Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. surgeon general, told reporters Wednesday that recent data makes clear that while the current COVID-19 vaccines have been highly effective against severe disease, hospitalization and death, the protection against mild and moderate disease has appeared to decrease over time.
“This is likely due to both waning immunity and the strength of the widespread delta variant,” Murthy said, adding that health officials are concerned that the decline in immunity could reduce protection against severe disease and death in the months ahead.
The more than 13 million Americans who received the one-dose shot from Johnson & Johnson may also need boosters, but will not yet be eligible.
“In Virginia, we are monitoring the situation and planning through all of the logistical considerations,” Virginia Vaccine Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula said in a statement Tuesday. “If booster vaccine doses are recommended for the general population, the rollout of those boosters will likely take place over several months, as the expected recommendation is that a booster dose should be given within a defined time frame after your second dose. VDH and local health departments now have experience in planning and carrying out the logistics of a large-scale vaccination effort, and rebooting that for booster doses will not be an issue. The infrastructure for administering the booster doses is already in place.”
Federal health officials said they are awaiting data from J&J in the next few weeks before urging additional doses. The J&J shot wasn’t approved until March, so those who received it will not hit eight months past inoculation until November.
The new booster rollout plan is subject to formal authorization from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine panel.
Those agencies will hold public meetings before the booster rollout can begin. But officials said they were detailing the booster plan ahead of those meetings in part to give state and local health officials time to prepare for another wave of vaccination logistics.
State and local health officials again under pressure
The plan for offering a third shot puts yet another layer of pressure on state and local health departments that have carried out the massive vaccination campaign.
Those officials are still seeking to boost vaccination rates that have lagged in certain regions amid skepticism and misinformation. Meanwhile, vaccine manufacturers are expected this fall to seek approval for administering shots to children under 12, who so far have not been eligible.
During Wednesday’s news briefing, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, cited several new studies that tracked vaccine effectiveness, including among New Yorkers across age groups and another following case counts from nursing homes.
Those studies have shown that protection against severe infection has held up but not against milder infections, she said, adding that other countries, such as Israel, also are starting to see “worsening outcomes.”
“In the context of all of these studies, different cohorts, different settings across the country, and our international colleagues, we’ve made the decision to plan for these booster doses,” Walensky said.
The booster shots will be available at roughly 80,000 sites nationally, including 40,000 local pharmacies. As with the other COVID-19 shots, the boosters will be free of charge.
The CDC had already approved a third COVID-19 shot for some immunocompromised individuals, who may not have received strong protection from the initial doses of the vaccine.
While the booster plan does not specifically mention other categories of individuals to receive a priority for boosters, the initial vaccine rollout did put certain groups first in line. So the first individuals to hit eight months after their second shot should be those in the earliest priority categories, such as health care workers and nursing home residents.
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Pipeline Still Closed but Work has Begun
The guesstimate for the reopening of the trail is two weeks.
Weekly Pipeline Update because our construction work has begun!
First and foremost, a reminder that, as of August 2nd, all sanitary (wastewater) flow has been diverted upstream at Tredegar, so any flow you may see leaking from Pipeline is river water that’s seeping in from Haxall Canal, groundwater, and/or stormwater from Richmond’s summer rain.Now for the good stuff: The scoop on the repair process!All materials and supplies needed for repairs have arrived, and CSX gave us the green-light to start working on the pipe on Monday (09.13.2021), so our crews got to work!This week our team is using a cement substance to fill in those pesky leaking holes along the pipe.Then, next week, our team will layer an epoxy and a mesh on the bottom and surrounding the entire pipe’s external circumference.Following the completion of all this work, our team will once again CCTV (closed-circuit television) the pipe to get an internal look at how we did. Only after we check our work and give it the good ol’ thumbs up will the trail and beaches alongside it be reopened. (We think we’re about two weeks away from that point.)Until then, Pipeline trail and its adjacent beaches are closed from Brown’s Island (under the 9th Street bridge) to the downstream, eastern end of the trail behind Virginia Street and Vistas On The James.
More soon, folks—stay tuned!
Pipeline Poop Problem Prolongs Passage Prohibition
Sewage problems mean you can’t walk the Pipeline but work is taking place, eventually.
The Pipeline, one of my favorite walks in town, has been off-limits for a while.
A quick reminder that, as of August 2nd, all sanitary (wastewater) flow has been diverted upstream at Tredegar, so any flow you may see leaking is river water that’s seeping into from Haxall Canal, groundwater, and/or stormwater from Richmond’s summer rain.
This week, our team got access from CSX to move forward with our work onsite. Our crew CCTV’ed (closed-circuit television) the pipe to get an internal look so they can know precisely what we’re dealing with.
Now it’s time for repairs! Our kickoff meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 7th.
Our repair work should take seven to ten days, weather- and river-level-dependent. The weather needs to be decent, but not necessarily dry when our crews get to work. So far, the forecast is looking pretty promising!
We will continue to provide updates about the timeline for repairs, and the timeline for when the trail and beaches can open following repairs. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, Pipeline Trail and the beaches alongside of it remain closed from Brown’s Island (under the 9th Street bridge) to the downstream, eastern end of the trail behind Virginia Street and Vistas On The James. A pipe in need of repair needs space!In the meantime, Pipeline Trail and the beaches alongside of it remain closed from Brown’s Island (under the 9th Street bridge) to the downstream, eastern end of the trail behind Virginia Street and Vistas On The James. A pipe in need of repair needs space!
Driver Charged in Shockoe Bottom Reckless Driving
On Sunday morning a car was doing burnouts and doughnuts. Later the driver slammed the car into a tree.
Richmond Police Department officers have charged a driver who was recklessly operating a vehicle in a Shockoe Bottom parking lot early on Sunday morning.
At approximately 1:15 a.m., officers on patrol in Shockoe Bottom observed a vehicle in a parking lot near Main Street Station which was doing burn runs/car doughnuts. As officers entered the parking lot, the driver of the vehicle left the scene on East Broad Street at a high rate of speed. A few blocks away in the 00 block of Governor Street, the vehicle left the roadway and collided with a tree. Officers arrested Teric Harcum, 20, of Chesterfield County, and charged him with reckless driving.
This type of reckless operation of motor vehicles is dangerous and can lead to serious injury. The Richmond Police Department continues to ask anyone who witnesses reckless driving or suspicious activity to call 911.