Which countries have administered the fewest COVID-19 jabs? – World Economic Forum

Which countries have administered the fewest COVID-19 jabs? – World Economic Forum

Which countries have administered the fewest COVID-19 jabs? – World Economic Forum

Which countries have administered the fewest COVID-19 jabs? – World Economic Forum

August 4, 2021

Many countries have seen rapid vaccination programmes, with millions of people around the world now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

However, much of this initial progress is concentrated in the world's wealthiest nations.

The latest data from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) shows that around half of people in high-income countries have been vaccinated. In low-income countries? Barely more than 1%.

Indeed, in some countries, the latest data shows almost no one is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Our World in Data reports that in Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo, 0% of the population has received full protection. And, the same data shows that in numerous countries this figure remains below 1%.

Share of people vaccinated against COVID-19 in selected countries.

Image: Our World in Data

As the UNDP data shows, the split between income groups is clear, with higher income groups surging ahead in vaccine delivery.

COVID-19 vaccine doses administered by country income group.

Image: Our World in Data

This inequality is also clear when you consider things on a continent-by-continent basis. Africa, Oceania and South America lag far behind Asia, Europe and North America.

COVID-19 vaccine doses administered by continent.

Image: Our World in Data

There are health, economic and moral implications for failing to vaccinate the world as evenly and fairly as possible.

Vaccine inequity is the worlds biggest obstacle to ending this pandemic and recovering from COVID-19, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), said last month.

Failure to vaccinate could see new vaccine-resistant variants emerge, threatening the health of the entire global population. As many have put it, 'nobody is safe until everybody is safe.'

There have also been warnings that an inequitable vaccine rollout will hit the socioeconomic recovery in low- and lower-middle-income countries. Data shows that low-income countries could have added $38 billion to their GDP forecast for 2021 if they had similar vaccine rates as high-income countries.

Numerous world leaders have also emphasized the moral obligation to ensuring the vaccine rollout is equitable.

COVAX, co-led by Gavi, the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), is the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.

Its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines and to ensure fair and equal access for every country around the world.

So far, it's delivered more than 150 million vaccine doses around the world, with a target of making 2 billion available by the end of 2021. However, in June it warned that short-term supply concerns remain - particularly throughout July and August.

In 2000, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance was launched at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, with an initial pledge of $750 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The aim of Gavi is to make vaccines more accessible and affordable for all - wherever people live in the world.

Along with saving an estimated 10 million lives worldwide in less than 20 years,through the vaccination of nearly 700 million children, - Gavi has most recently ensured a life-saving vaccine for Ebola.

At Davos 2016, we announced Gavi's partnership with Merck to make the life-saving Ebola vaccine a reality.

The Ebola vaccine is the result of years of energy and commitment from Merck; the generosity of Canadas federal government; leadership by WHO; strong support to test the vaccine from both NGOs such as MSF and the countries affected by the West Africa outbreak; and the rapid response and dedication of the DRC Minister of Health. Without these efforts, it is unlikely this vaccine would be available for several years, if at all.

Read more about the Vaccine Alliance, and how you can contribute to the improvement of access to vaccines globally - in our Impact Story.

Elsewhere, the Group of 7 countries met in June and committed to sharing at least 870 million vaccine doses, with the aim to deliver at least half of that by the end of 2021. At the same time, the G7 reaffirmed its commitment to COVAX as the "primary route for providing vaccines to the poorest countries".

The World Bank and African Union also announced plans in June to work together to fast-track vaccine acquisition across the continent. The programme aims to complement the work of COVAX and supports the African Union's target to vaccinate 60% of the continent's population by 2022.

Written by

Joe Myers, Writer, Formative Content

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Read more here: Which countries have administered the fewest COVID-19 jabs? - World Economic Forum
COVID-19 cases, vaccination rates and hospital data for Clarke, Oconee as of Aug. 3 – Online Athens

COVID-19 cases, vaccination rates and hospital data for Clarke, Oconee as of Aug. 3 – Online Athens

August 4, 2021

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Athens and surrounding areas as hospitals see a surge of patients.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the Delta variant accounts for8% of new COVID cases in Georgia. While county-level data is not available from the Georgia Department of Public health, the state health agency does provide general COVID-19 case information.

