Governor Slams Door On Federal Vaccine Agents

Governor Doesn’t Want Door-To-Door Vaccine Help

AP – Federal officials are pushing back after Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said he doesn’t want government employees going door-to-door in his state to urge people to get vaccinated, even as a COVID-19 outbreak overwhelms some hospitals.

Missouri asked for help last week from newly formed federal “surge response” teams as it combats an influx of cases that public health officials are blaming on fast-spreading delta variant and deep-seated concerns about the vaccine.

After President Joe Biden mentioned the possibility of door-to-door promotion of the vaccine, Parson tweeted:

“I have directed our health department to let the federal government know that sending government employees or agents door-to-door to compel vaccination would NOT be an effective OR a welcome strategy in Missouri!” (Hollingsworth, 7/8)

In other news about the vaccine rollout —

Politico: HHS Chief Says His Vaccine Comments Are Being Taken ‘Wildly Out Of Context’

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Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra on Thursday sought to clarify his argument that “it is absolutely the government’s business” to know which Americans have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, after facing backlash from Republicans in Congress. In a tweet, the federal government’s top health official said his comments from earlier in the day had been “taken wildly out of context.” (Forgey, 7/8)

Politico: Calls Mount On FDA To Formally Endorse Covid Vaccines As Delta Surges

Pressure is growing for the FDA to grant full approval to the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines — or to at least more clearly explain to the public its decision-making process — to help convince more Americans to get their shots.

Some medical experts have sounded off on social media in recent days, calling on regulators to endorse what they say the data already shows — that the two vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna made with messenger RNA technology safely and effectively prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death from the coronavirus. (Gardner, 7/8)

Axios: Some Clinical Trial Participants Stuck In Coronavirus Vaccine Limbo

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Tens of thousands of Americans who stepped up to help test coronavirus vaccines through clinical trials are now stuck without a standard vaccine card to prove it. State of play: Two vaccine candidates — created by Novavax and AstraZeneca, respectively — have clinical trial data suggesting they’re effective, but have yet to be authorized for use in the U.S. That leaves clinical trial participants in a potentially tough spot. (Caitlin Owens, 7/9)

Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Mississippi Delta Mayor Fights Back Against Low COVID Vaccination Stats

Standing behind the counter of her town’s only store, Mayor Linda Short was adamant her county wasn’t the least vaccinated in the state when it came to COVID-19. “I know they are definitely wrong,” Short said about the vaccine data. “Everyone I know is vaccinated.”

This was June 15, when 15.8% of Issaquena County residents had been fully vaccinated for the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At that point, it was the least vaccinated county in the least vaccinated state in America. (Sanderlin, 7/8)

Charleston Gazette-Mail: Dr. Marsh Urges Vaccinations Before ‘COVID-19 On Steroids’ Hits WV; KCHD Reports First Delta Case

Dr. Clay Marsh warned West Virginians again Thursday that it is a matter of when, not if, the more virulent Delta variant of COVID-19 will hit the state. “This is COVID-19 on steroids,” Marsh said during the state COVID-19 briefing, quoting Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.

Marsh, vice president for health sciences at West Virginia University and the state’s COVID-19 czar, said confirmed cases of the Delta variant in West Virginia are up to 15, although the Department of Health and Human Resources’ COVID-19 dashboard continues to show 12 cases — a number that has not changed in more than a week. (Kabler, 7/8)

And more hospital systems issue vaccine mandates —

AP: Big Idaho Health Care Providers Mandate Staff COVID Vaccines

Three of Idaho’s largest medical care providers announced Thursday that they would require COVID-19 vaccines for eligible employees. The mandates from Primary Health Group, Saint Alphonsus Health System and St. Luke’s Health System are an effort to keep staffers and patients safe ahead of the busy cold and flu season and as coronavirus variants continue to spread in parts of the U.S. (Boone, 7/8)

Modern Healthcare: Trinity Health To Mandate COVID-19 Vaccinations For Workers

All 117,000 employees at the Trinity Health system must get vaccinated against COVID-19 by this fall, the not-for-profit health system announced Thursday. The mandate covers everyone, from clinical staff to contractors to anyone else working in the not-for-profit Catholic system’s 91 hospitals and 113 continuing care locations.

Leaders and new hires will need to be fully vaccinated by Aug. 24, and all other employees will have until Sept. 21. Workers who refuse a vaccine face termination, said Mike Slubowski, president and CEO of Livonia, Michigan-based Trinity Health. The company allows for exceptions on religious or medical grounds. (Christ, 7/8)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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