Friday Stats and More

Based on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) constantly improving COVID data tracker website, here are charts of new weekly COVID-19 cases and deaths using Thursday as the first day of the week. As you can see, new cases trended down last week. Per the CDC, “The current 7-day moving average of daily new cases (136,558) decreased 12.7% compared with the previous 7-day moving average (156,341).” Moreover, “The current 7-day moving average of new deaths (1,077) has decreased 11.3% compared with the previous 7-day moving average (1,214).”

Here are links to the COVID hospitalization statistics and the CDC’s weekly interpretation of its COVID data. Per the CDC, “The current 7-day daily average for September 1–September7, 2021, was 11,754 This is a 4.1% decrease from the prior 7-day average (12,251) from August 25–August 31, 2021.”

Here is chart of weekly COVID vaccines distributed and administered from the time administration began last December through the 36th week of this year (ending September 8, 2021):

New vaccinations have levelled out at a rate of roughly 5 million per week for the past two months. Per the CDC, “As of September 9, 2021, 92.6% of people ages 65 years or older have received at least one dose of vaccine and 82.2% are fully vaccinated. Over three-quarters (75.3%) of people ages 18 years or older have received at least one dose of vaccine and 64.5% are fully vaccinated. For people ages 12 years or older, 73.4% have received at least one dose of vaccine and 62.5% are fully vaccinated.”

The Food and Drug Administration today released this bulletin about the status of making available a COVID vaccine for young children.

The FDA is working around the clock to support the process for making COVID-19 vaccines available for children. As outlined above, this process is complex and relies on robust manufacturer trials and data, and while we cannot offer a specific date or timeline for when it may be completed for the various manufacturers’ vaccine candidates, we can assure the public we are working as expeditiously as possible to meet this critical public health need and we very much hope to have pediatric COVID-19 vaccines available in the coming months.

The New York Times reports

Federal health officials released new data showing that unvaccinated Americans are 11 times as likely as vaccinated people to die of Covid-19.

Three large studies, published on Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also highlighted the effectiveness of the shots at preventing infection and hospitalizations with the virus.

The research underscored a deep conviction among scientists that vaccine hesitancy and refusal have prolonged the pandemic. The administration’s new plan should stem the flood of infections and return the country to some semblance of normalcy in the long term, several experts said in interviews.

With respect to the President’s vaccination mandates, Gov Exec tells us that

The U.S. Postal Service is not committing to implementing any COVID-19 vaccine mandate—full or partial—for its workforce, with an agency spokesman saying officials will first need to see the fine print of new requirements President Biden has issued. 

Biden’s executive order mandating the vaccines for the federal workforce took a somewhat narrow definition of agencies that carved out USPS, which employs more than 640,000 people. The president on Thursday also announced the Labor Department would put forward a rule directing all employers with more than 100 workers to require their staff to either be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing. USPS said on Friday it was still determining whether the rule would apply to the agency.

From the No Surprises Act front, HHS has issued its proposed rule implementing the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 Division BB provisions on air ambulance reporting, health insurer / plan broker compensation reporting and HHS enforcement of the law. Here is a link to a fact sheet on the proposal. The public comment deadline is October 18.

HHS also announced today that its “Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is making $25.5 billion in new funding available for health care providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding includes $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) resources for providers who serve rural Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or Medicare patients, and an additional $17 billion for Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 for a broad range of providers who can document revenue loss and expenses associated with the pandemic.” The American Hospital Association was pleased with the news.

Federal News Network has interviewed many current and former federal employees about their memories of September 11, 2001. Check it out as the interviews include two OPM officials. Of course, never forget.

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