In the last two weeks, Athens has seen a total of 254 reported cases of COVID-19, equivalent to196 cases per every 100,000 residents.From July17 to July30, there were 65 emergency department visits for COVID-19.

Since March 2020, there have been 143 confirmed COVID-19-related deaths in the county and six probable deaths, according to DPH.There have been 518 total Clarke Countyhospitalizations due to COVID.

As of Aug. 2, Clarke County is considered by the CDC to be a county of high transmission.

DPH reports that 43% of Clarke County residents have at least one dose of COVID-19 and39% of residents are fully vaccinated.

More: Athens to consider mask mandate, vaccines for ACC employees and cash incentive program

In the last two weeks, Oconee County has seen a total of 79 reported cases of COVID-19, equivalent of 189 cases per every 100,000 residents.

From July17 to July30, there were 13 emergency department visits due to COVID-19 among Oconee residents.

In total, there have been 67 confirmed deaths in the county and seven probable deaths, according to DPH. Therehave been 137 hospitalizations of Oconee County residents.

As of Aug. 2, Oconee County is considered to be a county of high transmission.

DPH reports that 55% of Oconee County residents have at least one dose of COVID-19 and51% of residents are fully vaccinated.

More: Masks will remain optional in Oconee County schools despite changes in CDC guidance

As of Monday morning, the number of COVID-19 patients in St. Mary's hospitals was in the upper 20s, which is an increase over the last few weeks, according to Montez Carter, CEO ofSt. Mary's Health Care System.

Due to this increase, the Athens hospital has at times had to go on diversion, and the hospital went on diversion Monday, according to Carter. This means that at this time, the hospital could not accept any EMS (emergency medical services) patients because its status was "total diversion."

Carter reported that due to the severity of symptoms, many patients have required extended hospital stays and as the number of cases in the area rises, the hospital faces a strain on their bed capacity.

A majority of patients currently hospitalized are those who have not been vaccinated, and unlike in previous surges, there are a higher number of COVID patients in their 30s, 40s and 50s.

Per CDC guidance, we urge everyone to get vaccinated and to return to masking and social distancing to control the spread of the dangerous and highly infectious delta variant, said Carter.

Officials at Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital declined to provide bed capacity data for its hospital, instead, reportedthat its COVID-19 hospitalization trend has followed the state's trend.

The Piedmont hospital is also currently listed as a facility with "total diversion", as of Aug. 2, meaning neither of the Athens area hospitals wereaccepting EMS patients as of Monday.

Information from the Georgia Geospatial Information Office, a government office, presents Georgia hospital data by region. Athens is located in Region E, which also includes other surrounding counties.

For the region, there were 90 COVID-19 patients in medical facilities, or approximately 16% of patients, on Aug. 2. This is the highest that number has been since February 2021.

Though not specifically COVID-related, as of Aug. 2 the region was at 80% capacity for inpatient beds. The region'sICU beds in use were at 94% capacity, and emergency department beds were at 37% capacity. There were 48 adult ventilators in use or 51% of ventilators in the region.

A school-aged data report was generated with data as recent as July 28. The report breaks down grouping by age: preschool and daycare-aged children, from ages 0to 4 years old; K-12 school-aged children, from ages 5to 17 years old; and college and professional school-aged adults, from ages 18 to 22 years old;and then adults who are 23 years or older.

In Clarke County, from the previous 14 days since the report was generated, there were:

In Oconee County from the previous 14 days since the report was generated, there were:

Visit link:
COVID-19 cases, vaccination rates and hospital data for Clarke, Oconee as of Aug. 3 - Online Athens
Frisco ISD to Offer Virtual Learning Amid Changing’ COVID-19 Conditions – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Frisco ISD to Offer Virtual Learning Amid Changing’ COVID-19 Conditions – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

August 4, 2021

Parents of students in grades six and below will have the option for their children to learn virtually to start the school year due to the "rapidly changing conditions" of COVID-19 in Texas, Frisco ISD announced Tuesday.

The district said the option to learn virtually would not be offered for students in seventh grade and above because the COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for use in people 12 years old and older.

The deadline for parents to enroll their students in virtual learning is Thursday at 11:59 p.m.

Parents who unenrolled their student from Frisco ISD, but are interested in returning virtually, will need to re-enroll as a new student, the district said.

