Immunity Wanes Months After Second Shot; LA Bill: Virus Update
(Bloomberg) -- The Los Angeles City Council sent to Mayor Eric Garcetti a proposed law that would require proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, shopping centers and other locations. The Biden administration announced a $1 billion purchase of rapid at-home tests.
In Europe, Sweden and Denmark decided to stop vaccinating younger people with Moderna Inc.’s shot because of potential side effects. Meanwhile, Norway recommended that young men choose Pfizer Inc.’s shot instead. German Health Minister Jens Spahn urged citizens to get flu shots in addition to Covid-19 ones.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled a vaccine mandate for people using air and rail, keeping a campaign pledge.
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Immunity Wanes Months After Second Shot (5 p.m. NY)
Immunity provided by the Covid-19 vaccine from partners Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE weakens significantly within months, with men having less protection than women, according to research that supports the use of booster doses.
Protective antibodies decreased continuously during the six months after the administration of the second dose of the vaccine, according to a study of about 5,000 Israeli health workers, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The levels fell first at a sharp pace and later at a more moderate one.
LA to Require Vaccination at Indoor Businesses (2:17 p.m. NY)
The Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance that would require proof of vaccination to enter salons, indoor restaurants, shopping centers, movie theaters and other indoor venues, the Los Angeles Times reported. Mayor Eric Garcetti is expected to sign the measure into law.
Starting Nov. 4, customers will need to furnish proof to enter indoor facilities such as coffee shops, gyms, museums, bowling alleys, spas and a range of other venues. Customers with exemptions for religious or medical reasons will need to use outdoor facilities or establish that they tested negative for the new coronavirus if such facilities aren’t available.
Home Tests Recalled Over False Positives (1:25 p.m. NY)
After complaints to U.S. regulators about false positives from a startup’s at-home Covid-19 test, the Australian company investigated and recalled hundreds of thousands of kits sold through stores and online, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.
Ellume Ltd. late last week announced a voluntary recall of about 195,000 tests that remained unused. Around 427,000 total tests were affected by a test component that left them more likely to return a false positive, a company spokeswoman said.
Mix-and-Match Data Under Review, Fauci Says (1:19 p.m. NY)
Data that may show the safety and effectiveness of mixing and matching boosters of different Covid-19 shots are under review by U.S. regulators, presidential adviser Anthony Fauci said.
A study of adults who received booster doses of different Covid-19 vaccines than their original shots has been completed, Fauci said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Balance of Power with David Westin,” and the data have been presented to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The National Institutes of Health study looked at the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of mixing and matching of the three U.S. authorized vaccines for booster purposes.
Norway Recommends Pfizer for Young Men (12:01 p.m. NY)
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health said men under 30 should consider choosing Pfizer Inc’s vaccine over the one made by Moderna Inc. The latest data indicates myocarditis is more common after vaccination with Moderna’s shot than with BioNTech/Pfizer’s shot, the institute said. Sweden and Denmark are also limiting the use of Moderna’s shot in younger people.
Canada Imposes Vaccine Mandate for Transit (11:40 a.m. NY)
Justin Trudeau unveiled a vaccine mandate for federally regulated industries in Canada, following through on an election pledge he made during his successful bid for a third term.
The prime minister and his deputy, Chrystia Freeland, announced new rules Wednesday requiring passengers age 12 or older on planes, trains and cruise ships within the country to be fully vaccinated as of Oct. 30. Individuals who are in the process of being inoculated will be able to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test to travel during a transition period, which will end of Nov. 30.
Biden Plans $1 Billion Rapid Test Push (8:55 a.m. NY)
The Biden administration will announce a $1 billion purchase of rapid at-home tests on Wednesday, an additional investment geared at expanding the availability of such products in the coming months, a White House official said.
Along with the authorization of another at-home test product earlier this week, the $1 billion investment and earlier outlays should put the country on track to quadruple rapid testing by December, the official said.
Lithuania Offers 100 Euros for Shots (8:22 a.m. NY)
Lithuania’s government is attempting to motivate people over 75 to get vaccinated by paying them 100 euros if they get two vaccine doses before Nov. 30 or a booster shot before March 31. The incentives come as the vaccination rate of the elderly remains lower than in any other adult age group.
Sweden, Denmark Pause Moderna Shots (7:55 a.m. NY)
Sweden’s public health authority decided to halt vaccinations with Moderna’s Spikevax for people age 30 and under because of potential side effects. Denmark followed suit, but only for the very young.
The Swedish authority cited signals of increased risks of side effects such as heart inflammation as the reason for the halt. Denmark paused the shot for those under the age of 18, citing results from the same Nordic study underlying Sweden’s decision. Both countries recommended giving the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech to those age groups.
Romania Says Hospitals Are Overwhelmed (6:25 a.m. NY)
Romania reported the highest number of deaths since the start of the pandemic and President Klaus Iohannis described the country’s situation as a “catastrophe.” About 331 people died in the past 24 hours, with almost 15,000 people testing positive since Tuesday. Romania has no available intensive-care beds, with doctors saying they have to treat patients in ambulances or in the hallways.
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