Maine vaccine mandate opponents file an appeal

After being denied a second legal victory on Friday, the Maine Opponents to a COVID-19 mandate for Maine health care workers filed an emergency appeal to U.S. Supreme Court.

Maine vaccine mandate opponents file an appeal

After the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals had denied a request to halt the mandate's implementation in Boston, the appeal was filed. The Supreme Court has previously rejected appeals regarding vaccine requirements for New York City teachers, Indiana University staff and students.

Democratic Governor Janet Mills announced the Maine vaccine mandate. Janet Mills requires that health care workers get vaccinated against coronavirus to avoid losing their jobs. On Oct. 29, the state will begin to enforce this mandate.


SACRAMENTO (Calif.) -- A Northern California judge tentatively determined that officials at a state prison were acting with deliberate indifference last year when they created a deadly coronavirus epidemic in one of the most famous prisons in the country.

Geoffrey Howard, Marin County Superior Court Judge, said that vaccines have made the world so different since then that officials no longer violate inmates' constitutional rights.

This lawsuit was triggered by the mishandled transfer of infected prisoners from a Southern California prison in May 2020 to San Quentin. The coronavirus quickly infected 75% of the inmates at the prison north San Francisco. This led to the deaths 28 inmates as well as a correction officer.


PHOENIX -- The three Arizona state universities have announced that they will adhere to federal mandates regarding government contractors. They will require all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8, unless exempted, officials said Friday.

According to the State Board of Regents, this requirement applies to students at the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University.

This statement quoted President Joe Biden’s executive order on federal COVID-19 workplace guidance. It also stated that universities had "hundreds and millions of dollars in federal contract funding, critical research and education efforts."

The statement said that "We respect individual views regarding the vaccine" and would include disability (including medical) as well as religious accommodations in accordance with federal regulations.

When asked by the Regents spokesperson, she did not immediately answer when asked about what would happen if an employee does not follow the mandate.

President Robert Robbins stated that the University of Arizona has already received amended federal contracts which include this requirement. "While we are open to all opinions on the vaccine, we will continue these mission-critical endeavors. We will comply with this requirement."


RENO, Nev. -- Nevada officials warn that rural areas with low vaccination rates are still the greatest concern. However, overall COVID-19 trends have continued to improve in Nevada with a test positive rate below 8% for only the second time since July.

In Thursday's weekly update, state officials reported that the Delta surge is still receding across Nevada with all COVID-19 metrics decreasing.

Between Sept. 21 & Oct. 5, daily cases fell 26% On Thursday, the 14-day average dropped to 527 -- less than half of the 1,193 reported in August when a steady decline started.

The weekly bulletin stated that the surge was not over. "Rural hospitalizations are still at their peak, and Nevada still has five times the number of cases in June."

Officials stated that although hospital capacity in rural areas continues to be limited, "significant challenges" are not as prevalent as in July and August. However, hospitalizations in the state overall declined 11% between Sept. 23-Oct. 7.

On Thursday, Nevada's test positivity rate was 7.9%. Nevada has 55.1% of residents over 12 years old who are fully vaccinated, and 63.7% of those over 12 have begun vaccinations.

Only 49.5% of rural areas, including Carson City, Reno-Sparks, Las Vegas and Reno-Sparks, are fully vaccinated. There is a 13.7% positivity rate.


ANCHORAGE (Alaska) -- The mayor's veto over an emergency order imposing a 60-day mask mandate has been overruled by the governing body of Alaska’s largest city.

Alaska Public Media reports that the Anchorage Assembly overturned Mayor Dave Bronson’s veto of the measure that required masks for most indoor public spaces on Thursday.

The ordinance requires that people use masks indoors, in public places, and in communal spaces. There are some exceptions. It provides some exceptions.

If two of Anchorage's three hospitals do not operate with crisis care protocols, or if there is a low transmission rate for COVID-19 in the city, the order can be cancelled before 60 days.


PORTLAND, Maine -- The federal appeals court denied an emergency request to prevent a COVID-19 mandate from entering into force in Maine.

