Nearly 200 Hospital Workers Will Be Fired in Houston If They Don’t Get Vaccinated

Nearly 200 Houston hospital workers will be fired after a two-week suspension if they don’t comply with a vaccine requirement.

Houston Methodist President and CEO Dr. Marc Boom sent an email in April to employees saying that they must receive at least the first dose of the vaccine by June 7, or they would face suspension and termination.

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Miley Cyrus Held Free Pride Month Concert for Vaccinated People Only at the Ryman

fans

Pop star Miley Cyrus held a free Pride Month-themed concert at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Wednesday – but only for vaccinated people. Less than 2,500 people were granted entry; no phones or cameras were allowed.

In order to get a free ticket, fans had to flash their vaccination cards as proof of immunization. Although those in line were likely vaccinated, several still wore masks. Local historian David Ewing documented pictures and video of fans standing in line waiting for their free tickets. It appears from the video that the line wrapped around the building and down Commerce Street. 

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California Offering Awards Totaling $116.5M to Get Vaxxed

COVID Vaccine sticker

Governor Newsom announced Thursday a $116.5 million vaccine incentive program including $1.5 million in cash prizes to encourage Californians to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

California follows other states in offering big vaccine incentive payouts, New York is giving out scratch-off tickets for the chance to win up to $5 million, according to Politico.

“California has already made incredible progress in the fight against COVID-19, with the lowest case rates in the country while administering millions more vaccines than any other state,” Newsom said in a release. “But we aren’t stopping there, we’re doing everything it takes to get Californians vaccinated as we approach June 15 to help us fully reopen safely.”

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Minnesota to End Statewide Mask Mandate Friday

Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday announced the end of Minnesota’s statewide mask requirement starting Friday, aligning Minnesota with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on face coverings.

“So, those peacetime emergencies are done and the business mitigations are coming to an end. I want to be clear it’s not the end of the pandemic, but it is the end of the pandemic for a  lot of vaccinated folks,” he told reporters.

Minnesotans who aren’t fully vaccinated are strongly recommended to wear face coverings indoors.

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Florida Takes Feds to Court Over Cruise Ship Restrictions

Cruise ship next to dock

The state of Florida will argue before a federal judge Wednesday that the federal government should not be allowed to interfere with the cruise ship industry, which seeks to get back on its feet after the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent lockdowns. 

“Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, filed the lawsuit last month challenging restrictions imposed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and pointing to the economic impact on the state,” according to a CBS Miami report. “Moody’s office is seeking a preliminary injunction based, in part, on arguments that the CDC overstepped its legal authority in imposing the restrictions.”

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Illegal Immigrants Repeatedly Denied COVID-19 Vaccine in Florida: Report

COVID Vaccine

Undocumented immigrants in Florida have been routinely denied access to the COVID-19 vaccine, the Miami Herald reported Thursday.

A valid Florida driver’s license or government-issued I.D., utility bill or rental agreement is required to receive the vaccine, the Herald reported. Other undocumented immigrants who worked as essential workers across the U.S. haven’t been able to receive the vaccine, though some local governments are advocating for other proofs of residency so they will have access.

“What we feel is that they don’t want immigrants vaccinated,” Doris Mejia, an undocumented immigrant living in Florida told the Herald. “They see us as less, yet we work the most.”

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Walz Hits Goal of 70 Percent Seniors Getting First COVID-19 Vaccination, Expands Eligibility to 1.8 Million Minnesotans

On Tuesday, Gov. Tim Walz announced Minnesota is expanding vaccine eligibility after reaching its goal of vaccinating 70% of Minnesotan’s seniors.

The state will expand eligibility to the next two phases of Minnesotans, starting Wednesday.

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Company Hired to Oversee Vaccine Operations Staffed with Former Minnesota DFL Operatives, Congressman Alleges

An out-of-state company tasked with overseeing Minnesota’s vaccine and testing operations received millions of dollars in CARES Act funds from the state while hiring former DFL operatives and candidates, a congressman has alleged.

U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn has drawn attention to his former opponent’s alleged involvement in “possible corruption” and “special favors” in a series of statements.

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If a Person Had COVID, One Dose of the Pfizer Vaccine May Be Enough, Studies Suggest

A single dose of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine may offer sufficient protection against the virus for people who have already had COVID-19, two studies show.

