CDC reconsiders mask guidance; mixing AstraZeneca, Pfizer shots study

Dr. Anthony Fauci says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering revising their COVID-19 guidelines to recommend that even fully vaccinated individuals wear masks in public.

Fauci, the nation’s senior government infectious disease official, told CNN’s State of the Union that he had participated in talks about changing the policy, which he described as “in active consideration.”

In the past two weeks, COVID-19 cases across the country have increased 171%, powered by the Delta variant. The death rate has increased by 19% compared to the previous week.

Eleven weeks ago, when more than 1 million Americans were being vaccinated a day and the number of COVID-19 cases was low, the CDC announced that most fully vaccinated people would no longer have to wear masks, even in crowded rooms.

“There is more damage control to come. Whether it is about masking or closure, or whether your children need to get back to virtual learning, this is coming, ”said Dr. Jerome Adams, former US surgeon general, told CBS “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

“And it’s coming because this pandemic is spiraling out of control again. And it’s getting out of hand because we don’t get enough people vaccinated. “

Los Angeles County and other communities require everyone to wear masks indoors. St. Louis announced that starting Monday, everyone aged 5 and over will be required to wear masks indoors, vaccinated or unvaccinated. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends universal masking in schools.

Around 1.5 million doses were given that weekend, according to the CDC. Sunday’s total of 779,000 represented an increase of 29% of Americans re-vaccinated from the previous week from a 7-day average, said Dr. Cyrus Shahpar, White House COVID-19 Director.

But with 49.1% of the nation fully vaccinated, the US is far from herd immunity, compounded by the rapid spread of the Delta variant, which now accounts for 83% of cases nationwide.

Also on the news:

►According to the Michigan Department and Human Services, at least 17 cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the past month from attendees at the Faster Horses Festival. Some of these people were at the festival while contagious.

►Multiple states, including Florida, Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota, scaled back their coverage of COVID-19 statistics this month as cases skyrocketed across the country and provided the public with real-time information on outbreaks, cases, hospital admissions, and deaths in their communities.

►The Chief of Staff of Chancellor Angela Merkel warned at the weekend that restrictions for unvaccinated people may be necessary if the COVID-19 infection numbers reach new heights in the coming months.

The Tokyo Olympics organizers on Sunday announced 10 new positive tests in people associated with the Games, bringing the total to at least 137, including 16 athletes, the New York Times reported.

📈 Today’s numbers: There have been more than 34.4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 610,800 deaths in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University. The global totals: More than 194 million cases and 4.15 million deaths. More than 163 million Americans – 49.1% of the population – have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

📘What we read: Florida leads the nation in new cases, recording more this week than California, Texas, New York and Illinois combined. And as elsewhere, the unvaccinated make up almost all hospital stays and deaths. But local residents, including many health care workers, are still suspicious of the shot. Continue reading.

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A South Korean study shows AstraZeneca and Pfizer shots increase antibody levels

A South Korean study found evidence of increased antibody levels when people received a mixed schedule of an AstraZeneca vaccine and then the Pfizer vaccine, Reuters reported. The study follows a study from the UK with similar results when mixing AstraZeneca and Pfizer instead of two cans of AstraZeneca.

The FDA has not yet approved the AstraZeneca vaccine in the United States

Public health officials have asked if a “mix and match” vaccine schedule would be safe and effective. It was also asked whether a booster dose is needed for those who received two syringes of Moderna or Pfizer or one syringe of Johnson & Johnson in the US as coronavirus variants spread.

However, Soumya Swaminathan, the chief scientist of the World Health Organization, described the blended approach as a “dangerous trend” earlier this month, adding that it could lead to people choosing for themselves which vaccines to combine and how many doses to receive.

Canada and Thailand have allowed some form of mixing and matching under certain circumstances, but as yet no such combination of vaccines has been authorized in the US

Unvaccinated snow leopard tested positive for COVID at the San Diego Zoo

Humans aren’t the only ones to contract COVID-19 during the surge. An unvaccinated snow leopard at the San Diego Zoo contracted the coronavirus, according to a statement from the zoo.

The 9-year-old snow leopard named Ramil tested positive for the virus Friday after a wildlife care specialist noticed he had a cough and nasal discharge, the statement said.

According to the statement, the snow leopard seems to be doing well with no further symptoms. Ramil shared the same habitat as a female snow leopard and two Amur leopards, which may also have been exposed. They are believed to have been exposed and are currently in quarantine as veterinarians monitor their symptoms.

In January, three gorillas tested positive for COVID at the San Diego Zoo, the first known case in monkeys. The San Diego Zoo announced on July 6th that animals at the zoo and safari park would be receiving COVID-19 vaccines for some of their animals, including wild cats and martens. The doses from Zoetis, a New Jersey-based veterinary drug company, require two vaccines three weeks apart, similar to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

It is not known how Zamil got infected.

– Steven Vargas

“He regrets”: radio host who doubted vaccines hospitalized with COVID, family says

A conservative talk radio host from Tennessee changed his previously skeptical messages about vaccines after being hospitalized with COVID-19, his family said.

Phil Valentine, who posted on social media to prevent his audience from getting vaccinated unless they “threaten to die” from COVID, has been hospitalized in intensive care and is given oxygen but is not on one Ventilator. according to his brother.

Valentine told audience members after he was diagnosed – but before he was hospitalized – that he made a decision not to get a COVID vaccine because he thought he probably wouldn’t die from the disease.

His brother Mark Valentine said on WWTN-FM in Nashville this week that his brother was never an “opponent against Vaxx” but was “pro-information” and “pro-choice” about the vaccine.

“Firstly, he regrets that he has not been more involved in vaccination,” said Mark Valentine. “For those of you listening, I know if he could tell you this he would tell you, ‘Go get vaccinated. Stop worrying about politics. Stop worrying about all the conspiracy theories. ‘”

– Jeanine Santucci

Contributors: Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY; The Associated Press.

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