1. Mu unlikely to replace delta as a dominant variant, virologists say

“…The delta coronavirus variant, which accounts for 99 percent of U.S. COVID-19 cases, will likely maintain its dominance over new variants such as mu (B.1.621) and lambda (C.37), virologists told The Wall Street Journal… they expect delta to outcompete these strains because of its high transmissibility. In short, other variants can’t spread to susceptible people as fast as delta can, which gives it a leg up…This means that new case surges will likely be driven by delta and its sub-variants, not a new virus lineage…At present, delta accounts for about 88 percent of new cases globally… on its current trajectory, delta would achieve fixation as the dominant strain worldwide within about a year of its emergence… In contrast, seasonal flu strains typically take two to five years to achieve fixation…”

2. New York health system to halt maternity care after staff resign over vaccine mandate


Breaking News: Unvaccinated Americans are 11 times more likely to die of Covid, the C.D.C. reported, among other data showing vaccines’ protection from severe cases.


US COVID-19 RESPONSE In a speech delivered on September 9 from the White House, US President Joe Biden laid out a 6-pronged COVID-19 pandemic action plan, including new federal vaccine requirements for about two-thirds of the nation’s federal and private workforce, in an effort to stem the surge caused by the Delta variant and jumpstart economic recovery. President Biden excoriated unvaccinated individuals, saying “our patience is running thin” and blaming them for harming fellow Americans. He also pushed back against the politicization of the pandemic, promising to use the power of the federal government to take on state elected officials who are “undermining” the implementation of vaccination requirements, mask mandates, and other preventive measures.

Under the new plan, all private sector companies employing more than 100 people will be required to mandate vaccination or conduct weekly testing, affecting about 80 million people. Workers at healthcare facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding, about 17 million people, also will have to be vaccinated, extending an earlier requirement for workers at nursing homes to include facilities such as hospitals, home-health agencies, and dialysis centers. President Biden also is requiring all executive branch employees and federal contractors to be fully vaccinated, with no testing option, covering several million more workers. Additionally, employees of Head Start programs and schools run by the Department of Defense and Bureau of Indian Education, about 300,000 people, will be required to be vaccinated.

President Biden announced several other pieces of the plan, including a doubling of fines for travelers who refuse to wear masks in transit stations or on airplanes or trains. The government also is working with manufacturers and large retailers, including Walmart, Amazon, and Kroger, to lower the cost of at-home SARS-CoV-2 tests and distribute the tests to easily accessible sites such as shelters and food banks. The Department of Defense plans to send more teams into hard-hit areas, and the federal government will increase shipments of monoclonal antibody treatments and offer new support to small businesses


1. COVID-19 Vaccines Don’t Raise Miscarriage Risk, 3 Studies Show (CIDRAP) Pregnant women who received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine were not at higher risk for miscarriage than their unvaccinated counterparts, according to a trio of new US studies.

2. Los Angeles Mandates Student Vaccinations in Nation’s Second-largest School District (Washington Post) The Los Angeles school board on Thursday agreed to require coronavirus vaccinations for students ages 12 and up in the city’s public school system, with board members arguing that it is the best way to protect students and keep schools open for in-person learning. Los Angeles is by far the largest school district in the country to take this step as experts and officials across the country worry the surging and highly contagious delta variant could upend yet another school year. Already, many school districts mandate vaccination for school faculty and staff members, and in California the requirement is statewide.



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