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The director general of the World Health Organization on Friday called for rich countries to share doses with countries in need before moving ahead with plans to inoculate young people.

“I understand why some countries want to vaccinate their children and adolescents, but right now I urge them to reconsider and to instead donate vaccines to Covax,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a news conference, referring to a WHO-backed push to equitably distribute doses.

For months, Tedros and other officials have warned that the vast global gap in vaccine access is not only a “catastrophic moral failure” but a threat to public health that could extend the pandemic by giving the virus new places to spread and mutate.

Here are some significant developments:

Parents wonder what to do with their unvaccinated children as CDC changes mask guidance

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The government’s recommendation that vaccinated people do not have to wear masks indoors or outdoors in most cases has left the parents of children younger than 12 — a group that cannot yet be vaccinated — scrambling for answers.

Parents are contending with a flood of questions: Should vaccinated adults go unmasked while their unvaccinated kids cover their faces? Should the whole family go to indoor public places such as restaurants, movies or grocery stores while the youngest are not protected? Right now pediatricians urge parents to remain cautious and vigilant, as so much remains unclear about how the new policy will affect transmission in communities and nationwide.

“Until younger children are eligible to be vaccinated for the coronavirus vaccine, they should continue to wear face masks when they are in public and around other people,” said Yvonne Maldonado, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics committee on infectious diseases.

Head of Canada’s vaccine rollout logistics leaves assignment amid military investigation

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TORONTO — The military commander in charge of the logistics of Canada’s vaccine rollout left his position with the country’s public health agency on Friday and is under military investigation, according to the Department of National Defense.

The department said in a statement that Lt. Gen. Wayne Eyre, the acting chief of the defense staff, would be reviewing next steps with Maj. Gen. Dany Fortin, who was named vice president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada in November.

“We will have no further comment,” the statement said.

It was not immediately clear who would replace Fortin, a former commander of the NATO mission in Iraq, or why he is under investigation. He participated in a news conference on the rollout as recently as Thursday.

Pelosi keeps mask mandate on House floor, sparking GOP backlash: ‘It’s about control’

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Under new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccinated Americans can now mostly ditch their masks indoors. But not lawmakers on the House floor.

Asked by CNN whether the House’s mask mandate would be relaxed, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said, “No. Are they all vaccinated?”

Her decision, which was outlined in updated guidelines issued Thursday night by Congress’s attending physician, drew swift backlash from Republicans who have long bristled at mask requirements.

“It’s about control,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) told Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Thursday evening. “She wants to control the House.”

Next door to hard-hit India, cases surge in Nepal

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NEW DELHI — Just one month ago, after dropping steadily since a spike in the fall, the rate of coronavirus infections across Nepal plateaued at around 100 cases per day. Many hoped the worst was behind them.

But with vaccine programs languishing and thousands of workers returning from neighboring, hard-hit India, cases shot up to more than 2,000 a day in late April. By last week, that figure had soared to more than 8,000.

The surge has rapidly overwhelmed hospitals and depleted medical supplies in the Himalayan country of 30 million. Online covid-19 support groups, flooded with posts as people seek information, advice and solace, have become medical and emotional lifelines for a frightened, isolated population that has few other places to turn.

8 months after covid-19 diagnosis, Va. governor has potentially permanent loss of smell

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RICHMOND — On a camping trip to several state parks in southwestern Virginia this week, Gov. Ralph Northam received yet another reminder of the strange aftereffect of his bout with covid-19 last fall.

“We’d light fires in the evenings, and I could be right in the midst of the smoke coming off of that and not smell anything,” Northam said in an interview Thursday.

Nearly eight months after being diagnosed with the disease caused by the coronavirus after a staffer in the Executive Mansion tested positive in late September, Northam still has no sense of smell. That loss has also affected his sense of taste.

Northam (D) discussed his condition publicly last week as a way to encourage Virginians to get a coronavirus vaccine. The revelation underscored how personal this crisis has been for Northam — the nation’s only doctor-governor, he’s one of a few state leaders to test positive for the disease and the only one to publicly report such lingering symptoms.

