Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today?

Go ahead with boosters FDA aims to allow booster doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for all adults from thursday , according to peo...



FDA aims to allow booster doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for all adults from thursday, according to people familiar with the agency’s plans.

If the FDA and CDC approve both this week, any adult who received a second vaccine at least six months earlier would be eligible for a booster as early as this weekend. But some states are not waiting.

Arkansas, Colorado, California and New Mexico have extended eligibility to all adults, and authorities in New York and West Virginia have also encouraged all adults to get the booster. New York City yesterday became one of the first major cities to tell all adults they could get another shot if they wanted one.

States and cities forge ahead as country faces a surge in coronavirus cases and experts warn of possible increase this winter. The United States reported almost 85,000 new cases yesterday, a 14% increase from two weeks ago, although deaths and hospitalizations were down.

A growing body of research has shown that the effectiveness of the vaccine against the infection decreases overtime. Yet the consensus within the scientific community is that all vaccines continue to offer strong protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death from Covid-19. Some experts have even argued that the protection is so good that the vast majority of Americans don’t need reminders.

Whether you should get one can raise thorny ethical questions, like Miriam’s in New York, who recently wrote to Kwame Anthony Appiah, the New York Times Magazine ethicist.

Miriam, 49, a public school teacher, wanted to know if she should receive a booster, even though she was on sabbatical and in fairly good health. “I can’t wait to protect myself and those around me, but I’m not sure if the recall would prevent someone who needs it more from getting one,” she wrote.

Kwame replied, “Get the call back. There is a reasonable rule in place, and under that rule you qualify. Given the great availability of the vaccine here, you won’t be depriving someone who needs it most. And many people who need it less than you, including healthy young teachers in their 20s, will receive the booster. I can’t help but add that your letter presents a painful paradox: While some people may forgo a jab because they care so much about the community as a whole, others avoid getting the vaccine because ‘they don’t care enough. “

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The Biden administration plans to pay more than $ 5 billion for a stockpile of Pfizer’s new Covid pill, enough for about 10 million treatments, after the company ramps up production next year, according to people familiar with the deal.

Pfizer said today it has asked the FDA to clear the pill to treat unvaccinated people with Covid-19 who are at high risk of becoming seriously ill. The drug, which will be sold under the brand name Paxlovid, could be available within a few weeks if permission is granted. It is intended to be dispensed in pharmacies and to take home.

Pfizer also announced today that it has entered into an agreement allowing other manufacturers to manufacture and sell the pill cheaply for use in 95 developing countries, mainly in Africa and Asia.

In a key clinical trial, Paxlovid was shown to significantly reduce the risk of hospitalization or death when given to high-risk, unvaccinated volunteers soon after they started showing symptoms. It appears to be more effective than a similar offer from Merck, known as molnupiravir, which could be approved as early as early December.

Pfizer’s drug is designed to stop the coronavirus from replicating by blocking a key enzyme that the coronavirus uses to replicate inside cells. The Merck pill works differently, inserting errors into the virus’s genetic code – a mechanism that has raised concern among some scientists. They fear that Merck’s drug could trigger genetic mutations that harm reproduction. This difference could give the Pfizer pill an advantage.


As more companies reopen their offices and adapt to hybrid work – with people both at home and in the office – few find the transition to be smooth.

It appears that some companies have used delays in return-to-office plans as an excuse to avoid questions about how to balance the needs of their remote and in-person employees. The result, writes my colleague Emma Goldberg, is a happy medium that calls into question whether hybrid configurations are sustainable, even with all the advantages they confer.

Remote workers, for example, can feel overwhelmed, and it’s not hard to imagine why. They can be muted in a heated discussion or excluded from links at lunchtime. But in-person employees can feel just as neglected, in some cases being forced to join meetings on their laptops from the office.

“It’s American rule in Europe,” said Nicholas Bloom, a Stanford professor who has interviewed hundreds of hybrid companies. “When an American travels overseas, you look around and everyone speaks English for your good. If there is one person working from home, everyone in the office logs into the meeting.


Last year, doctors and politicians across the country urged Americans to skip a big group meal on Thanksgiving. But this year, months after vaccines became widely available, guidance from authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is more relaxed – and families are coming together to celebrate.

As holiday traditions change – again – we’d love to know how you and your loved ones cope. We ask readers to tell us their plans for Thanksgiving and how they differ from last year.

If you want to participate, you can tell us your story using the form here. We may publish your response in a future edition of the coronavirus newsletter.



The best thing about telecommuting is that if you have to work late, you don’t have to stay late. It’s wonderful not to waste time and money traveling and buying lunches and coffees. Also, there is no big banging through the door in the morning and constant laundry and dry cleaning. Screw the culture of the water cooler. Let me do my job and I promise you, as an adult, that I will provide you with a great product as soon as possible. I love to eat at a reasonable time and my dogs have never liked me so much.

– Bonnie Myhre, MD.

Let us know how you are dealing with the pandemic. Send us an answer here, and we could feature it in a future newsletter.

Sign up here to receive the briefing by email.


Amelia Nierenberg contributed to today’s newsletter.

Email your thoughts to briefing@nytimes.com.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today?
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