COVID-19 tally as compiled by Johns Hopkins University. (Previous numbers in parentheses.)
Total U.S. confirmed cases: 80,019,456 (79,997,466)
Total U.S. deaths: 978,693 (977,497)
Total global cases: 485,454,999 (482,496,268)
Total global deaths: 6,134,829 (6,128,712)
Should you get a second booster?
Now that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the emergency use authorization (EUA) of two vaccines to include a second booster shot, many people are wondering if they need to roll up their sleeves again, especially since cases of COVID-19 have declined recently.
First, someone must be eligible. In its action Tuesday, the FDA cleared the fourth shot of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for people aged 50 and older, the group most vulnerable to severe symptoms. But it also included people aged 12 and older who suffer from immunocompromised conditions.
Experts suggest people should wait at least four months after their first booster shot to get a second one. People who are uncertain about whether to get the fourth shot/second booster should consult with their health care provider. Meanwhile, the FDA said it will “continue to evaluate data and information" before clearing a second booster dose for other age groups.
Researchers develop nose spray to counter COVID-19
Scientists at Cornell University say their research suggests a simple and inexpensive way to prevent and treat the coronavirus is with a nasal spray. They say a newly discovered small molecule could be sprayed into people’s noses to prevent infection and provide early treatment after infection.
The study, published in Nature, employed experimental mice engineered with human receptors for the coronavirus on their cell surfaces. The researchers found that the molecule, called N-0385, inhibited entry of the virus into cells in the body. Experiments showed blocked infection if administered up to 12 hours after exposure.
“There are very few, if any, small molecule antivirals that have been discovered that work prophylactically to prevent infection,” said Hector Aguilar-Carreno, associate professor of virology, and senior author of the paper. “This is the first of its kind.”
Poll shows many who quit jobs wish they hadn’t
It’s called the “Great Resignation,” a pandemic phenomenon in which millions of Americans quit their jobs. Some started businesses, others went to other companies, and others just quit. The trend has continued, with a government report showing that 4.4 million people quit jobs in February.
A new NBC News poll finds that many of these former workers now regret their decision, with nearly 20% of people who quit their job in the last two years now wishing they had their old job back.
“A lot of times, the grass is not any different on the other side of the fence,” said Dietrich von Biedenfeld, a professor studying employment trends.
Around the nation
California: Truckers who have protested COVID-19 mandates in the Washington, D.C. area for several weeks are heading to California to protest bills coming up for votes soon in the legislature. The truckers are moving to California to protest what organizers call the “most invasive COVID-19 legislation yet.”
Texas: COVID-19 vaccinations have peaked in Texas, and many doses of the vaccine have been discarded. But doses near their expiration dates are being sent across the border to vaccinate Mexican citizens who are eager to get inoculated. At one point last year, Nuevo Laredo only had a 7% vaccination rate.
Maryland: The state court system is returning to normal operations next week after exiting the COVID-19 mitigation policies that have been in place since the start of the pandemic. “This is the final step in resuming complete Judicial operations, but we recognize that we still have more work to do,” said Chief Judge Joseph Getty.
South Carolina: Only 12 COVID-19 patients are on ventilators in the state’s hospitals, and officials say it is a sign of the decreasing number of severe cases of the virus. The number of patients in intensive care has fallen to 27, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Arkansas: State health officials say there were no official deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, the first time that’s happened in more than a month. Meanwhile, the state health department is already getting requests for a second booster shot of the vaccine, which was cleared Tuesday by the FDA.