FINANCIAL TIMES – Covid-19 infections in England have fallen the most since late April while the UK as a whole reported a 15 per cent slide, the latest weekly report has revealed.
Infections dropped 16 per cent to about 925,400 people in the week ending November 6, compared with the previous seven-day stretch when England registered more than 1.1m infections, and follow several weeks of falling daily caseloads.
England’s figures brought the UK total to 1,077,100 in the same week. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland also recorded a decline, the ONS report said … READ MORE.
KHN Morning Briefing – Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
SUMMARIES OF THE NEWS: VACCINES
California, Colorado Leapfrog Feds And Allow Boosters For Any Adult
Health officials in both states say that all who are 18 or over are eligible to get an additional booster dose of the covid vaccine, though the CDC and FDA have not yet authorized those broader guidelines.
NPR: All California Adults Can Receive A COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot
All fully vaccinated adults in California seeking a COVID-19 booster shot should be eligible to get one, California Department of Public Health officials say. In a letter Thursday, officials directed health care providers not to deny booster shots to adult patients. The announcement opened up booster shot eligibility to millions of residents across the state. (Franklin, 11/11)
Los Angeles Times: No Eligible Californian Should Be Denied Booster, Officials Say
No fully vaccinated adult should be denied a COVID-19 booster shot, the California Department of Public Health says. The move comes as health authorities are trying to increase the number of Californians getting the booster shots, fearing that slow early demand could increase the chances of another winter coronavirus wave. “Do not turn a patient away who is requesting a booster,” Dr. Tómas Aragón, the state health officer and public health director, wrote in a letter. Booster patients must be adults, and at least two months must have passed since receiving a Johnson & Johnson vaccine or six months since getting the second dose of the two-shot Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccination series. (Lin II and Money, 11/11)
Denver Post: All Adults In Colorado Eligible For Booster Shots, Gov. Jared Polis Declares
Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order Thursday declaring all of Colorado to be at high risk from COVID-19, thereby making all adults eligible to receive vaccine booster shots. This comes ahead of approval by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Pfizer and Moderna boosters for all fully vaccinated adults, following a six-month wait time. State public health officials have argued they’re in line with the agency’s guidance, which allows third shots for people living or working in high-risk settings. The order is meant to help protect public health, reduce virus transmission, preserve hospital capacity and alleviate the stress on health care workers from the COVID-19 pandemic in Colorado, the governor’s office said in a news release. (Shapiro, 11/11)
The Biden administration also addresses booster shots —
The Washington Post: Top Biden Health Officials Push To Make Coronavirus Booster Shots Available To All Adults
Anxious about a surge of coronavirus infections enveloping Europe as cases tick up in the United States, senior health officials in the Biden administration are pressing urgently to offer vaccine booster shots to all adults. But support for the renewed push is not unanimous. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky has expressed caution about making extra shots so broadly available now, according to several officials familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. As a result, tension is rising among officials over how quickly to proceed and who should get the shots. (McGinley, Sun and Pager, 11/11)
And where booster shots are most popular is revealed —
The Washington Post: Booster Shots Are Most Popular In Poorly Vaccinated States Where Coronavirus Rages
Several northern, mostly rural states that are battling coronavirus surges with few mask mandates and low vaccine rates are now leading the nation on another preventive front: booster shots. The rate at which fully vaccinated residents are getting the shots is highest in the states that also have high rates of new coronavirus cases, including Alaska, North Dakota and Montana, according to a review of state data by The Washington Post. In swaths of the country where health officials will not impose mask and vaccine mandates to curb the virus’s spread, or have had their powers stripped away by Republican state lawmakers or governors, boosters are one of the few shields left for those worried about contracting and spreading the virus. (Keating, Nirappil and Shepherd, 11/11)
Moderna Says Vaccine Benefits Outweigh Risk Of Rare Heart Conditions
A Moderna executive answered questions about the company’s vaccine. In other vaccine news, AstraZeneca is now pricing its vaccines to make a profit. And an at-home covid test is recalled by the FDA for too many false positive results.
Bloomberg: Moderna Defends Covid Shot As Questions On Heart Risks Mount
Moderna Inc. held a brief conference call to defend the safety of its Covid-19 shot from a barrage of questions about associated heart risks in young people. Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton acknowledged on the call that the company’s vaccine does appear linked to increased chances of an inflammatory heart condition known as myocarditis in young men. Moderna maintains that the shot’s benefits continue to outweigh the extremely rare risk of myocarditis, he said Thursday. (Griffin, 11/11) … READ MORE.