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Federal regulators are forcing Johnson & Johnson to scrap about 60 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine made at the problem-plagued Emergent BioSolutions plant after possible contamination, according to an individual familiar with the situation.

The Food and Drug Administration, which found unsanitary conditions in an inspection of the plant in April, cleared 10 million doses made at the facility for use. Those salvaged doses are expected to be sent overseas as part of President Biden’s effort to share vaccines with other nations.

The plant fell under federal scrutiny after a discovery in March that a batch of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was contaminated with a key ingredient used to produce AstraZeneca’s.

The 60 million doses that must be discarded are in addition to the 15 million already thrown out that were contaminated by the AstraZeneca vaccine at the plant this year.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Federal regulators have approved and extended the shelf life of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine by six weeks, shortly before millions of doses reach their expiration dates.
  • With coronavirus vaccines available to adolescents and adults, regulators are now turning their attention to possibly authorizing shots for children as young as 6 months.
  • The United States will provide half a billion vaccines to the world starting in the summer — the largest vaccine donation in history — as part of the G-7′s effort to end the pandemic by 2022.
  • The United States on Thursday reported a seven-day rolling average of 15,692 new infections. Since Dec. 14, more than 305 million doses of coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the United States.

What to know about summer cruises and the industry’s comeback

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In North America, the cruise industry has been treading water since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a No Sail Order March 2020.

Although ships have already started sailing in Europe and Asia, the ocean-faring vessels on this side of the Atlantic and Pacific are still waiting to cast off their lines. Until recently, only ships with fewer than 200 passengers and crew members were allowed to sail, which limited the seafaring options to river and coastal voyages. But a spate of new developments could help launch if not a thousand ships then at least a few dozen this summer.

The return to cruising is not obstacle-free — see Florida’s ban on vaccine passports. Travelers should stay flexible as itineraries, departure dates and safety protocols take shape.

Should my child get a coronavirus vaccine? Is it safe? Here’s what you should know.

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With nearly 17 million children in the United States eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine, many health experts are urging parents and guardians to inoculate their children.

Aside from protecting kids against covid-19, the vaccine “gives them a ticket to doing a lot of things they weren’t doing before, like hanging out indoors with friends without masks,” infectious-diseases expert Sean O’Leary said.

In any case, most families will have questions about the vaccine, so here are some answers.

Why burnout won’t go away, even as life returns to ‘normal’

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For Marcia Howard, the Cheez-Its were a breaking point.

At her son’s first in-person school event this year, she realized she forgot to bring the class snack.

“I just broke down in the car and I started crying,” she said.

Howard started a new job at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic working as a creative operations director at a Fortune 500 company. She’s been told by her company that she can take time off as she needs, but it’s just not that simple for her.

With vaccinations initiated for half of Americans over 12, and guidance on masking and social distancing easing, the triage stage of the pandemic is lessening for some in the United States. Yet external progress markers can disguise — or even induce — a flurry of conflicting emotional, physical or cognitive states.

Gov. Hogan says it’s time to get back to work. For laid-off employees, it’s not that simple.

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BALTIMORE — Outside the Baltimore Convention Center, a small group of laid-off hotel workers chanted, “Keep the benefits going,” and held signs asking, “Where is the work?” Across the street, a bold “WE’RE HIRING” sign was on display at a struggling restaurant.

The workers were protesting Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s decision to end enhanced federal jobless benefits in early July, two months before President Biden and Congress intended. Hogan and many other GOP governors say the bigger unemployment checks are keeping people from filling vacant jobs, making it more difficult for the economy to rebound.

But many of the unemployed say finding new work is not as simple as it sounds. They worry about child care and covid-19 risks, and they do not want to abandon careers where they have seniority and experience to start over as new hires someplace else.

Hospital employees in the District and Maryland required to get vaccinated against covid-19

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The vast majority of hospitals in the District and Maryland will soon start requiring employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, officials announced Wednesday, wading into politically fraught territory that in other parts of the country has led to protests and at least one lawsuit.

Leaders of hospitals and hospital associations said the decision was made to protect patients and staff members, citing the efficacy of the vaccine and noting its minimal side effects. Individual hospitals will establish their own timelines by which employees must be vaccinated, and some say they have no immediate plans to terminate employees who do not comply — instead, they will be required to undergo regular coronavirus testing.

Jacqueline D. Bowens, the president of the D.C. Hospital Association, said the decision to require vaccinations was not made lightly, especially because the pandemic has already led to concerns about staffing in the industry. But she said hospital leaders felt it was the right time to make such a move “due to both the science and the safety of the vaccine.”

G-7 leaders commit to making 1 billion coronavirus vaccines available starting this summer

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G-7 leaders and guest countries committed Friday to provide more than 1 billion additional coronavirus vaccines for the world starting this summer. The United States will contribute a half-billion doses — the largest single donation of vaccines in history.

