Researchers believe federal data underestimated the effects of COVID-19 on nursing homes last year, according to researchers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not released official numbers. They are missing approximately 12% of COVID deaths among nursing home residents and 14% for those who die. This is according to estimates by a Harvard researcher with her team, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open.
This translates into thousands of missing data points. It suggests that more than 118.300 residents of nursing homes died from COVID-19 in 2013, or around 30% of all deaths due to coronaviruses nationally.
Researchers attributed the data gaps to the fact that the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services did not require nursing homes to report deaths and cases until May 2020. This was well into the pandemic. New estimates are based on data from states that required more detailed reporting.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has increased COVID-19 vaccination requirements for federal workers. He is trying to increase vaccinations and curb the surge in delta variants that are killing thousands of people each week and jeopardizing America’s economic health.
According to someone familiar with the plans who spoke under anonymity, this is what they said. Biden signed an executive order that requires vaccinations for federal employees and contractors. This is in advance of Thursday’s speech, in which Biden will outline a six-pronged plan for addressing the recent rise in coronavirus infections and slowing COVID-19 shot rates.
Biden encouraged COVID-19 vaccinations in schools, workplaces, and on university campuses. The White House hopes that the federal mandate will be strengthened and encourage more businesses to do so.
–By Zeke Miller
NAIROBI (Kenya) — To combat COVID-19, the director of Africa at the World Health Organization says that “we will receive 25% less doses than what we had anticipated by the end”
Matshidiso Mottei, a COVAX representative, stated that the facility delivered more than 5 million vaccine doses to African nations in the last week. However, Matshidiso Moeti said, “Three times as many doses have been thrown out in the United States alone since March.”
Moeti made these comments to reporters as the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that only 3% of Africans have been fully vaccinated.
Moeti stated that “every dose is precious.” This pandemic could be stopped if countries and companies prioritize vaccine equity.
Officials from Africa’s health sector are shocked by Wednesday’s announcement by the global COVAX effort, which distributes vaccines to low and middle-income countries. The program will provide approximately 1.4 billion doses by the end of the year, compared to the 1.8 billion expected.
Moeti stated that this revision is due in part to the prioritization bilateral deals over international solidarity. Also, alarm has been raised by the introduction of booster shots from some wealthy countries. Officials from WHO claim that the WHO target of 10% Africans being vaccinated by the end this month has been missed. The goal is to have 40% of Africans vaccinated by the end the year.
Moeti reported that there was a drop of almost 25% in Africa’s new cases last week. This is the “stretchedest drop in eight months since July’s peak.”
AMSTERDAM — By the end of this year, the European Medicines Agency will decide whether four additional coronavirus vaccines (including those made by Russia and China) should be approved across Europe.
Dr. Marco Cavaleri is the head of vaccines strategy at the agency. He said that the regulator was currently reviewing the results of the vaccines created by Novavax and CureVac. Officials from the agency plan to meet with Novavax and CureVac representatives “in the next weeks”.
CureVac had reported earlier this year that its vaccine was less effective than 50%, while Novavax claimed its shot was approximately 90% effective. Novavax stated that it will seek approval in developing countries first, rather than focusing on the U.S. or EU markets.
Cavaleri states that talks with Russian and Chinese producers of vaccines were “constructive,” but that more data is needed.
PARIS — France granted citizenship to over 12,000 French health care workers, grocery cashiers, and other essential workers during the pandemic.
One year ago, the government offered an accelerated citizenship process to front-line workers in the midst of the virus crisis. Marlene Schiappa (minister in charge of citizenship) announced the results on Thursday.
She stated that 12,012 of the 16,381 applicants “have become French,” in a statement.
She said, “Health workers and security workers, childcare workers cashiers, home help workers, caregivers, cleaning workers, health workers, security workers, and cleaners… The Republic is proud to welcome these new French citizens.”
France implemented a strict lockdown in the early 2020s and more mild confinement measures later to contain outbreaks. Since the government increased vaccinations, infections and hospitalizations have declined in recent weeks.