The first day of school for in-person students in Frisco ISD is Aug. 12; for online students, the first day will be Aug. 16.

While parents and teachers around the state would prefer students back in the classroom, Frisco ISD officials said online learning worked last year.

"As a group, our virtual learners did better than our in-person learners even when we account for socioeconomic status, they still perform better," Frisco ISD Superintendent Mike Waldrip said.

NBC 5 tracks how North Texas schools tackle the return to the classroom during a pandemic.

Waldrip said their success virtually and the rising COVID-19 numbers in North Texas made it a simple choice. Virtual learning has to happen, even if the district has to pay for itwithout state help. They're counting on federal and local dollars, for now, but hoping state lawmakers step up.

The number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the state has climbed to levels not reached since February. Experts say the delta variant now accounts for the majority of coronavirus cases in Texas.

"The way this disease appears to be affecting children, people are just concerned about sending their kids to school and I understand that and feel like we need to provide that option," he said.

Waldrip said the need for online learning is there, and when done right, it works. He said he hoped lawmakers would step in and help districts pay for it.

"I do wish Gov.Abbottwould consider putting the virtual learning bill back on the agenda for a special session," Waldrip said. "It went through both chambers and was sitting right there.I think people agreed we needed it."

Waldrip said Frisco ISD students who aren't doing well virtually will have to come back in person. The district wants to stay on top of progress.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed an executive order that prohibits school districts from mandating masks. Two different Texas teachers associations have called on Abbott to allow local control, while many North Texas districts are taking the precautions they can take and encouraging the use of face coverings.

"We thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we navigate these times," Frisco ISD said in a statement. "The District is hopeful for as normal a school year as possible and looks forward to welcoming your student for another great year of learning."

In the letter posted on the district website, Frisco ISD emphasized that new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics is for all people above the age of 2 to wear a mask in schools -- regardless of vaccination status.

Read the rest here:
Frisco ISD to Offer Virtual Learning Amid Changing' COVID-19 Conditions - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Here’s how COVID-19 looks in 2021 compared to 2020 in Rhode Island – WPRI.com

Here’s how COVID-19 looks in 2021 compared to 2020 in Rhode Island – WPRI.com

August 4, 2021

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) A year ago at this time, Rhode Islanders had recently mourned the first 1,000 lives claimed by the coronavirus pandemic, as the nations smallest state averaged about 100 new cases per day.

Fast forward to this week: COVID-19 has killed another 1,740 Rhode Islanders since then, and the state is averaging more than 150 new cases per day an increase from 15 since June.

Public health experts are hopeful this year will be different. Scientific research and billions of dollars helped create highly effective vaccines. Nearly 60% of Rhode Islands population has been fully vaccinated, offering a new level of protection that didnt exist 12 months ago.

Were certainly over the worst of the pandemic, Brown University school of public health dean Dr. Ashish Jha told The New Yorker last week. I dont think were ever going to go back to the level of suffering and death we saw at the end of last year.

But nearly a year and a half into the pandemic, Rhode Island is facing different albeit similarly complicated problems. The highly contagious delta variant is kicking up infections at an alarming rate.

And health experts including Jha are concerned that too many people are trying to look beyond the doom and gloom of the past 18 months rather than recognize that the coronavirus remains a threat to public health and a danger to the U.S. economy.

In some ways, people feel like the pandemic is done and its behind us here in the U.S., Jha told The New Yorker. And yet the surge of infections from the delta variant is just getting going, and is really going to challenge us over the next several months. And most Americans, I think, arent aware of how much worse things could get.

In Rhode Island, a Target 12 analysis of year-over-year data shows new infections and the states positivity rate are higher than this time last year, even as testing is relatively comparable. Health officials attribute this largely to the delta variant, which is about 40% to 60% more contagious than the original virus. And federal officials estimate upward of 80% of all new infections are the delta variant.

If there is a silver lining, however, its that the latest surge of infections in Rhode Island so far hasnt come with a corresponding wave of hospitalizations and deaths.

In July, for example, R.I. Department of Health data shows COVID-19 hospital admissions totaled 95 people, compared to 212 during the same month last year. Rhode Island reported only five COVID-19 deaths for the month compared to 49 a year earlier.

Health officials are bullish that this is evidence the vaccines are working as designed: older adults and people with underlying health conditions, who are more susceptible to hospitalization and death after contracting the virus, are now vaccinated.

