Texas Gov. Abbott Bans Vaccine Mandates Statewide Despite FDA Approval

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday banned government-issued vaccine mandates despite the Food and Drug Administration’s recent approval of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine.

Abbott’s executive order applies to all government-run entities with the exception of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. “Vaccine requirements and exemptions have historically been determined by the legislature, and their involvement is particularly important to avoid a patchwork of vaccine mandates across Texas,” Abbott said in an accompanying statement.

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Vaccines Protect Against Multiple Variants, Additional Studies Suggest

Doctor with mask on holding COVID-19 Vaccine

The Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines are highly effective against and prevent illness from common variants of the virus, according to recently released studies.

The vaccine made by Pfizer is effective against the coronavirus variants that originated from the U.K. and South Africa, according to multiple studies released Wednesday that examined real-world vaccinations, The New York Times reported. Moderna reported that an early-stage trial suggested its vaccine is effective against the South African variant and a third variant originating from Brazil when given as a single-dose booster shot.

“At this point in time, we can confidently say that we can use this vaccine, even in the presence of circulating variants of concern,” London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine infectious disease researcher Annelies Wilder-Smith told the NYT.

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Pfizer Says Its Vaccine Significantly Halts COVID-19’s Spread, Effective Against UK Variant

Pfizer said Wednesday that real-world data suggests its coronavirus vaccine is 94% effective in halting asymptomatic infections and effective against a highly transmissible variant first discovered in the United Kingdom.

Israeli analysis of vaccine distribution shows the vaccine being over 97% effective in preventing symptomatic cases and death, higher than the 90% efficiency that was reported in the vaccine’s Phase III trials, Pfizer said in a press release Thursday. Over 80% of the tested specimens were against the UK variant known as B.1.1.7.

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Virginia Gov. Northam Relaxes More Outdoor COVID-19 Restrictions, Announces Vaccine Progress

As warmer weather starts to tempt Virginians out of their COVID caves, Governor Ralph Northam announced another round of relaxed restrictions on outdoor activities, effective March 1. On Wednesday, Northam amended Executive Order 72 to allow up to 25 people at outdoor social gatherings, allows outdoor venues to have the lesser of either 1,000 people or 30 percent of their capacity, allows overnight summer camps to begin operations on May 1, and extends alcohol sales curfews until midnight, when restaurants must still close.

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Gov. DeWine Releases First-Round Shot Schedule for Ohio Schools

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Michael DeWine (R) announced on Friday the vaccination schedule for Ohio K-12 schools – public, private and career-tech.

DeWine’s administration identified school personnel required for in-person learning and laid out a four-week schedule for those eligible to receive their first jab containing one of the vaccines the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted authorization for emergency use – Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

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Ohio Governor DeWine Delivers Update on State Response to COVID

Governor DeWine held a 90-minute briefing during which Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff contributed.

The following information was relayed by the trio during the Tuesday session.

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Host Leahy and All Star Panelist Clint Brewer Ponder the Hierarchical Release of the COVID Vaccine

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Clint Brewer to the studio to speculate to whom the first round of COVID vaccines will go to and when it will be available to the general public thereafter.

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Virginia to Receive Over 100,000 Fewer COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Than Anticipated

Virginia is now expected to receive just under 110,000 fewer COVID-19 vaccine doses from the federal government than originally anticipated.

Operation Warp Speed, the government’s vaccination program, informed the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) late Thursday night, and now the state is preparing to get 370,650 vaccine doses by the end of December instead of the initial 480,000 projection, according to a press release.

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