TOKYO — Japan has declared a coronavirus emergency in Tokyo, 18 other areas and the rest of Japan until September 31st. The situation is a result of severe strain on Japan’s health care system.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Sauga stated that serious cases are still high and overwhelm many hospitals. Despite prolonged emergencies, the mostly voluntary measures have been less effective because the exhausted public is more likely to ignore them.
The extension is for a period of transition in Japan’s government. Suga announced that he will not run in the Sept. 29 election for his party’s leadership. His successor in that race is likely to be the next prime minster. His handling of the virus has drawn sharp criticism from his government.
Nishimura estimates that 49% of the population has received inoculations. The rate is expected to rise to 60% by September’s end.
NEW YORK — United Airlines claims that more than half of its employees who were not vaccinated last month have received the shots after the airline announced that proof of vaccination will be required.
The airline has released rules regarding its requirement that all employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 no later than September 30th. United officials have announced that employees who are exempted from the requirement to be vaccinated due to religious or medical reasons will be put on unpaid leave in October. Employees who refuse to receive shots after their exemption requests are denied will be fired.
United cites “dire” statistics regarding the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States to explain its new policy.
WASHINGTON — Joe Biden, President of the United States, will present a six-pronged federal plan to increase COVID-19 vaccinations as well as curb the rising delta variant coronavirus which is threatening the nation’s economic recovery and killing thousands each week.
According to the White House, Biden’s speech on Thursday afternoon will encourage people not yet vaccinated and advocate for new ways to protect them. Biden will also advocate safe school openings, new ways to increase testing, and mask requirements. He will also emphasize the need to increase economic recovery and to improve treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, says Biden will promote vaccine mandates in schools and workforces.
She stated that she believes increasing vaccinations will prevent the spread of the pandemic. It will also control the pandemic and return people to their normal lives. This is our goal. We want to be clear about what we are trying to accomplish.”
MANILA, Philippines — COVID-19 patients are filling Philippine hospitals to capacity. Officials say that the coronavirus has infected nearly 100 children and an orphanage.
Joy Belmonte, Quezon City Mayor, said that the outbreak at the orphanage could be prevented and that the children could have been spared from the potentially life-threatening effects of COVID if minimum health standards were adhered to.
The mayor announced that 99 of the 122 infected are under 18 years old, and the remaining are staff at the Gentlehands Orphanage. The virus was apparently spread by an adult infected with the virus, but who didn’t show symptoms, who visited the orphanage in Manila.
The Philippines reported 12,751 cases and 174 deaths Wednesday. This brings the total to 2.1 million cases with 34,672 confirmed dead.
SYDNEY — Australia’s New South Wales state will be released from lockdown Saturday. The government plans to lift restrictions in Sydney after 70% of its residents, aged 16 or older, are fully vaccinated.
On Thursday, the government presented plans to loosen restrictions in Sydney which have been in place since June. However, it warned that COVID-19 hospitalizations will not stop until next month.
The statewide lockdown will be lifted Saturday for the coastal areas north of Sydney, Murrumbidgee south of the city, and Riverina to its west.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that Australia’s largest state will be freed from lockdown as vaccine rates rise. New South Wales has 43% of its population fully vaccinated.
HONOLULU — Hawaii has launched a program that allows people to use their smartphones to prove they are vaccinated against coronavirus.
This move is made just before Honolulu, Maui and other states begin to require vaccinations for customers of restaurants and other businesses.
Officials from the state say that anyone who has been vaccinated in Hawaii can upload a picture of their paper vaccine card to the Safe Travels Hawaii website and create a digital record. The website will verify the information against data from the state’s vaccination database.
In lieu of a paper vaccination card, diners can show their record to restaurants.
WELLINGTON (New Zealand) — New Zealand has purchased an additional 250,000 doses from Spain of the Pfizer vaccine to help keep its vaccination rates high during the coronavirus outbreak in Auckland.
Prime Minister Jacinda ardern has confirmed that the doses will arrive Friday, and she also has a second, bigger deal with another country.
Although New Zealand took a while to get its vaccination program up and running, it has been steadily catching up with other developed countries since the beginning of the epidemic of the delta variant. Around 55% of New Zealanders received at least one dose.
The number of new daily community cases has been declining and was down to 13 on Thursday. The outbreak remains under strict control in Auckland, and authorities are working to eradicate it completely.