And as a result, Rhode Island is seeing fewer hospitalizations and deaths than last year, even as infections are higher.

Remember, the original premise behind these vaccines were that they would substantially reduce the risk of death and severe disease and hospitalization, former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Sunday on CBSs Face The Nation. That premise is still fully intact.

But it also means the virus isnt petering out like many health experts and Rhode Islanders hoped might happen after vaccinations became widely available. And the virus is infecting mostly the unvaccinated, with the Health Department estimating 91% of new cases since Jan. 1 have been among people who havent received a shot.

The unvaccinated group includes people who have decided against getting a shot so far, along with those who are ineligible: children. Indeed, Health Department data shows weekly infection rates are increasing across all age groups, but rates among children and teenagers are higher than any age group 60 years and older.

When you hear we have a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Yes that includes kids. But largely only in unvaccinated communities, Jha tweeted on Monday. Very few kids in highly vaccinated places are getting sick. So if you want to protect kids, make sure everyone around them has the shot.

At the federal level, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending masks again, as the nations top health officials say the delta variant is behaving differently than past strains of the virus.

Information on the delta variant from several states and other countries indicate that in rare occasions some vaccinated people infected with the delta variant after vaccination may be contagious and spread the virus to others, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said last week. This new science is worrisome and unfortunately warrants an update to our recommendations.

Fully vaccinated Americans are now supposed to mask up indoors if they live in areas of the country with substantial or high coronavirus transmission. With a 7-day average of more than 100 new cases per 100,000 residents as of Monday, Rhode Island classifies as a state with high transmission.

Yet Gov. Dan McKee so far has decided against reacting to the new surge of infections with any new public health mandates, falling out of line with the Biden administration. He points to Rhode Islands relatively high vaccination rate compared to other states as evidence those arent needed right now.

The data that Im seeing is telling us that were in good shape, McKee said last week during a news conference, echoing previous statements that he doesnt want Rhode Island to move backward.

I would hope that the CDC would take into consideration states that actually followed the guidance that was given out of the White House and out of the CDC and recognize states that have done a really great job, so that we dont pull a fire alarm, in fact, if there is no fire, McKee added. Right now, with all the data Ive seen, we dont have a fire.

Eli Sherman (esherman@wpri.com) is an investigative reporter for WPRI 12. Connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook.

More here:
Here's how COVID-19 looks in 2021 compared to 2020 in Rhode Island - WPRI.com
Microsoft will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter buildings in the US – The Verge

Microsoft will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter buildings in the US – The Verge

August 4, 2021

Microsoft has informed employees that it will require proof of vaccination for anyone entering a Microsoft building in the US starting in September. Employees who have a medical condition or a protected reason, such as religion, that prevents them from getting a vaccine can get a special accommodation. The company has also pushed its full office reopening date from September to no earlier than October 4th, 2021.

Here is the companys full statement, shared with The Verge:

As we have done since the beginning of the pandemic, we continue to closely track new developments and adapt our plans as this situation evolves, keeping employee health and safety top of mind. Based on our continued consultation with health and data experts, our earliest date for the full opening of our U.S. worksites will be no earlier than October 4, 2021. Starting in September, well also require proof of vaccination for all employees, vendors, and any guests entering Microsoft buildings in the U.S., and will have an accommodation process in place for employees. We continue to review the situation on a local basis in each region/country/state where we work and will adjust dates and policies as needed.

Staff who are caregivers to immunosuppressed people or are parents with children too young to get the vaccine will be able to work from home until January, Microsoft tells The Verge.

Microsofts announcements follow a surge in COVID-19 cases around the country and stricter policies put in place by other tech companies. Facebook is requiring all US employees to wear masks in offices and that all employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 when they return to offices. Facebook expects to fully reopen in October. Google will also require employees to be vaccinated before they can return to the office and has delayed that return to October 18th.

See original here: Microsoft will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter buildings in the US - The Verge
Australia records one of its youngest COVID-19 deaths amid Sydney outbreak – Reuters

Australia records one of its youngest COVID-19 deaths amid Sydney outbreak – Reuters

August 4, 2021

People with protective face masks walk through the quiet city centre during a lockdown to curb the spread of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Sydney, Australia, July 28, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

SYDNEY, Aug 4 (Reuters) - An Australian man in his 20s died at home of COVID-19 in Sydney, authorities said on Wednesday, one of the country's youngest coronavirus deaths.

