Tensions are high right now. As the delta variant spreads like wildfire across the U.S., vaccination rates are still low in many places and parents and school staff are anxiously wondering what will happen as schools start up again. Should there be more mask mandates? Will businesses have to close again? Will big gatherings be banned?
Biden administration officials say the federal government is thinking about offering boosters to people starting about eight months after they’ve been fully vaccinated. But is it too soon to start talking about boosters for the general public?
Biden administration health officials are expected to recommend COVID-19 booster shots for all Americans, regardless of age, eight months after they received the second shot, a source familiar with the plans confirmed to USA TODAY.
The fully vaccinated have been told to resume wearing masks indoors. Companies and institutions are leveling vaccine mandates. And some municipalities are requiring people to show proof of vaccination to get into restaurants, bars, and gyms. Confusion abounds about what is safe to do. (For the unvaccinated, there’s no confusion about what’s most important to do: Get immunized.)
A few countries are also beginning to offer a third booster dose to their citizens based on evidence that the initial protection from vaccines wanes over time, or that an extra shot may help prevent infection against Delta, particularly for older people or those with weak immune systems.
We started the summer full of optimism and enthusiasm thanks to the rollout of vaccines and the return of travel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rolled back warnings on travel in the spring, so we planned vacations and reunited with loved ones. Everything was on the upswing — until it wasn’t.
So how should travelers feel about their upcoming travel plans? It can all depend on where you are going, how you are getting there and whom you are going with. We spoke with six health experts for their advice.
Three vaccines developed to prevent COVID-19 infections received emergency use authorization earlier this year, allowing nearly half the U.S. population to be fully vaccinated against the virus. But while much of the population remains skeptical of vaccination, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working to fully approve, or license, the three vaccines.
A group of Iowa mothers of young school-age children held a rally and sit-in at the Iowa Capitol on Wednesday pushing Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds to issue an executive order reversing a state law that prohibits school boards from implementing mask requirements in schools.