The Latest: Russia Again Sets Record for Daily Virus Deaths
MOSCOW – Coronavirus deaths in Russia hit a record for the third time this month, and cases topped 25,000 per day, as vaccination rates in the country remain low.
The Russian state coronavirus task force reported 25,110 cases on Tuesday and 895 deaths.
Authorities blamed the low use of vaccines. Only 33% of Russia’s 146 million people have received at least one injection of a coronavirus vaccine and only 27% have been fully vaccinated.
Russia’s vast, yet severely underfunded health care system has started to show signs of being overwhelmed by the epidemic. Russian media reported that long lines of ambulances were once again forming outside hospitals in St. Petersburg, the country’s second city. The Kremlin has said it is not considering a nationwide lockdown or other nationwide measures despite the push.
Some areas of Russia have limited attendance at mass events and restricted access to certain public places, such as theaters, cinemas, restaurants and bars, to those who are vaccinated, have recently recovered from COVID-19, or have recently tested negative. Critics argue that these measures are not enough to slow the surge.
MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:
– J&J Seeks US Clearance For COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Doses
– AstraZeneca asks FDA to clear COVID antibody treatment
– Russia hit record virus deaths for third time this month
See all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS:
NEW YORK – A COVID-19 vaccine requirement for teachers and other staff has gone into effect in the New York City public school system, which has more than one million students.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said 95% of the city’s approximately 148,000 public school staff received at least one dose of the vaccine on Monday. The country’s largest school system is one of the first in the country to require vaccines for all of its staff. A similar mandate is expected to go into effect in Los Angeles on October 15.
Some 43,000 doses have been administered since the warrant was announced on Aug. 23, de Blasio said.
Immunization rates increased in all classes of school jobs after the mandate was announced. District Council 37 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, which represents some 20,000 employees of the city’s Department of Education, said 93 percent of those workers provided proof of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday, up from 68% in early September.
Roxanne Rizzi, who teaches at a Queens elementary school, waited until Friday to have her first injection. The 55-year-old had resisted the vaccine because she contracted the coronavirus in November and believed natural immunity would protect her. She says she got it “for my family’s finances”.
The CDC says people should get vaccinated even if they have already been infected with the virus. The agency says COVID-19 vaccines offer better protection than natural immunity and help prevent getting infected again.
BUCHAREST, Romania – Romania has reached a record high of more than 15,000 daily cases of coronavirus as the country’s intensive care units reach capacity.
Romania had 1,000 daily cases last month. But it recorded 15,037 new infections on Tuesday, nearly 3,000 more cases than its previous record.
The increase prompted authorities on Monday to suspend elective medical treatment for 30 days in an attempt to ease pressure on hospitals. Raed Arafat, the head of the Romanian Emergency Department, said: “We do not see a trend of peaking or falling yet.
Romania is the second least vaccinated country in the European Union, with only 33% of adults fully vaccinated. It has recorded more than 37,000 confirmed deaths since the start of the pandemic.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark – The Norwegian government has recommended that people over the age of 85 and residents of nursing homes receive a third injection six months after receiving the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
Health Minister Bent Hoeie said the Pfizer vaccine should be given and that 75 to 84 and 65 to 74 year olds should be next on the list.
The announcement came after the Scandinavian country said it would offer people with severely weakened immune systems a third dose of the vaccine. This group includes patients with immunodeficiency diseases, organ transplants and cancer patients.
WASHINGTON – Johnson & Johnson has asked U.S. regulators to allow booster shots of its COVID-19 vaccine as the U.S. government prepares to step up protection in more Americans vaccinated.
J&J says it has filed data with the Food and Drug Administration on giving a booster dose two to six months after vaccination. Last month, the US government authorized booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine in vulnerable groups.
A panel of FDA advisers is meeting next week to review recalls for the J&J and Moderna vaccines. This is part of a massive effort by the Biden administration to bolster protection against the delta variant and the potential decrease in vaccine strength.
The FDA is convening its group of external advisers next week to review recall data from J&J and Moderna. This is the first step in a review process that also includes approval from the leadership of the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If both agencies give the green light, Americans could start getting J&J and Moderna boosters later this month.
LONDON – Officials at drug maker AstraZeneca have asked the United States Food and Drug Administration to allow the emergency use of antibody therapy to prevent COVID-19.
The company says the treatment, known as AZD7442, will be the first long-acting antibody combination to receive emergency use authorization for the prevention of COVID-19. AstraZeneca says the drug may help protect people whose immune systems are not fully responding to vaccination.
U.S. demand for antibody treatments skyrocketed over the summer, especially in Florida, Louisiana and Texas, where hospital admissions of unvaccinated patients threatened to overwhelm the healthcare system.
Medicines are laboratory versions of antibodies that block viruses that help fight infections. The treatments help the patient by providing concentrated doses. The main antibody therapy used in the United States is the Regeneron Double Antibody Cocktail.