“This could potentially accelerate vaccine rollout,” researchers at University College of London and Public Health England said in the first study. “With increasing variants, wider coverage without compromising vaccine-induced immunity could help reduce variant emergence.”

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Johnson & Johnson’s Coronavirus Vaccine Offers Strong Protection, Reduces Spread, FDA Analysis Finds

Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine is effective in preventing severe and fatal coronavirus cases, and may reduce the virus’s transmission among vaccinated people, the FDA said in new analyses Wednesday.

The drug maker announced in January that its vaccine was 72% effective against the virus in the United States and 64% effective in South Africa, where a mutated, more transmissible strain has become dominant. Its vaccine was 86% effective in preventing severe virus cases in the U.S., meaning that a vaccinated individual is at a far smaller risk of being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19.

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More Than 1,300 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Expire in Shelby County

Around 1,315 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine scheduled to be administered in Shelby County expired as winter weather closed vaccination sites this week, the Shelby County Health Department announced Friday.

Health Department Director Alisa Haushalter said the health department was not informed the doses were about to expire. The department contracts with a pharmacy, and the pharmacist is responsible for managing the vaccine and thawing doses in the appropriate timeline for use. The vaccine spoilage was first reported by the Commercial Appeal.

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Johnson & Johnson Files for Emergency Authorization for Its Coronavirus Vaccine

Johnson & Johnson filed for emergency use authorization from the FDA on Thursday for its coronavirus vaccine.

The drug maker’s application followed its announcement that its vaccine was 72% effective in combating the virus. Although that’s slightly lower than Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, Johnson & Johnson’s requires one dose instead of two.

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Senator: Seniors Account for 90 Percent of Minnesota Deaths, Allocated 25 Percent of Vaccine Doses

Gov. Tim Walz announced a plan Monday to get more COVID-19 vaccine doses into the arms of senior citizens, but some Republican senators think the proposal comes up short.

State Sen. Karin Housley, R-Stillwater, chair of the Senate’s Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care, called a press conference Monday to unveil her “seniors first” vaccine plan.

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Johnson & Johnson’s Coronavirus Vaccine Is 72 Percent Effective, But Offers Weaker Protection Against New Strains

Johnson & Johnson announced on Friday that its coronavirus vaccine was 72% effective in combating COVID-19, but only 57% effective against a novel South African strain.

While slightly less effective than Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, which were both approved by the FDA in December, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines provides significant distribution advantages that could be crucial in the nation’s fight against the virus. Unlike Pfizer and Moderna, Pfizer’s vaccine is just one shot, and can be stored in refrigerators instead of freezers.

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Commentary: Five Ways Hospitals Can Help Fix Vaccine Rollout Debacle

Hospitals have come under sharp criticism for their part in the chaotic COVID-19 vaccine rollout. That’s because in the rush to get the vaccine out quickly, many hospitals were shipped more vaccine than anticipated and fewer staff took it than anticipated. As a result, hospitals accrued a vaccine surplus and offered it to their low-risk grad students and young administrative staff working from home and are now scrambling to figure out what to do with the rest. The answer should be simple: give it to older members of your community, but a recent letter from the American Hospital Association cited a number of important barriers to effective vaccine distribution including a lack of coordination and guidance from federal, state, and local governments. 

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Trader Joe’s, Instacart, Dollar General Will Pay Workers to Get Vaccinated

Trader Joe’s is the latest business offering financial incentives to encourage their workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The grocery chain said Thursday it will give employees two hours of pay per dose for getting the vaccine. The Monrovia, California based company said it will also shift around schedules to make sure employees have time to get vaccinated, according USA Today.

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HHS Expected to Recommend Vaccine Distribution Extended to Elderly

The Trump administration is expected to alter its coronavirus vaccine distribution guidance, recommending that people aged 65 and older are made eligible to be inoculated, The New York Times reported.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense are expected to announce the new guidance at a noon press conference, an anonymous official briefed on the announcement told the Times. The change to the recommendations is intended to quicken the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine, which has been far behind pace.

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Feds OK Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s Request to Release Reserve COVID-19 Vaccines; State Ranks 38th in Dose Administration

On Tuesday, The federal government granted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s and other states governors’ request to release reserve COVID-19 doses being held back to ensure second doses of the vaccine are available.

