COVID news: cases, booster shots, Novavax vaccine, travel


In this image provided by the Serum Institute of India, vials of freshly manufactured Novavax COVID-19 vaccines wait to be labeled in 2022, in Pune, India.


In the United States, more than 85 million people have tested positive for coronavirus as of Friday, June 10, according to Johns Hopkins University.

To date, more than 1 million people in the U.S. have died. Worldwide, there have been more than 533 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, including about 2 million cases since one week ago.

Additionally, over 6.3 million have died from the virus globally. Roughly 221 million people in the U.S. are fully vaccinated as of June 10 — 66.7% of the population — and 104 million of those people have gotten their first booster shot, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

Roughly 92% of the U.S. lives in a location with low or medium COVID-19 Community Level, the agency says as of June 10. About 7.4% of Americans reside in an area with a high COVID-19 Community Level. For them, it’s recommended to wear a mask while indoors in public.

The CDC reports COVID-19 cases are rising nationwide as of June 3.

Omicron and its subvariants dominated all positive U.S. cases for the week ending June 4.

Here’s what happened between June 5 and June 10.

Why are boosted Americans testing positive for COVID more than those without extra shot?

Since late February, Americans who have gotten a booster shot appear to be testing positive for COVID-19 more often than those vaccinated without the extra shot, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

This is based on numbers up until the week of April 23, which is the most recently released CDC data comparing case rates of those boosted, vaccinated and unvaccinated against the coronavirus. Ultimately, the numbers, which are updated monthly, showed those unvaccinated had the highest case rates overall.

Meanwhile, about 119 out of 100,000 boosted individuals tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of April 23, according to CDC data. In comparison, 56 out of 100,000 individuals vaccinated with only a primary series tested positive.

But why are the case rates higher for boosted individuals than for those vaccinated without a booster?

The article continues below:

New COVID vaccine? Here’s what makes Novavax different from other shots in US

Is there a new COVID-19 vaccine?

Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine has been recommended for emergency authorization in the U.S. for adults 18 and older by the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. This came after a nearly unanimous decision made on June 7.

Most committee members voted “yes” when asked if the benefits of the two-dose vaccine series outweigh the risks for U.S. adults “based on the totality of scientific evidence available,” according to the live-streamed committee meeting. One person chose to abstain from a vote, and no one voted “no.”

If the FDA decides to authorize Novavax, which was created by the Maryland-based biotechnology company, it will make the vaccine the first of its kind in the U.S.

For more, keep reading:

More countries now have a ‘high’ COVID risk, CDC warns. What to know before traveling

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning about more countries where COVID-19 levels are considered “high” ahead of the official start of summer.

Four international destinations were added by the agency this month to its Level 3 category. Currently, no countries are included in the Level 4 “do not travel” list that is for “special circumstances.”

The latest countries added to the “high” COVID-19 risk category are Saint Kitts and Nevis, Namibia, Mongolia and Guyana as of June 6, according to the CDC. Now, a total of 115 locations are on the list.

Keep reading here:

Man’s $5 million in COVID loans paid for Malibu home and investment property, feds say

A California man has agreed to plead guilty after federal prosecutors said he received more than $5 million in COVID-19 relief loans for shell companies.

The Orange County resident, Raghavender Reddy Budamala, 35, used three sham companies to apply for seven Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster loans, according to the plea agreement. He agreed on June 3 to plead guilty to a count of money laundering and a count of bank fraud.

Budamala’s lawyer, Diane C. Bass, told McClatchy News she had no comment on the case.

The story continues below:

WHO: COVID origins unclear but lab leak theory needs study

More than two years after coronavirus emerged in China and after at least 6.3 million deaths have been counted worldwide from the pandemic, the World Health Organization is recommending in its strongest terms yet that a deeper probe is required into whether a lab accident may be to blame.

That stance marks a sharp reversal of the U.N. health agency’s initial assessment of the pandemic’s origins, and comes after many critics accused WHO of being too quick to dismiss or underplay a lab-leak theory that put Chinese officials on the defensive.

WHO concluded last year that it was “extremely unlikely” COVID-19 might have spilled into humans in the city of Wuhan from a lab. Many scientists suspect the coronavirus jumped into people from bats, possibly via another animal.

Yet in a report released Thursday, WHO’s expert group said “key pieces of data” to explain how the pandemic began were still missing. The scientists said the group would “remain open to any and all scientific evidence that becomes available in the future to allow for comprehensive testing of all reasonable hypotheses.”

Keep reading here:

Officials: Millions of COVID-19 shots ordered for youngest

Millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses have been ordered for small children in anticipation of possible federal authorization next week, White House officials say.

The government allowed pharmacies and states to start placing orders last week, with 5 million doses initially available — half of them shots made by Pfizer and the other half the vaccine produced by Moderna, senior administration officials said.

As of this week, about 1.45 million of the 2.5 million Pfizer doses have been ordered, and about 850,000 Moderna shots have been ordered, officials said. More orders are expected in the coming days.

For more information, continue reading:

Daniella Segura and the Associated Press also contributed to this report.

Julia Marnin is a McClatchy National Real-Time reporter covering the southeast and northeast while based in New York. She’s an alumna of The College of New Jersey and joined McClatchy in 2021. Previously, she’s written for Newsweek, Modern Luxury, Gannett and more.

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