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Covid 19 Live Updates: NY Officially Broadens Booster Access to All Adults

Covid 19 Live Updates: NY Officially Broadens Booster Access to All Adults

The Netherlands, one of many European countries battling surges in cases and deaths, is poised to impose a partial lockdown. A new F.D.A. commissioner is expected to be nominated today.

Here’s what you need to know:
California broadens access to Covid booster shots.
The Italian police search the homes of four people linked to the ‘No Green Pass’ movement.
Biden chooses a former F.D.A. commissioner and drug industry insider to lead the agency.
The number of U.S. workers quitting their jobs in September was the highest on record.
Aiming for ‘zero Covid,’ China focuses on frozen food, children’s clothes and, soon, the Olympics.
The Netherlands plans a partial lockdown for all, as European cases and deaths rise.
Austrians rush to get vaccinated in response to new restrictions.
California broadens access to Covid booster shots.

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ImageA pharmacist administering a booster shot at a Safeway in San Rafael, Calif., last month. California’s new policy allows all adults in the state to receive booster shots.
A pharmacist administering a booster shot at a Safeway in San Rafael, Calif., last month. California’s new policy allows all adults in the state to receive booster shots.Credit…Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
California is opening up eligibility for booster coronavirus vaccine shots to include anyone 18 or over, making it at least the second state to expand official eligibility beyond older adults and people in high-risk circumstances. Colorado took a similar step this week.

California’s vaccination sites should not turn away anyone requesting a booster if they are 18 or older and were fully vaccinated sufficiently earlier, Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, the state’s public health director, said in a letter dated Nov. 9. Boosters can be administered six months after full vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, and two months after Johnson & Johnson’s single shot.

California’s vaccination providers should “allow patients to self-determine their risk of exposure,” he said, including whether their work, location or members of their households put them at higher risk of contracting the virus.
That allows greater leeway than the guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation’s public health agency, which recommends boosters for fully vaccinated adults with underlying medical conditions, those who are 65 and older, and those 18 and over whose work exposure puts them at risk.

However, in practice, boosters are widely available across the United States because many vaccination providers allow individuals to self-affirm their eligibility.

In a news conference on Wednesday, California officials noted that cases were on a troubling ascent in other parts of the country, and that vaccines were the best way to prevent a winter surge. They recalled last year’s terrifying winter months, when California’s hospitals were stretched to their limits and so many Covid patients died that officials were forced to deploy mobile morgues.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s secretary of health and human services, said that federal guidelines recognized that there is increasing evidence of waning immunity months after people are fully vaccinated and that people outside the groups specified by the C.D.C. could also get booster shots if they are available.

“If you’re interested in getting a booster, go ahead and get one,” he said.

On Tuesday, Pfizer and BioNTech requested that the Food and Drug Administration expand booster eligibility to anyone 18 and older, but that decision has not yet been made. Only after the F.D.A. makes a determination would the C.D.C. consider altering its own guidance.

— John Yoon and Jill Cowan
The Italian police search the homes of four people linked to the ‘No Green Pass’ movement.

Image
A protest in Trieste, Italy, last month opposing the country’s requirement that workers have a coronavirus health certificate.
A protest in Trieste, Italy, last month opposing the country’s requirement that workers have a coronavirus health certificate.Credit…Borut Zivulovic/Reuters
The Italian police on Friday searched the homes of four people in Milan affiliated with the “No Green Pass” movement, a mixed group that has been protesting for weeks over a nationwide coronavirus health-pass mandate.

The four people, whose names were not immediately released, are being investigated on accusations of harassing journalists who are reporting on the demonstrations. The rallies have become common occurrences in several Italian cities, creating traffic chaos and disrupting daily life.

Alberto Nobili, an antiterrorism prosecutor in Milan who is coordinating the investigation, confirmed that the searches had been carried out.

As in several other countries in Europe, demonstrations against coronavirus restrictions have become commonplace in Italy. This week, the Interior Ministry instructed local officials to consider banning demonstrations in some areas and to take measures to deal with unruly protesters.

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“It’s about balancing rights — the right to demonstrate, but also the right to work, to study and to one’s health,” Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese said of the ministry’s instructions, which were outlined in a memorandum made public late Wednesday.

Protesters in several cities — Milan, Padua and Trieste, in particular — have staged frequent demonstrations, often on Saturday afternoons, in which they block traffic and limit access to downtown stores. The protesters object to a government requirement that all workers obtain a certificate known as a Green Pass to show that they have been vaccinated against the virus or have recently tested negative, or face fines and unpaid leave.

Local law enforcement authorities have been asked to identify areas within each city where mass gatherings should not take place as long as Italy’s pandemic state of emergency remains in effect. In many cases, these areas will include busy downtown shopping areas.

The ministry’s memorandum says that mayors and local officials can decide whether to require masks or social distancing at gatherings in their jurisdictions.

Although the memorandum does not ban protests outright, Stefano Puzzer, who led a group of dockworkers that transformed the northeastern port city of Trieste into a protest epicenter, said it had been designed to “repress demonstrations.”

He said the protests in Trieste had been peaceful and authorized by city officials.

“I will always be present at authorized demonstrations,” Mr. Puzzer said. “We have to be the first to uphold the law.”

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