FS-ISAC Coronavirus Update, June 2, 2021
June 01, 2021
- Two new studies confirm that messenger RNA vaccines available in the US “appear to be completely safe for pregnant women,” according to Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, writing in a blog post today, research that also indicated vaccines might offer protection to infants born to vaccinated mothers.
- Fewer than one in 20 people in the US - about 4.7% of the population - live in a county considered to have “high” Covid-19 transmission, according to a CNN analysis of data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however in a handful of states more than a quarter of the population lives in a county with “high” transmission, including Rhode Island (88%), Washington (40%), Wyoming (37%), Montana (29%) and Colorado (28%).
- With about 34,500 new cases reported last week, the US saw the lowest number of weekly Covid-19 cases among children since early October, the American Academy of Pediatrics said Tuesday, with children accounting for nearly 25% of the new cases reported late last week.
- Covid-19 vaccines have allowed nursing homes in the US to make dramatic progress since the dark days of the pandemic, but senior care facilities are still experiencing scattered outbreaks that are largely blamed on unvaccinated staff members, with the outbreaks and ensuing shutdowns jolting family members who were just starting to enjoy in-person visits with loved ones for the first time in a year.
- Congress has passed laws barring pharmacies and hospitals in the US from billing patients for coronavirus vaccines, signs at vaccination sites advertise that the shots are free, and from the beginning, health officials and government leaders have told the public that getting the inoculation won’t cost anything, and while there are few reports of people experiencing charges, some unvaccinated adults cite concerns about a surprise bill as a reason for not getting vaccinated.
- Moderna announced Tuesday that it has begun applying for full approval for its Covid-19 vaccine in people ages 18 and up, and the company says it will continue to submit trial data “on a rolling basis over the coming weeks with a request for a Priority Review,” which means it will ask the US Food and Drug Administration to take action within six months, compared to the 10 designated under standard review.
- The United Kingdom announced no new deaths Tuesday from covid-19, within 28 days of a positive test for the first time since March 2020, as that nation maintains one of the world’s highest vaccination rates, but infections are rising and health officials warned that the crisis is not over.
- A Canadian panel of scientists said Tuesday that people who received a first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine can choose to receive their second dose from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, joining several European countries that have adopted similar guidance.
- A digital Covid certificate system intended to ease travel within the European Union became operational in seven countries on Tuesday - ahead of schedule – offering a preview of what could become a standard for post-pandemic global mobility.
- US airports were the busiest they’ve been in more than a year this holiday weekend, according to Transportation Security Administration numbers, with the agency reporting it screened 8.97 million people from Thursday through Monday, including 1.9 million on Monday.
- More than 70% of companies say employees will be able to return to the workplace over the next five months, and 50% will reopen between August and October, according to a Conference Board survey of 231 human resource leaders taken April 5-16 and released this week, with results showing that 79% of the mostly large businesses saying 10% or more of their employees will be able to work remotely at least three days a week as the pandemic subsides – about three times the percentage of firms before the health crisis.
- Players from Australia’s national women’s softball team arrived in Japan on Tuesday ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, a show of confidence in a beleaguered event that is struggling against a coronavirus outbreak and growing public opposition, among the first international competitors to reach the country before the Games.
- In March, Krispy Kreme was one of the first businesses to roll out a nationwide Covid vaccine incentive, offering a free glazed doughnut to any adult with a vaccination card, and since then, the company said it has given away more than 1.5 million doughnuts.