“So far, we haven’t seen a lot of Covid vaccine mandates, even for teens,” the vaccinologist and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine told CNN’s Ana Cabrera, Dr Peter Hotez. “It’s going to have to happen if we want the kids to get through the school year.”
“The only reason we’re keeping this lifeboat together is that I have a Federal Disaster Medical Assistance team here, 14 people who have just been heroes to us. And, sadly, their deployment ended Friday, “Dr. William Melahn, chief medical officer for St. Claire Health Care in Kentucky, told CNN’s Kate Bolduan on Monday. “I’m going to lose 14 medical professionals, and I literally have no idea what we’re going to do on Friday.”
Vaccines are the strongest form of protection against the virus, but only Americans 12 and older are eligible. But studies of vaccines for young children are underway, and the director of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr Rochelle Walensky, said young children will be vaccinated by the end of the year. .
“We are waiting for the companies to submit the data to the FDA, we anticipate that will happen in the fall,” she told NBC’s Today Show.
Until vaccines were available for young children, health agencies encouraged the use of masking, testing, ventilation and distancing to keep children safe. And those measures will likely have to stay in place until there is a combination of high vaccination rates and low rates of disease spread, Walensky said.
Local leaders disagree over mandates
There have already been tensions in various states over warrants for vaccines and masking.
Despite Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s restrictions on who can be vaccinated, the San Antonio Independent School District has demanded that district employees be vaccinated against the virus.
And, on Monday, state attorney general Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the district and Superintendent Pedro Martinez for the warrant.
“The decision to openly violate state law and devote district resources to defending Superintendent Martinez’s unlawful actions is irresponsible,” Paxton said in a press release. “But if school districts decide to use their limited funding to try and break the law, my office will stand against them and defend the rule of law in Texas.”
Following President Joe Biden’s announcement that companies with more than 100 employees must require their workforces to be vaccinated or tested regularly, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said cities and counties in Florida requiring employees taking the Covid-19 vaccine will face $ 5,000 in fines.
The mayor of Orange County, Florida, that while the consequences could be costly, the county will not neglect the well-being of its community.
“It could be a lot of money. There is no doubt about it,” Mayor Jerry Demings said at a press conference in reference to the fines. “At the end of the day, our goal is to protect all of the people in our community, to keep them safe. This is the fundamental role of government.
In Iowa, a federal judge on Monday issued a temporary restraining order that will, for now, allow school districts across the state to impose masks in classrooms.
In response, Gov. Kim Reynolds – who signed a law in May banning local entities and school districts from issuing their own mask warrants – said the state would appeal.
“Today a federal judge unilaterally struck down a state law, ignored the decision of our elected legislature and deprived parents of the ability to decide what is best for their child,” Reynolds said.
Debate on booster doses
There is also debate about the need and timing of booster doses of the vaccine.
The Biden administration had announced plans to roll out a third dose as early as next week, pending FDA approval, but some experts say this is not yet necessary.
On Monday, an international group of vaccine scientists, including some from the United States Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization, published an article in The Lancet claiming that current evidence does not appear to support the claim. need for booster vaccines in the general public. now.
The authors of the article include two senior FDA vaccine officials, Dr Philip Krause and Marion Gruber, who will step down in October and November, the FDA announced late last month.
Hotez, for his part, said he had seen evidence that the boosters could “keep people out of the hospital, prevent long Covid … and could restore the interruption of asymptomatic transmissions.”
“From Israel’s data, I am strongly in favor of boosters,” Hotez said.
The FDA is due to meet on the recalls on Friday, although the agency has been slow to provide data to the agency’s group of external vaccine experts, two sources told CNN.
An FDA spokesperson told CNN that committee members will receive documents ahead of the meeting.
“Our vaccination team is working around the clock on many priorities, including the preparation for Friday’s VRBPAC meeting,” said Stephanie Caccomo.
CNN’s Jen Christensen, Virginia Langmaid, Raja Razek, Amir Vera, Lauren Clabby Moore, Leyla Santiago, Amy Simonson and Laine Mackey contributed to this report.