How many unvaccinated people will stop wearing masks?

9:52 p.m.
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We’re entering a big new era in the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s one that will strike you the moment you venture into public: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said it no longer recommends that vaccinated people wear masks in most situations, including indoors. Almost immediately, people began shedding the masks that have become ubiquitous in our lives over the past year-plus.

The implementation of this carries some obvious challenges, though, chief among them: Won’t this just free up unvaccinated people to also not wear masks? Even if verifying vaccination status weren’t such a thorny issue (vaccine passports!), it’s completely impractical to do so in everyday public interactions.

The most important thing for the vaccinated to know is that, according to the CDC, they don’t have to worry.

Fox News viewers are getting mixed messages on the vaccine

8:53 p.m.
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If you’re a Fox News fan, your opinion of whether you should get the coronavirus vaccine may depend on when and whom you watch.

On his 8 p.m. show, opinion host Tucker Carlson has consistently derided efforts to promote vaccination. “Almost 4,000 people died after getting the covid vaccines,” he warned last week, implying causation where experts say there is none, and relying on self-reported and unverified data from the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System.

But elsewhere on the schedule, many other Fox commentators have talked up the benefits of vaccination — sometimes clashing with their own colleagues on air.

The year of the travel agent

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Before the pandemic, Kaitlyn Milby always booked her and her husband’s anniversary trips herself. But this year, with all of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, staying abreast of the constantly changing travel rules proved too stressful. She decided she needed to enlist a professional.

“The unknowns of navigating a different state and their policies regarding covid guidelines was a challenge,” Milby said. “Having a travel adviser help make sure everything would go smoothly really put me at ease.”

As vaccinations proceed and businesses and borders reopen, more people are seeking the guidance of travel advisers, whose job it is to be up to date with changing regulations and to troubleshoot issues for their clients.

A study by Travelport, a travel technology company, found that 33 percent of travelers expected an increase in their use of advisers because of the pandemic. The biggest change was among those ages 18 to 38 — the study found that 39 percent of people in that bracket are more likely to book upcoming travel through an agent.

Obama promotes shots in new videos from surprise visit to Greenbelt, Md., vaccine site

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In a PSA created by HHS, former president Barack Obama visited a vaccination site in Greenbelt, Md., to thank people for getting the coronavirus vaccine. (Department of Health and Human Services)

Federal health officials have again enlisted former president Barack Obama to promote coronavirus vaccines as they push to meet President Biden’s goal of fully vaccinating 160 million adults by the Fourth of July.

A minute-long video to be shared Friday on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services social media accounts features Obama’s surprise visit to a mass vaccination site in Greenbelt, Md., last week. He praised those getting their shots in his appearance, which has not been previously publicized.

“You still have a job to do after you’ve get vaccinated and that job is to talk to friends and family members and co-workers who have not yet gotten vaccinated and share with them your experience,” Obama says in the video.

HHS is also sharing brief 10-second videos from Obama’s visit where he explains how to find the nearest vaccination site.

It is the latest in a flurry of videos starring Obama to promote the vaccine.

Former president Barack Obama tells people how to find their nearest vaccination site in a PSA from the Department of Health and Human Services. (Department of Health and Human Services)

In March, Obama and former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush starred in a commercial urging Americans to get vaccinated. In mid-April, Obama joined former NBA all-stars Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal to record a five-minute Instagram video where they emphasized how shots are a ticket to watching sports in-person again. He also appeared on TikTok late last month to encourage young people to get vaccinated.

Experts tackle lingering vaccine fears

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When the coronavirus vaccines first started rolling out in December, LisaRose Blanchette had doubts. To her, it felt like the shots, particularly the messenger RNA vaccines, had been “rushed through production,” and she did not trust that they would be safe or effective.