The man, who was unvaccinated, was 13 days into home isolation after testing positive when his health deteriorated rapidly, authorities said, adding that he lived with one person who had been hospitalised with the virus.

The death highlighted the risk from the virus and the importance of getting vaccinated, said health leaders, who have set a target of having half of Sydney's population inoculated before lifting the city's lockdown by a target date of Aug. 28.

"It demonstrates again how this disease is lethal, how it affects people of all ages," said Gladys Berejiklian, premier of New South Wales state, of which Sydney is the capital.

The man's identity and how he caught the virus were not disclosed. He lived in southwest Sydney, the epicentre of an outbreak related to the Delta virus strain that has ravaged the country's most populous city for weeks.

Of about 17 deaths from the virus since the flare-up began in June, nearly a third have been people at home, according to the government. The man's death was referred for a formal inquest, the authorities said.

A woman in her 80s also died in a hospital in the past day, taking the national total to 927 since the start of the pandemic.

On Wednesday, Sydney reported 233 new cases, up from 199 a day earlier.

Total infections in the state's worst outbreak since the start of the pandemic topped 4,000 since the first one was detected on June 16.

In a bid to arrest a spike in cases, authorities have taken aggressive countermeasures, including sealing off high-risk suburbs and asking military to help police enforce lockdown rules. read more

State Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said the state should hit a target of six million shots by the end of the month - at least one dose to all of its adult population.

Neighbouring Queensland reported 16 locally acquired cases, the same as the day earlier, prompting authorities to declare it the state's worst outbreak since the start of the pandemic and warn that a lockdown in state capital Brisbane might be extended beyond Sunday.

"Every time someone leaves their home they increase the risk that this lockdown may need to go on longer ... now is not the time to buy outdoor furniture, there will be time before summer to get sun lounges," Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.

The fast-moving Delta strain has alarmed authorities while a slow vaccine rollout frustrated residents. Only about 20% of people older than 16 have been fully vaccinated.

Reporting by Renju Jose and Byron Kaye. Editing by Gerry Doyle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

See more here: Australia records one of its youngest COVID-19 deaths amid Sydney outbreak - Reuters
City of Lubbock approaches 15% mark for COVID-19 hospitalizations – KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com

City of Lubbock approaches 15% mark for COVID-19 hospitalizations – KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com

August 4, 2021

LUBBOCK, Texas According to a city health official, with COIVD-19 hospitalizations quickly on the rise, the percentage of people in local hospitals with coronavirus is approaching 15 percent.

Essentially, this means Lubbock is approaching a point where 15 percent of all people hospitalized in the city are in the hospital for COVID-19.

Officials said the most important thing about the COVID-19 vaccine is that it prevents serious illnesses from happening.

The best tool we have in our toolbox right now is the COVID vaccine, said Katherine Wells, director of the City of Lubbock Health Department. We are seeing fewer severe illnesses, less illness and less spread.

Officials say that they dont know what will happen if we go over the 15 percent threshold of COVID-19 hospitalizations. Notably, several state Trauma Service Areas (TSAs) have exceeded 15 percent hospitalizations in recent days.

Following a recent executive order by Governor Greg Abbott, municipalities cannot implement COVID restrictions, but can make recommendations and highly encourage them.

We cant mandate anyone get vaccinated. We cant mandate somebody to wear a mask; however, those recommendations are going to be highly encouraged, said Wells.

The citify health department said they would do all they can to help aid in the safety of the public. The health department is also training more contact tracers to determine who among the infected were vaccinated and whether they were hospitalized.

County Judge Curtis Parrish said he recommends getting vaccinated, but emphasized it is a choice.

Getting a vaccine is a choice. You are not being forced to by the government in any way, shape or form, Parrish said. It is a choice, and [the county] is asking you to choose to be vaccinated.

The City of Lubbocks health department is offering free COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. You can visit theirwebsitefor more information.

