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Texas Children’s Hospital Sees Tremendous Response For Kids’ Vaccine Appointments

Texas Children’s Hospital Sees Tremendous Response For Kids’ Vaccine Appointments

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t play in Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Rodgers is not vaccinated for COVID-19 by NFL standards, a person with knowledge of the situation told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and thus will miss at least 10 days in accordance with the league’s protocols.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity to the Journal Sentinel, part of the USA TODAY Network, due to the sensitivity of the situation.

The Packers will instead start Jordan Love, the 2020 first-round pick who has only seven pass attempts in mop-up duty in his career to date.

Rodgers had not been wearing a mask during indoor news conferences, which constitutes a violation of the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols. Under the league’s joint protocols with the NFL Players Association, unvaccinated players who fail to wear a mask as mandated are subject to a $14,650 fine for a first offense. Repeat violators can be fined up to one week’s salary and suspended for up to four games.

The 37-year-old reigning NFL MVP also attended a Halloween party with other Packers players over the weekend and was seen not wearing a mask, which would constitute another violation of the league’s protocols.

Rodgers has been undergoing daily testing as mandated by league protocols, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.

Packers coach Matt LaFleur refused to address Rodgers’ vaccination status during a news conference Wednesday.

“I’m not going to get into any of our players or coaches vaccination statuses,” LaFleur said.

Rodgers becomes the latest Packers standout to miss a game due to COVID-19 protocols. All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams sat out Thursday’s win over the Arizona Cardinals after testing positive, as did fellow wide receiver Allen Lazard – who was ruled a close contact – and defensive coordinator Joe Barry – who also tested positive.

When asked in August whether he had been vaccinated, Rodgers said he had been “immunized.”

Asked Wednesday about Rodgers’ remark in August, LaFleur said, “That’s a great question for Aaron.”
Rodgers typically speaks with the media on Wednesday but was removed from the team’s scheduled availability.

Love is the only quarterback beyond Rodgers on the Packers’ active roster. Kurt Benkert was placed on the practice squad COVID-19 reserve list on Tuesday after testing positive.

LaFleur said the team planned to add another passer. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the team was set to sign Blake Bortles, who was with the team in the offseason before being released in July.

“We have to get someone back into the building,” LaFleur said.

Last November, Rodgers questioned the league’s COVID-19 protocols at the time, suggesting that they could be driven more by optics than health.

“You can go down to practice and hit each other and be in close contact, but you have to have plexiglass in between you and the guy next to you in the locker room,” Rodgers said in an interview with former Colts punter Pat McAfee. “You can dap up a guy after the game, but you can’t eat at the same lunch table as a teammate?”

Sunday’s game was expected to be the highly anticipated first meeting between Rodgers and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, but the two now will not square off against one another.

The Packers are riding a seven-game win streak and are tied for the NFL’s best record at 7-1.
After US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the Covid-19 vaccine for young children, Texas Children’s Hospital has nearly 37,000 Covid-19 vaccine appointments booked through the week of Thanksgiving for kids ages 5-11, said Jermaine Monroe, co-chair of a Covid-19 task force for the Houston-based hospital.

“We have seen a tremendous response over the last five days of parents scheduling appointments for their children,” Monroe added.

At one point, the hospital was averaging 120 appointments per minute, Natasha Barrett, a hospital spokesperson said.

“We’ve not experienced anything like this,” said Monroe of the demand for vaccines. “We’ve planned for it, and we’re glad … because many people thought that there would not be high demand.”

Families are traveling from “as far as New Braunfels, Texas” and various other areas in the state to schedule appointments and vaccinate their children at the pediatric hospital located within the Texas Medical Center, Monroe tells CNN.

In an effort to make vaccines more available to the community, Monroe said the hospital system is going to implement some new efforts.

he hospital system will go out into the community starting next week and host three events per week to provide vaccines in areas hardest hit by Covid-19.

Parents who are either unvaccinated or have only received one dose will have the opportunity to get inoculated during their child’s appointment.

“Not only are we opening our doors, bringing vaccines into the community, but we’re also building vaccine competence in various forms—meeting people where they are, in languages that they would prefer, with people that look like them,” said Monroe.
New York City will begin administering Covid-19 Pfizer vaccines to children between the ages of 5 and 11 at city-run vaccination sites on Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

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Additionally, beginning on Nov. 8, every school in New York City with students between the ages of 5 and 11 will offer in-school vaccinations for at least one day.

Vaccinations will be offered during school hours, and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the time of vaccination, or they must give verbal consent by phone, de Blasio said.

City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi added that they are also working with healthcare providers across the city to provide guidance, especially for families who prefer to go to their own pediatrician for a Covid-19 vaccine.

To date, 86% of adults and 78% of children between the ages of 12 and 17 in New York City have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. At least 12,099,996 vaccine doses have been administered city-wide so far, de Blasio said.
The Federal Aviation Administration chief maintained Wednesday that vaccination rules are having “no impact” on air travel, telling senators that recent cancellations of thousands of flights at American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are unrelated.

President Joe Biden’s strict vaccination mandates will take effect in the coming weeks for employees of federal contractors, including major airlines and federal employees, including the air traffic controllers at the FAA.

“We don’t have any evidence,” Steve Dickson said in response to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who said that airline and union officials linked the mandate and disruption during conversations with him.

Dickson said a days-long meltdown of Southwest’s schedule that started on a Friday was caused by other issues.

He said it started with “one sector within Jacksonville Center (air traffic control facility) that happened to be located with where there was convective weather and extensive military activity. So it did create a chokepoint. But it was not any kind of organized activity – it was availability on one particular shift.”

But Cruz said he “was told by a senior leader in the aviation industry that one of the causes of it was a very significant number of air traffic controllers in Jacksonville engaged in a sickout and refusing to go to work because of the vaccine mandate.”

Dickson said he does not believe the requirements will cause issues for the FAA workforce heading into the holiday season, and is “not hearing about any particular issues with respect to air traffic control staffing.

“I do not expect to lose a significant part of our workforce,” Dickson said.

Dickson said he and Transportation Department officials have repeatedly communicated the requirements to the FAA workforce.

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