The FDA Looks at Boosters, States Dispute Mandates, and More Coronavirus News

The FDA rejects vaccine mandates and states disagree with boosters. This is yet another sad milestone for the US. Here's what you need to know:
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A FDA panel examines boosters in the midst of controversy

Today, the US Food and Drug Administration's independent advisory committee will meet to determine if booster doses for the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine are safe and effective sufficient to be recommended for widespread use. After the FDA makes a formal decision and the Centers for Disease Controls independent panel weighs in, it will make a final decision. The FDA released data from Pfizer earlier this week that examined waning immunity and argued for boosters. The debate about whether boosters are ethical or necessary for the general public has been tense. While many people have not received their first doses of vaccines, the World Health Organization and other experts in vaccine policy have criticised the decision to allow third shots for Americans who are healthy. An international group of scientists argued that the move was unnecessary earlier in the week, with two FDA employees stating they would leave the agency, at least partially because they don't agree with the push for boosters.

The FDA amended Thursday its emergency authorization for Eli Lillys anti-inflammatory cocktail. This was previously approved for children 12 years and older who have mild or moderate infections and are at risk of developing severe Covid-19. The FDA now says the drugs can be used to prevent people from being exposed and high-risk, but it stressed that they are not meant to replace vaccination.

Even though vaccine mandates are starting to pay off, they polarize the country.

Soon after the White House released a new set of Covid-19 policies, including vaccine mandates, many states started to voice their opposition to the national directives. Yesterday, 24 attorneys general wrote to President Biden asking him to reverse his decision to require all companies employing more than 100 people to have vaccinations. They also threatened legal action if the president didn't. Biden also met with executives from Microsoft and Disney this week to discuss his plans to make shots more mandatory.

All indications point to the fact that mandates for vaccination are increasing in number around the world. They must be done correctly to achieve the desired result. French health workers had to have received at least one dose by the end of this week. The 3000-plus employees who hadn't received their first dose were fired without pay. Unions raised concerns about disruptions in care. However, the country's health minister stated that care has not been significantly affected. Some people are now opting to be vaccinated, seeing that the mandate is real.

As questions remain about the origins and future Covid-19, the US is marking the pandemics' toll.

This week, the US reached a critical pandemic milestone. Just 19 months after Covid-19 put the US under lockdown, 1 out of 500 Americans died from the disease. A large proportion of deaths are caused by non-white Americans and older Americans. A temporary installation featuring more than 600,000.00 white flags with personalized messages, is located on Washington's National Mall. It symbolizes the devastating effects of the pandemic.

Despite all the destruction caused by the pandemic, we still don't know much about the origins of the disease or its future. A faulty theory that Sars-CoV-2 existed in Italy before it was discovered in Wuhan was recently accepted despite the fact that the evidence is flawed. It is difficult for disease modelers, who have to predict the future of the virus beyond the immediate future because of the evolution in human behavior and public health measures.

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