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City of Lubbock approaches 15% mark for COVID-19 hospitalizations - KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com
SLO County health officials report two new COVID-19 deaths, rise in cases and hospitalizations – KSBY San Luis Obispo News

SLO County health officials report two new COVID-19 deaths, rise in cases and hospitalizations – KSBY San Luis Obispo News

August 4, 2021

The County of San Luis Obispo reported two deaths due to COVID-19 along with an increase in hospitalizations and COVID-19 cases in the county on Tuesday.

Eight residents are currently in the hospital, with three of those being in the ICU.

386 new cases of COVID-19 have also been reported.

One of the deaths was an individual in their 60s and the other was a resident in their 80s.

The Delta variant is here, and we are seeing its impact, said Dr. Penny Borenstein, SLO County Health Officer. Nobody wants to experience this illness or see our local health care system stretched by a surge in cases. If you have been waiting, I urge you to make an appointment or walk in and get your vaccine."

The countys public health department is now providing more incentives to encourage people to get the vaccine.

Now is the time to stop this surge and protect the ones we love, said Dr. Borenstein. Get vaccinated, wash your hands often, and get tested if you experience symptoms of COVID-19. If you havent been vaccinated yet, its essential that you wear a mask indoors.

Click here for a list of locations and hours of operation for the county's Public Health clinics and mobile vaccine events.

SLO County health officials report two new COVID-19 deaths, rise in cases and hospitalizations - KSBY San Luis Obispo News
No mandated COVID-19 vaccinations on the horizon for public Mississippi colleges – Clarion Ledger

No mandated COVID-19 vaccinations on the horizon for public Mississippi colleges – Clarion Ledger

August 4, 2021

Mississippi urges masks, more vaccinations

State of Mississippi continues to confront vaccine hesitancy as it urges people to get vaccinated against the COVID-19; state officials warn of Delta variant spread. (July 20)


As COVID-19 case levels climb in the state, hundreds of faculty members at colleges and universities across Mississippi have signedan open letter askingfor vaccinations to be required for students returning this fall.

The letter, originally pennedby four faculty members at Mississippi State University, hasgarnered more than 400 signatures since late May. Signees includecurrent and former professorsandsome community members.

"Such a measure is essential to protect the health and safety of all members of university communities (and their home counties), especially those who cannot receive a vaccine for medical reasons or who are immunocompromised (for whom the vaccine may be less effective)," the petition reads.

In the letter, addressed to state leadersincluding State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs, the faculty members noted that 586 public and private colleges across the United States have already made vaccinations a requirement for students and staff. According to a report from the Chronicle of Higher Education, that number hasincreased to 592 campuses nationwide, but none are located in Mississippi.

Dobbs said during a news conference on July 20 that the health department has no intention of issuing vaccination mandatesfor state higher ed institutions.

Dobbs said he believesthe "era of statewide mask mandatesis over" andhe doesn't believe a recommendation for mandatory shots will be pursued.

"There's a lot going on right now; we do recommend (getting vaccinated)," he said. "But it's not seeming really feasible to promote (mandatory vaccinations)."

Dobbs said there is word that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may be accelerating its review for full approval of some COVID-19 vaccines currently under emergency use authorization in the United States. However, he said he doesn't believe any approvals will change the department's stance onmandatory vaccinations for students in the future.

The state's board, however, intends to follow the health department's guidelines. Caron Blanton, director of communications for the Mississippi Institutions for Higher Learning, said in an email on July 21 that all policies related to COVID-19are based on the health department's mandates.

"We have not received a request from the Mississippi State Department of Health to mandate students or employees receive the COVID vaccine," she said. "Our universities are actively encouraging all students and employees to get the COVID vaccine."

Dobbs said the department is in talks with IHL to develop updated guidelines for colleges and universities around the state, but did not provide a timeline for when the new rules would be issued.

Officials said on Wednesday that the agency waslikely to change state guidance for K-12 schools to align with new CDC guidelines that suggest all students, teachers and staff wear masks while indoors regardless of vaccination status.

During a speech at the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia Thursday, Gov. Tate Reeves called the new guidelines "foolish" and said the recommendations were not based on science. Reeves reiterated that he does not intend to reissue a statewide mask mandate for schools as he did at the start of the 2020-21 school year.

"I dont think youre going to see any school district mandate masks in schools," Reeves told WJTV-TV."I think if you start seeing them do that, the parents will erupt, and they should, and I feel certain they will."

The request from faculty at higher education institutions across the state comes as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Mississippi, spurred by the delta variant of the virus.

