Your Coronavirus Update – Oct. 27, 2021

Breaking News: Last night the FDA in a vote of 17 to 0 with 1 abstention approved the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11 – the next step is for the CDC to issue regulations, which they are expected to do within days.


Today, Governor Dan McKee, Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, and Angélica Infante-Green will announce RI’s first test-to-stay pilot program for RI schools.

90% of adult Rhode Islanders are vaccinated

Slater Hospital has stopped visitation – 2 staff are COVID positive

RI has extended its Executive Order through November.

Rhode Island is second among the 50 states in percentage of the population that is fully vaccinated.

The Polar Express in Woonsocket will run this year, beginning Nov. 19th.

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine appear safe and nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic infections in 5- to 11-year-olds, according to studies so far. The vaccine should be released in November.

CCRI enrollment is down over 12% – with the president saying online learning has increased, but that is among the group of students who would be the most to benefit by in-person learning.

CVS begins offering Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster shots at over 9.8K locations

Barrington, Newport & West Warwick School Depts are all mandating the vaccine by teachers by Nov. 1st.

Oak Street Health plans to integrate RubiconMD’s services so that its clinics can provide virtual specialty consults, manage patient care and streamline referrals.

Ed Sheeran has COVID, pledges to perform from home.

A hearing into a challenge by health-care workers to the state’s COVID vaccination mandate was put off Thursday after a federal appeals court ruling upheld a similar requirement in Maine. The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel on Tuesday affirmed a District Court ruling refusing to block the Maine requirement that health-care workers be fully vaccinated by Oct. 29.

RI unemployment down to 5.2% in September

RI has received a $1M planning grant as part of the Biden Administration’s $3 billion American Rescue Plan funding to support the Build Back Better agenda. These are the first EDA American Rescue Plan grants announced. This grant comes from the Commerce Dept., headed by former RI Governor Gina Raimondo.

Massachusetts keeps in place the school mask mandate for students/staff until mid-January, 2022

Latest data update in Rhode Island: As of 10-26-2021:


The FDA approved vaccinations for children ages 5-11 with the Pfizer vaccine – the CDC is expected to issue its own regulations within days.

In two Cape Town warehouses converted into airlocked sterile rooms, young scientists are assembling and calibrating the equipment needed to reverse engineer a coronavirus vaccine that has yet to reach South Africa, the Associated Press reports. Working to replicate Moderna’s Covid-19 shot, the scientists are making an end run around an industry that has vastly prioritized rich countries over poor ones. 

An expert panel that advises the CDC on vaccine policy voted unanimously yesterday to recommend booster shots for people who were vaccinated with the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines, leaving wide leeway for people to select the booster shot of their choice. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky signed off on the recommendations last night. People who were vaccinated with the Moderna shot who meet eligibility criteria can get a booster shot six months or later after they completed their primary series, and all people who got the one-dose J&J vaccine should be boosted two months after the shot, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices stated. 

Tweaking Booster Shots – Similar to how the flu shot is tweaked, annually, to address new strains, shots in the future against COVID19 may also be tweaked to bolster protection against new variants.

New Delta Plus strain spreading in Europe – detected in Massachusetts and a few other states – Thailand detects its first local case of a delta plus sublineage less than a week before a planned reopening to vaccinated tourists

Moderna says its vaccine is safe for young people over the age of 6

Merck seeking approval for treatment pill from the EU

300,000 NYC municipal workers will have to be vaccinated or be on unpaid leave – if they get their vaccine they will get a bonus of $500.

The UK is seeing a rise in cases – as the country opens, people going back to work, more gatherings, more cases in children, less mask-wearing. The UK wants to prioritize vaccines for young people. No requirements to isolate, with a 1 in 6 chance of getting COVID, regardless of vaccination status. If both parties who are together are wearing masks, research has shown that contagion drops by 50%. Mask wearing, working from home, etc. are options they are looking at, as well as booster promotion.

In France, a strict vaccine mandate called Green Pass has gone into effect – with massive demonstrations taking place

Boosters – Moderna, 6 mos after 2nd dose; J&J, 2 mos after dose.

Janet Yellen said the economy will continue to be “inflated” until the middle to end of 2022

Employee incentives – Amazon offering sign on bonuses of approx. $3,000 – Walmart and Target offering free college tuition – industry experts note that many of these workers are leaving one employer for the other, and these are not new employees.

Zoos – Cincinnati, San Diego, and Oakland Zoos are vaccinating their animals – some have received one and some two doses.

Fox’ Neil Cavuto says he has tested positive for COVID and has MS. He credits being vaccinated for surviving.

Initial surveys show only 30% of parents want to vaccinate their 5-11 year olds right away

CNN’s John King revealed spontaneously on-air that he has had MS for over a dozen years and appreciates those around him who are vaccinated.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told Yahoo Finance the company more than doubled its projected output for 2021. “We changed, dramatically, our strategy. We had invested to produce 1.3 billion doses for 2021, when we realized the [international]situation, we put way more investments into the system and we were able to raise the volumes to 3 billion for this year, and 4 billion for next year,” Bourla said. The company is also working on a possible treatment for the novel coronavirus.

CVS, BCBS venture funds raise $118M for telehealth addiction platform – Workit Health plans to use the additional money to expand into new markets and boost its primary and psychiatric care products and services.

Chart of cases & deaths by vaccination status in the US:

Both CNN Anchor John King (a URI grad) and FOX Anchor, Neil Cavuto, have MS and credit their surviving COVID19 with being vaccinated:

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