Coronavirus Updates: Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett backs university’s vaccine mandate


NEW YORK (WABC) — Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett has denied a request to block Indiana University’s vaccine mandate for students heading back to college.

Barrett, who has jurisdiction over the appeals court involved in the case, acted alone and did not refer the matter to the full court.

This marks the first time the justices have been asked to weigh in on the legality of a mandate experts increasingly believe will combat the spread of COVID-19.

The move could signal that similar vaccine mandates will be upheld.

Here are more of today’s headlines:

CDC panel votes to recommend booster shot for immunocompromised
The CDC’s advisory panel voted unanimously Friday to recommend an additional dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for immunocompromised people.

The recommendation does not apply to those who have received the single-dose vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson.

Alabama family speaks out after boy, 12, hospitalized with COVID-19
An Alabama family’s life was turned upside down when their 12-year-old son, a healthy, strong athlete, caught COVID-19 and landed in the hospital struggling to breathe.

Brody Barnett, a seventh grader from Chilton County, and his family are speaking out to warn the public of the dangers of the delta variant.

5 key things to know about the delta variant
With the CDC estimating that the delta variant accounts for more than 90% of new COVID cases in the U.S., scientists are still learning more about what makes this variant different from prior versions of the virus.

There are dozens of COVID-19 variants. Some emerge and quickly fade away. Others emerge and sweep the globe. The delta variant first emerged in India in December 2020 and quickly became the dominant strain there and then in the United Kingdom.

Now, experts say there’s good news and bad news when it comes to this new variant. Here’s what we know now.

Father and son accused of using fake COVID-19 vaccination cards to vacation in Hawaii
Investigators with the Hawaii Attorney General’s office arrested a father and son on Sunday when they reportedly tried to use fake vaccination cards at a Hawaii airport.

The pair were arrested at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu after flying there from California.

Mother, who is also cancer survivor, gets double lung transplant after COVID
A 52-year-old cancer survivor and mom in Illinois got a double lung transplant after a severe case of COVID-19, despite being vaccinated.

A wife, mother and grandmother, she beat cancer and then battled through months of hospitalization after contracting COVID-19. She spoke Thursday from her hospital bed while recovering from a double lung transplant.

Bratlien said her battle with COVID started in late April, a month after she got the vaccine.

Expert shares equation that shows even a 100% vaccination rate is not enough to stop Delta variant
Earlier in the pandemic, experts had hoped if we can get 75% of Americans vaccinated, we can contain the coronavirus.

Thursday, we’re at just over 50% vaccinated. But 75% is no longer enough. The Delta variant has changed the equation, literally. A professor of epidemiology at Boston University recently tweeted equations that explain why Delta has made it mathematically impossible to beat the virus now with just the vaccine.

FDA authorizes COVID booster shot for immunocompromised ahead of CDC meeting
U.S. regulators have okayed an extra dose of COVID-19 vaccine for transplant recipients and others with weakened immune systems as the delta variant continues to surge. In the decision, announced late Thursday night, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for both the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine.

NYC Catholic schools mandate masks
The Archdiocese of New York and Diocese of Brooklyn both announced Thursday that all students, faculty and staff at Catholic schools will be required to wear masks when the academic year begins in September. There will be no remote or hybrid options available.

Mount Sinai Health System mandates COVID-19 vaccine for all employees
Mount Sinai Health System announced Thursday that all employees will be required to get the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine by September 13. Leaders at the largest health system in New York City made the decision amid increases in cases caused by the rapid spread of the delta variant and as an added measure to protect faculty and staff who have worked tirelessly caring for patients during the pandemic.

“Over the past weeks and months, we have worked hard to encourage every member of our Mount Sinai family to get vaccinated against COVID-19, to protect you, your patients, your coworkers, your families, and your communities,” President and CEO Dr. Kenneth Davis said in an internal message to staff. “We are grateful for those of you who got the vaccine. Given the increased incidence and the rapid spread of the delta variant, we will be making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all faculty and staff, with limited exceptions for religious and medical reasons, and excluding employees who work fully remotely and have a current Remote Work Agreement in place. This will apply to employees at all Mount Sinai locations, including hospital, ambulatory, academic, corporate, and other sites.”

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