“At the time, I was feeling very insecure about them,” said Blanchette, 56, a teacher in Phoenix. But she started doing her own research and soon realized her initial concerns had been misconceptions.

“I needed to understand the mRNA vaccine. I needed to understand how long scientists had been working on it. I needed to understand that it was divorced from the politics that I had been reading about,” she said. She got vaccinated as soon as she was eligible.

Even with new CDC guidance, many retailers will still require masks

4:00 p.m.
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Many of the country’s largest retailers will keep requiring masks in their stores despite eased national restrictions, though industry groups and workers’ advocates fear enforcement will become increasingly difficult and contentious.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks in most situations. Workers unions blasted the policy change, saying it creates confusion and puts store employees at increased risk of getting sick.

Target, Home Depot, CVS and Harris Teeter are among the chains that will continue to require masks in stores, though they are reviewing new CDC guidance and reevaluating store policies.

Multigenerational living rises during pandemic

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Like many families who experienced the severe disruption of the coronavirus pandemic, Janice and Don Markell made a major life change by asking Janice’s mother to live with them, accelerating their plan for an eventual move to Florida.

“We were living in Montvale, N.J., and my mother was in assisted living nearby, but she wasn’t able to leave, and we couldn’t visit her,” says Janice, 61. “Our son has lived in Lakewood Ranch near Sarasota for a few years, and we planned to move there eventually ourselves.”

The solution for the family is a newly built home in the Lake Club section of Lakewood Ranch designed specifically for multigenerational living.

The upheaval created by the coronavirus pandemic led to an increase in the number of homes purchased for multigenerational households, which rose to 15 percent between April and June 2020, according to the National Association of Realtors. That represents the highest percentage of multigenerational homes since NAR began tracking the trend in 2012 after the Great Recession and was up from 11 percent between July 2019 and March 2020.

WHO chief urges wealthy countries to share doses before vaccinating kids

2:00 p.m.
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The director general of the World Health Organization on Friday called for rich countries to share doses with countries in need before moving ahead with plans to inoculate young people.

“I understand why some countries want to vaccinate their children and adolescents, but right now I urge them to reconsider and to instead donate vaccines to Covax,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a new conference, referencing a WHO-backed push to equitably distribute doses.

The comment came not long after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that 12-to-15-year-olds get Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine.

For months, Tedros and other officials have warned that the vast global gap in vaccine access is not only a “catastrophic moral failure” but a threat to public health that could extend the pandemic by giving the virus new places to spread and mutate.

As of Thursday, 35.8 percent of the total U.S. population, or 45.6 percent of the population over 18, is fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. At the same time, many countries are struggling to obtain and deliver enough doses for those at highest risk, including front-line medical workers. Tedros said the raging outbreak in India was particularly worrying.

“We’re on track for the second year of this pandemic to be far more deadly than the first,” he said.

New Zealand extends its vaccination program to the Pacific

12:00 p.m.
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New Zealand said this week it would begin rolling out coronavirus vaccinations in several Pacific countries that have been cut off from the world for more than a year.

Vaccinations will begin in the Cook Islands — located between French Polynesia and American Samoa — from May 19, followed by Niue and Tokelau, according to New Zealand’s foreign ministry.

Geographic isolation and tough border policies have spared all three from recording even a single case of the virus since the pandemic began. But it has also hurt their tiny economies, which rely on tourism.

“By working closely with our Pacific neighbors, and other partners, we can provide a further line of defense for our entire region — better protecting us all against the impact of the pandemic which continues to rage across the world,” New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said in a statement.

Over the coming year, New Zealand will provide enough doses for at least 1.2 million people in the Pacific. A two-way travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Islands is set to begin on Monday.

New Zealand opened up quarantine-free travel with Australia in April, some 400 days after they both closed their borders to most international travelers, a tough stance that has contributed in large part to their success in quashing the coronavirus. Not all Pacific countries have fared as well. Fiji is entering a lockdown from late Friday after it recorded more than two dozen cases this week.