On Monday, the Mississippi State Department of Health recorded nearly 5,000 new cases identified in the state over the weekend.

Currently, no public Mississippi college or university is requiring staff, faculty or students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to return to campus. Mask policies vary by institution.

Have an education-relatednews tip? Contact Keisha Rowe at nrowe@gannett.com, on Twitter or at (601) 760-2483.

No mandated COVID-19 vaccinations on the horizon for public Mississippi colleges - Clarion Ledger
Food vouchers, zoo tickets, breakfasts offered to get a COVID-19 vaccine at Brevard sites – Florida Today

Food vouchers, zoo tickets, breakfasts offered to get a COVID-19 vaccine at Brevard sites – Florida Today

August 4, 2021

The Florida Departmentof Health-Brevard and other local entities have begun offering incentives for people to get their COVID-19 vaccines, as coronavirus cases are spiking in the county and the state as a whole.

Meanwhile, the number of people vaccinated in Brevard County during the week of July 23-29 rose to 6,825 almost double the 3,470 vaccinated in the previous week, according to the latest-available FDOH data.

COVID surging: COVID-19 weekly case count sets records in Brevard as positivity hits almost 24%

State's nursing home workers lag on COVID vaccinations: Where does Brevard rank?

Statewide, 248,546 people were vaccinatedduring the week of July 23-29, up from 155,806 in the previous week.

Florida Rep. Randy Fine, whose district includes southern Brevard County, said everyone who can get a COVID-19 vaccine should get one.

Fine was hospitalized with COVID-19 last year before the vaccine was available and since then also has been vaccinated.

"I didn't have the choice" to get vaccinated last year, because a vaccine wasn't available then, Fine said.

But Fine believes many unvaccinated people who are hospitalized locally with COVID-19 now wish they had gotten the vaccine.

According to Health First, of those recently hospitalized for COVID-19 in Florida, 96% are unvaccinated. Additionally, 97% of Health First's COVID-19-positive patients at its four Brevard hospitals are unvaccinated.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Fine wrote: "I will never vote to mandate the vaccine. But if I can save one person from dying because I convince them to get it even if I lose my election from all those who disagree I can live with that."

The incentives being offered in Brevard to get a vaccine include a $10 food voucher for local grocery stores, free Brevard Zoo admission and a free breakfast, depending on where the vaccine is administered.

DOH-Brevard is offering $10 food vouchers for those who get their first COVID-19 vaccination at Health Department clinics in Melbourne, Titusville andViera.

The free vaccinations are offered from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at these FDOH sites:

Anita Stremmel, assistant director of the FDOH-Brevard,said the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will be available at the Viera site. Only the Pfizer vaccine will be available at the Melbourne and Titusville sites.

The Pfizer vaccine can be administered to people ages 12 and up. The Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines can be administered to those ages 18 and up.

Getting shots: Which pharmacies are still offering free COVID-19 tests, vaccines? | What You Need To Know

Do COVID vaccines work against the delta variant?What to know about symptoms, testing as cases rise

Stremmel said $10 food vouchers are good at large grocery chains, including Publix, Winn-Dixie, Albertsons, Food Lion and Save A Lot.

Food vouchers also will be available at vaccine outreach eventswhile supplies last.

Stremmel said there also will be two opportunities from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday to get a vaccine and reap additional benefits:

Stremmel said other organizations that want to offer incentives or host an outreach can call DOH-Brevard outreach coordinator Nancee Brown at 321-615-9546.

Through Thursday, 313,977 Brevard residents 51.4% of the county's population have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Statewide, 11,757,156 people or 53.5% of the state's population have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.

There have been 51,525 COVID 19 cases in Brevard and 2,590,699 cases statewide since the pandemic began.

The weekly count of new cases has increased tenfold statewide in the last seven weeks from 10,459 during the week of June 11-17 to 110,477 during the week of July 23-29.

There have been 39,079 COVID-19-related deaths in Florida since the pandemic began, including 31,805 involving persons ages 65 and up.

Dave Berman is business editor at FLORIDA TODAY.Contact Berman at dberman@floridatoday.com. Twitter: @bydaveberman.

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Food vouchers, zoo tickets, breakfasts offered to get a COVID-19 vaccine at Brevard sites - Florida Today