FDA may approve people to 'mix and match' booster shots, report says: COVID-19 updates

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The Food and Drug Administration may give its OK this week to administering booster shots that are different from recipients’ original COVID-19 vaccine, the New York Times reported Monday. The decision would fulfill the requests of state health officials, who have been seeking increased flexibility in giving the vaccines.

Last week, an expert panel that advises the FDA recommended booster shots of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a day after voting in favor of the Moderna booster. That same committee received the results of a study that showed recipients of the J&J vaccine would get enhanced protection from a second dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, which relies on a different technology.

Pfizer boosters were authorized for certain populations last month. The Moderna and J&J boosters are expected to be cleared this week.

Some studies have found benefits in combining different vaccine shots as part of the initial protocol, but there isn’t a uniform consensus about the practice yet.

Also in the news:

►The NHL has suspended San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane for 21 games for submitting a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.

► Roughly a quarter of the way through the current school year, Indiana has already topped last school year’s total number of COVID-19 cases reported among the state’s K-12 students.

►Washington State has fired football coach Nick Rolovich after he declined to get vaccinated against COVID-19 despite a state mandate that required it unless he was approved for an exemption.

📈Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 45 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 726,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 241 million cases and 4.9 million deaths. More than 189 million Americans — 57% of the population — are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

📘 What we’re reading: Day care facilities are mandating COVID vaccine. Will they find enough staff to stay open?

Keep refreshing this page for the latest news. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY’s Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates directly to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

Trump supporter masterminds anti-vax suits full of fallacies

Suspended four times from practicing law, Eric Deters is the bad boy of the bar.

He was banned from a Cincinnati courthouse last year after threatening to burn it down. When a judge issued a gag order in one of his cases, he promptly held a news conference on the courtroom steps and was jailed seven days for contempt.

Refusing to reinstate the former Northern Kentucky lawyer in June, the Supreme Court said he had a “notorious propensity” for filing malicious and frivolous lawsuits and seemed unable to control himself.

But The Courier-Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, has found Deters violated his suspension as he masterminded two federal lawsuits challenging vaccination mandates for hospital employees in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.

In one lawsuit, a judge ripped the Deters firm for presenting “unsupported conspiracy theories” and falsehoods, including that the Pfizer vaccine has not been fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

— Andrew Wolfson, Louisville Courier-Journal

US tops 45 million COVID-19 cases

The United States reported its 45 millionth COVID-19 case on Monday, Johns Hopkins University data show. Half the cases have been reported just since Jan. 9, when America’s vaccination effort was well underway.

A quarter of the cases have come since July 1, when the delta variant began sweeping through the country, disproportionately infecting unvaccinated Americans.

Deadline arrives for unvaccinated Washington state workers

Monday was the final day for thousands of workers in Washington who want to keep their jobs to prove they’ve been fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Washington’s vaccine mandate, issued by Gov. Jay Inslee in August, is believed to be among the strictest in the nation and covers more than 800,000 workers.

The mandate applies to most state workers, long-term care employees, and teachers and staff at the state’s schools, including the state’s colleges and universities. The only opt-out is a medical or religious exemption, though the exemption only ensures continued employment if a job accommodation can be made.

— Associated Press

Contributing: The Associated Press

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