“We call on countries to donate additional doses of safe and effective vaccines, strengthen vaccine readiness, and work with private sector partners to vaccinate the world,” the Biden administration said in a statement.

Biden is in Europe on his first overseas trip as president to meet with global leaders on a host of issues including combating the global coronavirus pandemic that has devastated tens of millions of lives around the world.

The effort puts these countries on track with its goal to end the pandemic by 2022. The G-7 plan will prioritize vaccinating vulnerable populations, stimulating the global economy and preparing to respond to future similar situations. Delivery of the vaccines begins in August.

The United States had previously committed $2 billion to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to support Covax and donated 80 million vaccines. Hundreds of millions of doses have already been set aside for Africa, Latin America and Asia to develop their health systems to better manage the pandemic.

“We must expand our emergency responses, including by delivering lifesaving medical supplies, oxygen, diagnostics, therapeutics, and PPE,” the statement said. “We are providing emergency assistance in 2021 to regions that need it most.”

The Biden administration said its efforts are aimed at preventing a similar scenario from happening in the future — and if so, having systems in place that respond better and faster.

“We must substantially strengthen the rapid detection of infectious disease threats,” the statement said. “We will support the establishment of a coordinated global surveillance network to improve disease forecasting and surveillance, enable swift detection of pathogens, and translate early detection into action. We commit to accelerate development, production, and deployment of safe and effective countermeasures within 100 days.”

CDC: ER visits for suspected suicide attempts among teenage girls rose during pandemic

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In the early months of 2021, visits to emergency departments for suspected suicide attempts increased more than 50 percent for adolescent girls compared with the same period in 2019, according to a report released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report, which analyzed emergency department visit data during certain weeks in 2020 and 2021, found that trips for suspected suicide attempts among adolescents ages 12 to 17, a majority of whom were girls, began to increase in May 2020. From February to March 2021, the visits among girls increased 50.6 percent compared with 2019. For boys, the increase was 3.7 percent.

However, the report’s authors emphasized that their findings do not mean suicide deaths among adolescents have increased.

Although the pandemic’s effect on mental health has been well-documented, the authors noted that their findings appear to provide new insights into the psychological toll younger Americans are experiencing.

After covid-19, hotel industry may scrap some services for good

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As Americans travel more, they are encountering a hotel industry that has undergone dramatic transformations and might never return to its pre-pandemic business model.

Some properties, particularly in leisure-centric areas like Florida, are scrambling to find enough workers to staff bustling properties. Many others, meanwhile, have still not brought back all their workers amid a continued travel slump.

But one thing that hotels across the board are considering is whether many of their customers are willing to accept fewer services than before, such as daily room cleanings and sizable breakfast spreads, analysts say, and that might mean a smaller hotel workforce in the years following the pandemic.

The leadership of hotel brands like Hilton, Park and Host have increasingly touted savings and increased efficiency from reducing labor costs on services like cleaning in calls and presentations to investors since the economy began to recover last year.

Contagious delta variant now makes up 90 percent of new coronavirus cases in Britain

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The more contagious delta coronavirus variant first discovered in India now accounts for more than 90 percent of new cases of the virus in Britain, health authorities there said Friday.

In a weekly update, Public Health England said that new cases in the country rose by nearly 30,000 over the past seven days. Britain has a high nationwide coronavirus vaccination rate, with about 75 percent of adults having received a first dose. More than 42 percent of the population is fully inoculated, figures show.

But the delta variant that tore through India in March and April is now driving a surge in cases among mostly unvaccinated populations in Britain, jeopardizing plans to ease public health restrictions later this month.

Data from Public Health England, a government agency, confirmed that at least 42 people have died in England after contracting the delta variant, the Guardian newspaper reported. Of those, 23 were unvaccinated, seven had received a first dose more than 21 days before, and 12 died more than 14 days after receiving a second dose.

“While vaccination reduces the risk of severe disease, it does not eliminate it,” Jenny Harries, chief executive of Britain’s Health Security Agency, said in a statement accompanying the new data Friday.

Public Health England also said that new research suggests that the delta variant “is associated with an approximately 60% increased risk of household transmission compared to the Alpha variant,” which was first identified in Britain last year.

That variant was also highly transmissible and ripped through England before rapidly spreading around the globe.

Britain has recorded more than 4.5 million coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, as well as over 128,000 deaths.

Metro board approves fare reductions, service increases in bid to lure back riders

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Metro board members passed a slate of fare reductions and service increases Thursday in their bid to lure more people to transit while seeking to provide service workers and low-income passengers with a break on transportation costs.

The shifts are the first significant fare changes in at least three years for the transit agency, coinciding with altered travel patterns that have emerged as the coronavirus pandemic recedes. Companies and the federal government are increasingly granting flexibility to work from home, which has decreased the demand for Metro during traditional workday rush hours.

