaccines could be stored for three months at normal refrigeration levels.

Health authorities in many states had recently warned that they could be forced to throw out thousands of doses of the one-shot vaccine without an extension.

The change gives health providers more time to use remaining shots sitting at pharmacies, hospitals and clinics. After plateauing earlier this summer, vaccination rates have begun climbing again as the contagious delta variant surges across many parts of the country.

Vaccine expiration dates are based on information from drugmakers on how long the shots stay at the right strength. J&J previously stated that it continues to conduct stability testing with the aim of further extending the shelf life of the shots.

The FDA has been reviewing expiration dates on all three U.S.-authorized vaccines as companies have continued to test batches in the months since the shots first rolled out. Vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, authorized in December, have a six-month shelf life.

J&J’s vaccine was highly anticipated because of its one-and-done formulation and easy-to-ship refrigeration.

But rival drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna, which started shipping shots months earlier, have already supplied more than enough doses to vaccinate all eligible Americans. More than 150 million Americans have been fully vaccinated with the companies’ two-dose shots. By comparison, just 13 million Americans have been vaccinated with the J&J shot.

Use of J&J’s vaccine has been hurt by several rare potential side effects. Earlier this month, U.S. health regulators added a new warning to the vaccine about links to a potentially dangerous neurological reaction called Guillain-Barré syndrome.

That followed a pause in the use of the shot in April after it was linked to a rare blood clot disorder. In both cases, government health advisers said the overall benefits of the shot still greatly outweigh the risks.

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Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/07/28/1021992894/fda-extends-expiration-date-johnson-johnson-covid-vaccine-6-months

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Covid19

The Pentagon Will Require Masks To Be Worn Indoors Even By Those Who Are Vaccinated

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The seal of the Department of Defense. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Defense has issued directions that require anyone inside its facilities to wear a mask, even if they’re vaccinated.

The updated requirement applies to all service members, federal employees, onsite contractors, and visitors, and requires masks to be worn in indoor facilities and installations in areas of “substantial or high transmission,” according to a statement from Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Jamal Brown.

The update rescinds a previous mask guidance, which since May had allowed fully vaccinated Department of Defense personnel to not wear a mask indoors or outdoors.

The new requirement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated mask guidance. The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas with higher COVID-19 transmission, which currently includes military bases in several southern states.

Unvaccinated people within the facility, or those not fully vaccinated, are expected to physically distance themselves.

“All defense personnel should continue to comply with CDC guidance regarding areas where masks should be worn. The Department will review and revise all applicable Force Health Protection guidance to address the new CDC guidelines,” Brown wrote in the statement.

As NPR’s Greg Myre reports, “The military has fared relatively well in combating COVID. Fewer than 30 service members have died from the virus out of an active duty and reserve force totaling more than 2 million.”

Josie Fischels is an intern on NPR’s News Desk.

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Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/07/28/1021925844/the-pentagon-masks-indoors-even-vaccinated-cdc-covid

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Covid19

The Pentagon Will Require Masks To Be Worn Indoors Even By Those Who Are Vaccinated

Published

on

The seal of the Department of Defense. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Defense has issued directions that require anyone inside its facilities to wear a mask, even if they’re vaccinated.

The updated requirement applies to all service members, federal employees, onsite contractors, and visitors, and requires masks to be worn in indoor facilities and installations in areas of “substantial or high transmission,” according to a statement from Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Jamal Brown.

The update rescinds a previous mask guidance, which since May had allowed fully vaccinated Department of Defense personnel to not wear a mask indoors or outdoors.

The new requirement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated mask guidance. The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas with higher COVID-19 transmission, which currently includes military bases in several southern states.

Unvaccinated people within the facility, or those not fully vaccinated, are expected to physically distance themselves.

“All defense personnel should continue to comply with CDC guidance regarding areas where masks should be worn. The Department will review and revise all applicable Force Health Protection guidance to address the new CDC guidelines,” Brown wrote in the statement.

As NPR’s Greg Myre reports, “The military has fared relatively well in combating COVID. Fewer than 30 service members have died from the virus out of an active duty and reserve force totaling more than 2 million.”

Josie Fischels is an intern on NPR’s News Desk.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/07/28/1021925844/the-pentagon-masks-indoors-even-vaccinated-cdc-covid

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Covid19

England And Scotland End Their Coronavirus Quarantine For Vaccinated U.S. Travelers

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People stand in the International Arrivals area at Heathrow Airport in London on Jan. 26. The British government said that starting Monday, fully vaccinated travelers from the United States and much of Europe will be able to enter England without the need for quarantining. Matt Dunham/AP hide caption

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Matt Dunham/AP

LONDON — Fully vaccinated travelers from the United States and much of Europe will be able to enter England and Scotland without quarantining starting next week, U.K. officials said Wednesday — a move welcomed by Britain’s ailing travel industry.

The British government said people who have received both doses of a vaccine approved by the FDA in the U.S. or the European Medicines Agency, which regulates drugs for the European Union and several other countries, will be able to take pre- and post-arrival coronavirus tests instead of self-isolating for 10 days after entering England.

The rule change takes effect at 4 a.m. U.K. time (0300 GMT) on Monday.

The Scottish government, which sets its own health policy, made the same decision. Wales and Northern Ireland haven’t announced what they plan to do.

Only people who have been vaccinated in Britain can currently skip 10 days of quarantine when arriving from most of Europe or North America.

There is one exception to the rule change: France, which the U.K. has dubbed a higher risk because of the presence of the beta variant of the coronavirus. Visitors from France will continue to face quarantine.

Britain’s Health Secretary Sajid Javid speaks to reporters during a visit to a pop-up vaccination site in London on Wednesday. Dominic Lipinski/AP hide caption

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Dominic Lipinski/AP

Heathrow Airport chief executive John Holland-Kaye said the government had made the “right decision.” British Airways also welcomed the moved, but urged the government to go farther and ease restrictions on visitors from more countries.

Claire Walker, co-executive director of the British Chambers of Commerce, said the announcement was “welcome news.”

“The long-term recovery of our entire economy also depends on reopening the U.K. to the two-way flows of people and trade,” she said.

The change hasn’t been universally reciprocated. Some European countries, including Italy, require British visitors to quarantine on arrival. The U.S. this week announced it is keeping a ban on most international visitors, and has advised Americans against travel to the U.K., citing a surge in infections driven by the more contagious delta variant of the virus.

Virgin Atlantic chief executive Shai Weiss urged the U.S. to end its travel ban and for the U.K. to go farther in opening up international travel. Weiss said “a continued overly cautious approach towards international travel will further impact economic recovery and the 500,000 U.K. jobs that are at stake.”

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he expected the U.S. to ease its travel restrictions.

“We can only set the rules at our end,” he said.

“We can’t change that on the other side, but we do expect that in time they will release that executive order, which was actually signed by the previous president, and bans inward travel.”

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/07/28/1021786057/england-scotland-end-coronavirus-quarantine-vaccinated-us

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