Coronavirus briefing: what happened today

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Coronavirus briefing: what happened today

The FDA aims to authorize a booster dose of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for all adults as early as Thursday, according to people familiar with the agency’s plans.

If both the FDA and CDC sign off this week, any adult who received a second vaccine at least six months ago will be eligible for a booster later this week. But some states are not waiting.

Arkansas, Colorado, California and New Mexico have expanded eligibility to all adults, and officials in New York and West Virginia have also encouraged all adults to receive a booster. Yesterday New York City became one of the first major cities to tell all adults that they can get another shot if they want.

States and cities are leading the way as the country faces a spurt in coronavirus cases and experts have warned of a possible surge this winter. The US reported nearly 85,000 new cases yesterday, up 14 percent from two weeks ago, although deaths and hospitalizations have come down.

A growing body of research has shown that the effectiveness of vaccines against infection declines over time. Nevertheless, the general consensus in the scientific community is that all vaccines provide strong protection against serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. Some experts have even argued that the protection is so good, most Americans don’t need booster shots.

The question of whether you should get one can invite some complicated ethical questions, such as from Miriam in New York, who recently wrote to Kwame Anthony Appia, the ethicist of The New York Times Magazine.

A public school teacher, 49-year-old Miriam wanted to know if she should get a booster shot, even though she was quite healthy on a sabbatical. “I look forward to saving myself as well as those around me, but I’m not sure getting a booster will prevent someone in need from getting one,” she wrote.

Kwame replied: “Get the booster. There’s a fair rule in place, and under that rule, you’re eligible. Given the wide availability of the vaccine here, you won’t deprive someone of much need for it. And many more.” People who need you less – including younger, healthier teachers in their 20s – may be getting boosters. I can’t help adding that your letter presents a painful paradox: while some may skip the jab Because they care too much about the larger community, others give up getting vaccinated because they don’t care enough.”

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According to people familiar with the agreement, the company plans to pay more than $5 billion for Pfizer’s stockpile of the new COVID pill, enough for about 10 million courses of treatment, once production begins next year. .

Pfizer said today that it has applied to the FDA to authorize the drug to treat COVID-19 in people who are at high risk of becoming seriously ill. The drug, which will be sold under the brand name Paxlovid, could be available within weeks, if allowed. It is meant to be distributed by pharmacies and taken at home.

Pfizer also announced today that it has reached an agreement to allow other manufacturers to manufacture and sell the pill cheaply for use in 95 developing countries, mostly in Africa and Asia.

In a major clinical trial, Paxlovid was found to rapidly reduce the risk of hospitalization or death when given to high-risk non-vaccinated volunteers soon after they started showing symptoms. It appears to be more effective than a similar offering from Merck, known as molanupiravir, which could be authorized as early as December.

Pfizer’s drug is designed to stop the coronavirus from replicating by blocking a key enzyme that the coronavirus uses to replicate itself inside cells. Merck’s pill works differently by inserting errors into the virus’s genetic code – a mechanism that has raised concern among some scientists. They worry that Merck’s drug may trigger a genetic mutation that causes reproductive impairment. That difference could give Pfizer’s bullet an advantage.

As more companies reopen offices and adjust to hybrid work – with people both at home and in the office – some are considering it a smooth transition.

Some companies seem to have used delays in return-to-office plans to avoid questions about how to balance the needs of their remote and in-person employees. The result, writes my colleague Emma Goldberg, is a murky middle ground that questions whether hybrid setups are sustainable, even with all the benefits they offer.

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Remote workers, for example, may feel less cut, and it’s not hard to imagine why. They can be muted into heated discussions or thrown out of lunchtime bonding. But in person employees may feel neglected, in some cases forced to attend meetings on their laptops from the office.

“It rules Europe in America,” said Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom, who has surveyed hundreds of hybrid companies. “When an American is traveling abroad, you look around the room and everyone is speaking English to your advantage. If there is one person working from home, everyone in the office would dial into the meeting. Is.”

Last year, doctors and politicians across the country urged Americans to skip a large group meal for Thanksgiving. But this year, months after the vaccine became widely available, guidance from officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is more relaxed — and families are getting together to celebrate.

As holiday traditions change — however — we’d love to hear how you and your loved ones are adjusting. We’re asking readers to tell us about their Thanksgiving plans, and how they differ from last year.

If you’d like to participate, you can tell us your story using the form here. We may feature your feedback in an upcoming edition of the Coronavirus Briefing newsletter.

The great thing about telework is that you don’t have to stay late if you have to work late. It’s wonderful not to waste time and money buying and commuting lunches and coffees. Plus, there’s no major jolts out the door in the morning and there’s no frequent laundry and dry-cleaning. Water cooler culture screw. Let me do my job and I promise, as an adult, I will deliver you an excellent product on time. I love to have dinner at a reasonable time and my dogs have never loved me more.

– Bonnie Maher, Mr.

Tell us how you are dealing with the pandemic. Send us a feedback here, and we may feature it in an upcoming newsletter.

Sign up here to receive the briefing by email.

Amelia Nirenberg contributed to TODAY Newspaper.

Email your thoughts to [email protected]

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