The changes represent Metro’s most aggressive efforts to lure riders back after a historic drop in ridership and fare revenue that has forced it to rely on federal aid. Although riders are returning, the slow pace of growth — with projections showing it could take years for ridership to hit pre-pandemic levels — is prompting Metro to reconsider how it operates before more downtown workers resume their dormant commutes this fall.

Turkey expands eligibility for coronavirus vaccinations

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ISTANBUL — Turkey is significantly expanding its nationwide vaccination program this week, adding people ranging from restaurant workers and hairdressers to taxi and minibus drivers to a campaign that in January.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Friday on Twitter that public transportation workers and drivers would be eligible beginning this weekend. The day before, he announced that food production workers and the employees of cafes and restaurants would also be included, the Associated Press reported.

After a sluggish start to vaccinations, Turkey is accelerating its rollout, bolstered by additional shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Earlier, Turkey was relying almost entirely on China’s CoronaVac shot to inoculate the elderly population.

Now, Turkey has made everyone over the age of 45 eligible for a vaccine. According to available figures, more than 16 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, while over 22 percent of the people have received a first dose.

Infections surged earlier this year as the more transmissible alpha variant, first discovered in Britain, swept across the country amid a relaxation of restrictions.

Authorities here have implemented a gradual reopening of the economy as the tourism season kicks off.

Turkey has recorded more than 5.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, as well as over 48,000 deaths.

A political guide to the late-pandemic European soccer championships

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The geopolitical action in Europe may be at the leaders summit of the Group of Seven nations in Cornwall, England. But on Friday afternoon in Rome, the real battles begin. Italy hosts Turkey in the opening fixture of the UEFA European men’s soccer championships, arguably the sport’s second-most-popular international tournament after the FIFA World Cup. This year’s iteration, still dubbed by its organizers as Euro 2020 in recognition of when it was supposed to be staged, is being billed as a coming-out party of sorts for the continent after months of pandemic-induced stasis.

“It will be the perfect opportunity to show the world that Europe is adapting,” Aleksander Ceferin, president of the UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, told reporters. “Europe is alive and celebrating life. Europe is back.”

A lot could still go wrong.

Chile imposes new lockdown in capital as cases spike

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The Chilean capital, Santiago, was set to enter a full lockdown beginning Saturday amid an alarming rise in new coronavirus cases and despite a soaring vaccination rate.

The number of new cases nationwide topped 7,700 Thursday as patients flooded hospital wards and ICU capacity in the greater Santiago region reached 98 percent, Reuters reported.

The agency quoted Jose Luis Espinoza, the president of Chile’s National Federation of Nursing Associations, as saying that his members were “on the verge of collapse.”

Chile has fully vaccinated about 58 percent of its population of 19 million, while 75 percent have received at least one dose. The immunization drive, however, has relied almost entirely on the Chinese-made CoronaVac vaccine, which has proved less effective than Western-made shots such as those developed by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.

According to Chile’s Health Ministry, more than 20 million vaccine doses have been administered, more than 15.8 million of which were the CoronaVac vaccine. Another 3.6 million Pfizer-BioNTech doses were used, as well as a smaller number of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot.

Reuters cited the Health Ministry as saying that among the new cases between Wednesday and Thursday, 73 percent were people who had not been fully inoculated. About 74 percent were under the age of 49, the report said.

In April, the University of Chile published a study that the authors said showed that CoronaVac, which is made by China’s Sinovac Biotech, was more than 56 percent effective two weeks after the second dose. But a first dose provided just 3 percent protection.

Experts in Chile have blamed the recent surge in cases on a mix of factors, including pandemic fatigue, travel, more transmissible variants and subpar protection from CoronaVac.

South Africa ‘technically’ enters third coronavirus wave, public health institute says

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South Africa has officially entered its third wave of coronavirus infections, the country’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases said late Thursday, as daily new cases topped 9,000 for the first time since January.

The country’s rolling seven-day average caseload reached nearly 6,000 on Thursday, the institute said, a benchmark the government previously set to monitor a potential third wave after a devastating surge earlier this year.

“South Africa technically entered the third wave today,” the NICD said in a statement, adding that hospitalizations were also on the rise.

According to the World Health Organization, the number of new infections in South Africa jumped by nearly 29 percent over the past seven days.

The previous wave was driven by the more-virulent beta variant that is now dominant there. Beta also showed some resistance to available coronavirus vaccines, including the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot available through the United Nations-backed Covax initiative, which seeks the equitable distribution of vaccines worldwide.

South African authorities have struggled to ramp up a national vaccination campaign, fully inoculating less than 1 percent of the population of some 58 million, according to Our World in Data, which tracks publicly available figures.

South Africa is the pandemic’s hardest-hit nation in Africa, with more than 1.7 million total infections and over 57,000 deaths.