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FDA Approves Updated mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines for Currently Circulating Variants

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration took action approving and authorizing for emergency use updated COVID-19 vaccines formulated to more closely target currently circulating variants and to provide better protection against serious consequences of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death. Today’s actions relate to updated mRNA vaccines for 2023-2024 manufactured by ModernaTX Inc. and Pfizer Inc. Consistent with the totality of the evidence and input from the FDA’s expert advisors, these vaccines have been updated to include a monovalent (single) component that corresponds to the Omicron variant XBB.1.5.

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CDC says Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine no longer available in U.S.

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the staff of the Ridgewo0d blog

Ridgewood NJ, more than 2 years after Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was first approved by the FDA, it is now no longer available anywhere in the US, according to the CDC. Over 31.5 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been distributed across the country since March 2021 — 19 million of which made it into Americans’ arms, CNN reported.

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New York Times Promotes “Masking” Disinformation on Monkey pox

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood Nj, just one after the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security cautioned the public over disinformation on Monkey pox ,”Disinformation has the potential to incite panic, create distrust between the government and people, increase polarization, influence government actions or law enforcement responses, exhaust resources and bring about undue harm. Monkeypox (hMPXV) disinformation may cause people who are infected to avoid treatment or vaccination as they may feel stigmatized, hampering efforts to help those individuals and curb the outbreak.”

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CDC Finally Drops Vaccine-Status Discrimination

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the CDC finally admitted what’s been obvious since January – there is no logical reason to treat vaccinated people differently than unvaccinated people when both can readily get and spread the COVID virus:

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Time To Lift COVID-19 Testing Mandate for Teachers & School Employees

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Senator Kristin Corrado called on Governor Murphy to immediately lift his COVID-testing mandate for unvaccinated teachers and school employees after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today that testing healthy students and employees is no longer recommended.

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Mosquito control tip: Once a week, dump, drain, or cover items that can hold water

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Twp. of Washington NJ, Mosquito control tip: Once a week, dump, drain, or cover items that can hold water so mosquitoes can’t lay eggs there.

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WHO: Human-to-human Monkeypox Transmission Occurs through Close Physical Contact

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, Investigations into growing outbreaks of monkeypox virus continue in at least 15 countries where the disease usually is not endemic. As of publication, health authorities have identified 160 confirmed cases and at least 80 suspected cases in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Israel, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the US, and UK.* No cases have yet to be confirmed in South America, although Argentina has reported a suspected case. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) today issued a risk assessment warning that if the current outbreaks in Europe are not brought under control quickly, there is a risk that monkeypox could become endemic if the virus spreads into an animal population.

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CDC : Three out of Every five people in the U.S. Have Antibodies from a Previous Covid-19 Infection

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday that three out of every five people in the U.S. now have antibodies from a previous Covid-19 infection with the proportion even higher among children. The proportion of people with natural Covid antibodies increased substantially from about 34% of the population in December to about 58% in February during the unprecedented wave of infection driven by the highly contagious omicron variant. The CDC’s analysis didn’t factor in people who had antibodies from vaccination.

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US Justice Department Announces Nationwide Action to Combat Health Care-Related COVID-19 Fraud

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

NEWARK NJ,the US Department of Justice announced criminal charges against 21 defendants in nine federal districts across the United States for their alleged participation in various health care related fraud schemes that exploited the COVID-19 pandemic. These cases allegedly resulted in over $149 million in COVID-19-related false billings to federal programs and theft from federally-funded pandemic assistance programs. In connection with the enforcement action, the department seized over $8 million in cash and other fraud proceeds.

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TSA No Longer Enforcing Mask Mandate for Travel after a Federal Judge in Florida Struck Down CDC Directive

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is no longer enforcing the federal government’s mask mandate for travel after a federal judge in Florida struck down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) directive.

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Hackensack Meridian Health Opens Vaccine Megasite Weeks After Covid Peak

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Paramus NJ, Hackensack Meridian Health opened the vaccination site at the former Lord & Taylor store off Route 17 in the Fashion Center. The new COVID-19 vaccine megasite opened in Paramus on Wednesday.

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Researchers Question Reliability of at-home Rapid Antigen Tests

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, as the SARS-CoV-2 virus mutates over time, changes in its genetic makeup could impact the ability of certain tests to recognize and detect viral antigens. A preprint study posted to medRxiv this week raises questions about the reliability of at-home rapid antigen tests in the early days of infection with the highly mutated Omicron variant of concern (VOC). The small real-world study, which is not yet peer-reviewed, examined test results from 30 people who, because of their workplace rules, were undergoing both rapid antigen and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on a daily basis. On days 0 and 1 following a positive PCR test, both of the at-home rapid antigen tests in use—Abbott BinaxNOW and Quidel QuickVue—produced false-negative results despite the presence of viral loads high enough for transmission. The researchers confirmed that 4 cases transmitted the virus between false-negative test results and noted there likely were more transmissions that were unconfirmed. On average, it took 3 days for people to test positive on a rapid antigen test after testing positive on a PCR test. The researchers shared their results with US CDC and US FDA officials and called for the real-world performance of rapid antigen tests to be reassessed for each new VOC.

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CDC Shortens Recommended Quarantine Time for People Infected with COVID-19

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is cutting its recommended isolation time for people infected with COVID-19 from 10 to five days, as long as they are asymptomatic.

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Senate To Vote To Overturn Biden Vaccine Mandate For Health Workers

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas has introduced a bill to repeal the requirement that health care workers get vaccinated or get fired. Hospitals and clinics can lose their Medicare and Medicaid payments if they don’t comply with the edict. Dr. Marshall now has enough cosponsors to force a floor vote, likely in early January.

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Saint Fauci Loses His Halo

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Less than half of Americans now have a favorable opinion of Dr. Anthony Fauci, we are not sure what took so long ? Most still want to follow the COVID-19 expert’s advice on dealing with the pandemic.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 44% of American Adults have a favorable impression of Fauci, including 27% whose view of him is Very Favorable. Forty-two percent (42%) view Fauci unfavorably, including 29% whose opinion of him is Very Unfavorable. Fourteen percent (14%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)