Whitmer has blamed the federal government for the state’s slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

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Victor Davis Hanson Commentary: If You Thought 2020 Was Hard, Wait Until You Get a Load of 2021

The proper conservative response to last Wednesday’s violent entry into the Capitol and vandalism, as well as assaults on law-enforcement, is to identify the guilty parties and ensure they are arrested.

Such deterrence will prevent any future devolution from legal popular protests into thuggery. No constitutional republic can tolerate its iconic heart stormed, breached, and defiled.

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Michigan Facing Slow, but Improving COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

After months of waiting, the COVID-19 vaccine is out, but a labyrinth lies ahead to get vaccines from the federal government into the arms of Michiganders.

Many of the vaccines were created and approved in less than a year, but it’s unclear how long it will take to immunize all 10 million Michigan residents.

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Pfizer Vaccine Effective Against Contagious Coronavirus Strain, Study Shows

The vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech protects against a highly contagious strain of coronavirus that originated in South Africa and the U.K., according to a study published Thursday.

The study, which was commissioned by Pfizer, is likely to alleviate some fears that the virus variant would evade protections offered by the vaccine.

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Rollout Leaves More Than 70 Percent of COVID-19 Vaccines Unused

More than 70 percent of COVID-19 vaccines have gone unused, still sitting in freezers US health officials said on Monday.

In Daytona Beach, hundreds of senior citizens camped out in their vehicles in chilly overnight temperatures in the low 40s to secure a place in a vaccination line Tuesday morning, a day after seniors jammed the roads to the vaccination site,  NBC Miami reported.

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Michiganders Ages 65 and Older, Frontline Workers, and Educators Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine Starting Monday

Michigan officials announced Wednesday the state will start to vaccinate a broader group of people starting Monday.

That includes Michiganders age 65 and older, frontline workers including police officers, first responders, jail and prison staff, and PreK-12 teachers and childcare providers.

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Millions of COVID-19 Vaccines Have Yet to Be Used Since First U.S. Distribution

Over 9 million COVID-19 vaccines have yet to be administered in the U.S. since they were initially distributed on Dec. 13, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the 12,409,050 doses of the vaccines that have been distributed, only 2,794,588 have been administered as of Wednesday morning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Ohio Moves Up School Employees for Vaccines to Get Students Back in Classrooms

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine plans to offer vaccines to all schools in the state that want it by mid-January in an effort to get children back to in-person learning in districts that want to return.

At his regular news conference Wednesday, DeWine announced new phases of vaccine distribution that included adults in school districts, those 64 years old and older, along with those with severe medical conditions.

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CDC Says More Than a Million Americans Have Been Vaccinated for COVID-19

More than a million Americans have received the first round of vaccinations for the coronavirus as of Wednesday at 9 a.m., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced.

Over nine million coronavirus doses have been distributed and 1,008,025 doses have been administered, according to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker.

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BioNTech CEO ‘Confident’ That Coronavirus Vaccine Is Effective Against New European Strain

The CEO of BioNTech, the German drug maker who partnered with Pfizer in developing the world’s first approved coronavirus vaccine, said that he was “confident” it will be effective against a mutated strain of the virus found in the United Kingdom.

“The likelihood that our vaccine works… is relatively high,” Uğur Şahin told reporters during a Tuesday press conference, explaining that the mutated strain still shares approximately 99% of the original strain’s spike protein.

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Pelosi Claims ‘Faith-Oriented’ Lawmakers Say They ‘Don’t Believe in Science’

Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Monday that “faith-oriented” people in Congress have told her they “don’t believe in science.”

The California Democrat spoke Monday on the house floor where she discussed coronavirus relief and the recently approved vaccines, accusing the White House of spreading “quackery” notions of herd immunity.

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Coronavirus Vaccines Can Guard Against New, More Contagious UK Strain, Experts Say

The two coronavirus vaccines that have been approved for emergency use authorization in the U.S. will be able to combat a new, more contagious strain of the virus in the U.K., experts said Monday.

Vaccines made by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna will be effective against the new strain, which is “very similar” to previous strains at the genetic level, University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation affiliate assistant professor Vin Gupta told CNBC. The Food and Drug Administration has approved both vaccines for emergency use authorization after large-scale human trials showed efficacy of more than 90%.

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