The White House announced Wednesday that a dedicated stream of 5 million rapid tests and 5 million lab-based PCR tests will be made available to schools starting this month to ease supply shortages and promote the safe reopening of schools.
Boosters already are recommended for everyone 16 and older. Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration authorized an extra Pfizer shot for kids ages 12 to 15 as well -- but that wasn’t the final hurdle.
The move to keep the existing definition of fully vaccinated — either two doses of the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — comes as health officials warned of waning protections from the initial doses.
The CDC on Tuesday recommended shortening the recommended interval of time between when people who had an initial series of Pfizer vaccinations and when they receive a Pfizer booster shot, from six months to five months.
As the omicron variant rapidly spread across the state leaving hospitals once again overwhelmed, Gov. Eric Holcomb and state health officials met to update the public on how they plan to address the spread and to highlight roadblocks, specifically a shortage in COVID-19 tests, that Hoosiers should be aware of.
During testimony before state lawmakers about vaccine mandates Thursday, an Indiana doctor talked about the stress health care workers are feeling as they battle the pandemic.“We’re going through the fifth wave in less than two years and we’re all tired off it,” Dr. Donald Westerhausen said from the podium.
The new omicron coronavirus mutant speeding around the world may bring another wave of chaos, as it threatens to further stretch hospital workers already struggling with a surge of delta cases and upend holiday plans for the second year in a row.
The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 topped 800,000 on Tuesday, a once-unimaginable figure seen as doubly tragic, given that more than 200,000 of those lives were lost after the vaccine became available practically for the asking last spring.
More U.S. states desperate to defend against COVID-19 are calling on the National Guard and other military personnel to assist. Staff at hospitals and other care centers are being worn down by a rise in virus cases that began before Thanksgiving, especially in some Northeast and Upper Midwest states.
With Indiana’s COVID-19 hospitalizations doubling in the past month, Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb is expressing frustration with what he calls “absurd” reasons some people have for refusing vaccinations.
The court order said that the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid had no clear authority from Congress to enact the vaccine mandate for providers participating in the two government health care programs for the elderly, disabled and poor.
The U.S. government on Friday moved to open up COVID-19 booster shots to all adults, expanding efforts to get ahead of rising coronavirus cases that experts fear could snowball into a winter surge as millions of Americans travel for the holidays.
Pfizer asked the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday to authorize emergency use of the experimental pill, which has been shown to significantly cut the rate of hospitalizations and deaths among people with coronavirus infections.