Monday, January 17News That Matters

Tag: Vaccination and Immunization

A Quandary for New York Restaurants and Workers: What to Do About Omicron?

Business
After Nikolas Vegenas, a bartender at Apotheke in Chinatown and Bar Meridian in Brooklyn, tested positive for the virus in mid-December, he tried to apply for unemployment benefits both over the phone and online. The website “was supercomplicated,” he said. “I called them and waited on the phone, and they said I didn’t qualify.”Asked whether restaurant workers who test positive for the virus are eligible for unemployment, a spokesman for New York State said: “Unemployment determinations are made on a case-by-case basis, but restaurant workers are eligible for unemployment under the same standards as every other worker.”But Ms. Jayaraman noted that the state’s eligibility requirements for unemployment include being “ready, willing and able” to work, according to the New York labor departmen...
How The mRNA Vaccines Were Made: Halting Progress and Happy Accidents

How The mRNA Vaccines Were Made: Halting Progress and Happy Accidents

Technology
“I said, ‘I am an RNA scientist. I can do anything with RNA,’” Dr. Karikó recalled telling Dr. Weissman. He asked her: Could you make an H.I.V. vaccine?“Oh yeah, oh yeah, I can do it,” Dr. Karikó said.Up to that point, commercial vaccines had carried modified viruses or pieces of them into the body to train the immune system to attack invading microbes. An mRNA vaccine would instead carry instructions — encoded in mRNA — that would allow the body’s cells to pump out their own viral proteins. This approach, Dr. Weissman thought, would better mimic a real infection and prompt a more robust immune response than traditional vaccines did.It was a fringe idea that few scientists thought would work. A molecule as fragile as mRNA seemed an unlikely vaccine candidate. Grant reviewers were not impre...
Supreme Court Blocks Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers

Supreme Court Blocks Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers

Business
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a vaccine-or-testing mandate for large employers, dealing a blow to a key element of the White House’s plan to address the pandemic as coronavirus cases resulting from the Omicron variant are on the rise.But the court allowed a more modest mandate requiring health care workers at facilities receiving federal money to be vaccinated.The vote in the employer mandate case was 6 to 3, with the liberal justices in dissent. The vote in the health care case was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh joining the liberal justices to form a majority.The employer decision undercut one of President Biden’s most significant attempts to tame the virus and left the country with...
With Djokovic’s Status in Limbo, So Is the Australian Open

With Djokovic’s Status in Limbo, So Is the Australian Open

Sports
In McNamee’s view, “if Novak was going to be kicked out, the time to do it was before the draw.”Grand Slam draws certainly have been revised before. Andy Murray, initially seeded second at the 2017 U.S. Open, withdrew with a hip injury after the draw had been completed.The Novak Djokovic Standoff With AustraliaCard 1 of 4How it started. The standoff began when Djokovic, a vaccine skeptic, received an exemption that would allow him to defend his Australian Open title. Upon arrival, federal officials said he did not meet the requirements for entry because he was unvaccinated, and canceled his visa.What happens next. Australian officials hinted they may make a new attempt to cancel Djokovic’s visa, even as the tennis champion, freed from detention, returned to the court. The standof...
United Airlines Cuts Flights as Workers Call Out Sick

United Airlines Cuts Flights as Workers Call Out Sick

Business
But the change in health guidance would not give airlines much relief, at least not right away. The weather — and the flight cancellations — continued to get worse, peaking on Jan. 3, when airlines canceled more than 3,100 flights, or about 13 percent of all scheduled trips. It wasn’t until Monday that the number of daily flight cancellations fell below 1,000. In recent days, airlines have canceled many flights proactively to get a better handle on their operations and avoid surprising customers with last-minute changes.Updated Jan. 11, 2022, 5:30 p.m. ETBad weather and staffing problems hit different airlines at different times. Since Christmas, SkyWest Airlines, which operates shorter flights for major carriers, including United, has canceled more than 5,100 trips, more than any oth...

Novak Djokovic’s Fight to Play Tennis Unvaccinated Could Be Just Starting

Sports
Novak Djokovic has fought through adversity of his own and others’ making for as long as he has been playing tennis.He beat extraordinary odds to become a champion, emerging from the former Yugoslavia despite economic hardship and a conflict that turned Serbia, his homeland, into an international pariah and made it difficult for him to travel and train. Once on tour, he had to contend with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, well on their way to becoming two of the game’s greatest players. Djokovic caught up to them and now holds a career edge in both rivalries. He has also been ranked No. 1 for 356 weeks, a record.Djokovic, stubborn and resilient, has had tougher fights in his career than the one he has faced this month with the Australian government over his visa. But this battle, which cont...

The Week in Business: Vaccine Mandates

Business
Credit...Giacomo BagnaraWhat’s Up? (Jan. 2-8)Shifting Guidance for EmployersBusinesses were grappling with increased staff shortages while workers called in sick or tested positive for Covid-19 as well as shifting guidance on what they are required to do to keep their workers safe. On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stood by its guidance that Americans who test positive for the coronavirus could end isolation after five days without obtaining a negative test. The omission of a testing requirement has been criticized by some public health experts, and the agency had been widely expected to add testing to its guidelines. Walmart told workers on Tuesday that it would cut its paid time off for workers who contract the virus to one week, down from two. On Friday, the Sup...
A Surge in Hospitalized Young Children Infected With the Coronavirus

A Surge in Hospitalized Young Children Infected With the Coronavirus

Technology
The number of hospitalized young children infected with the coronavirus rose precipitously last week to the highest levels since the beginning of the pandemic, according to data released on Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The increase was observed in children who were 4 and younger, who are not eligible for vaccination, and the data included children who were admitted to hospitals for reasons other than Covid.The rise may be partly explained by the surge of Omicron cases, which affects all populations, and the spread of other respiratory infections.But the data do not show a similar steep rise in coronavirus infections among hospitalized children of other ages, and federal health officials were considering the possibility that Omicron may not be as mild in young ch...

Novak Djokovic and Fellow Star Vaccine Skeptics Are Increasingly Scorned

Sports
In a less dangerous time, a more forgiving public viewed Novak Djokovic’s nontraditional views of science and health as the quirky characteristics of a hyperactive seeker with strongly held beliefs about everything from sports to spirituality.He has sat inside a pressurized, egg-shaped pod during major tournaments, believing it would improve circulation, boost his red-blood cell production and rid his muscles of lactic acid. He supported the concept that prayer and faith could purify toxic water. Djokovic and other high-profile athletes with unorthodox approaches to health were a source of bemusement for a public that, for better or for worse, has long treated them as role models. These quirks as seemingly harmless as a bowl of quarterback Tom Brady’s avocado ice cream.Not anymore.Djokovic...
Women’s Periods May Be Late After Coronavirus Vaccination, Study Suggests

Women’s Periods May Be Late After Coronavirus Vaccination, Study Suggests

Technology
Shortly after coronavirus vaccines were rolled out about a year ago, women started reporting erratic menstrual cycles after receiving the shots.Some said their periods were late. Others reported heavier bleeding than usual or painful bleeding. Some postmenopausal women who hadn’t had a period in years even said they had menstruated again.A study published on Thursday found that women’s menstrual cycles did indeed change following vaccination against the coronavirus. The authors reported that women who were inoculated had slightly longer menstrual cycles after receiving the vaccine than those who were not vaccinated.Their periods themselves, which came almost a day later on average, were not prolonged, however, and the effect was transient, with cycle lengths bouncing back to normal within ...