Democratic Governor Janet Mills announced the rule. Janet Mills requires that health care workers get vaccinated against the disease before Oct. 29 to avoid losing their jobs. Federal court heard the challenge by opponents to the mandate and a judge refused to block it earlier in this week.

The Bangor Daily News reported that a three-judge panel of United States Court of Appeals for Boston's First Circuit issued a one sentence statement Friday stating that the mandate request was denied.

To comply with the mandate, state health workers needed to be given their last shot Friday.

Many already have. Officials from the state stated earlier this week that hospitals in the state had a compliance rate of more than 90% and higher than 80% for other types health care facilities, such as intermediate care facilities.


OMAHA (Neb. OMAHA, Neb. -- Friday's statement by Nebraska's Attorney General indicated that he will not seek disciplinary action against doctors who prescribe controversial or off-label medications to prevent and treat coronavirus infections. He said that doctors must get informed consent from patients and refrain from engaging in misconduct

Doug Peterson's office issued a legal opinion stating that it did not see any data that would justify legal action against health professionals who prescribed ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine to treat parasites. This is a decades-old treatment. Former President Donald Trump used the drug to combat a COVID-19 infected.

The opinion stated that "based on the evidence currently available, the mere fact that a doctor has prescribed ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine to COVID-19 won't result in our office filing discipline actions."

Leading medical organizations and health experts have tried to end the use of both drugs. They claim that they can cause side effects that are harmful and that there is little evidence they actually help.


ROBBINSDALE (Minn.) -- Governor. Tim Walz announced Friday that he will use the Minnesota National Guard in an effort to alleviate staffing shortages at hospitals, care facilities and other institutions that are struggling to deal with the increase in COVID-19-infected Minnesotans.

Governor Robbinsdale announced plans to alleviate bottlenecks at North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale that are caused by overworked staffs, which prevent hospitals from moving patients to long-term and transitional care facilities.

He said that more than 400 patients in Minnesota hospitals are waiting for beds at other centers to open and they are taking up space for new patients.

Walz stated that the exact number of National Guard soldiers to be deployed and their roles are still unknown.

Minnesota hospitals report being at capacity. There are a shortage of pediatric and intensive care beds. They currently treat just over 1,000 COVID-19-related patients. Officials at the hospital said that the problem isn't just related to the coronavirus. They also treat other serious conditions like heart attacks, strokes and trauma.


ALBUQUERQUE (NM) -- A New Mexico judge denied the request of dozens scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory to block a mandate for vaccines.

If workers don't adhere to the Friday afternoon deadline, they could be fired.

This is New Mexico's latest case as it expands its indoor space mask mandate.

The New Mexico adult vaccination rate is 71.5%. However, it is higher for lab workers. However, 114 workers filed a lawsuit claiming that the mandate violated their constitutional rights and that the lab management created hostile work environments.

The lab's attorneys argued that getting vaccinated was a condition for working in the lab.


BERLIN -- Pfizer and BioNTech, two pharmaceutical companies, have asked for the European Union to license their coronavirus vaccine for children 5-11 years old. It would be the first time that COVID-19-infected children under 5 years old in Europe could be immunized.

Pfizer and BioNTech released a statement Friday stating that they had submitted data for the European Medicines Agency. This included late-stage results from a study in which their COVID-19 vaccine was tested in more than 2,200 children between 6 months and 11 years old. The dose used to test it was lower than what is normally administered to adults.

According to the companies, the results demonstrated a strong immune response in the children. The vaccine was also safe. COVID-19 vaccines are not currently licensed for use in Europe or North America for children under 12. The shots made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are approved for children aged 12 and over in the European Union.

Pfizer and BioNTech requested that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approve their vaccine for children aged 5-11 years.


ISLAMABAD --- On Friday, the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan announced that Washington will send an additional 9.6 Million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations to Islamabad as part of the COVAX global vaccine initiative.

An embassy statement stated that the latest donation brings the total amount of COVID-19 vaccinations donated by the U.S. to Pakistan to more than 25,000,000.

According to the statement, "these Pfizer vaccines were part of 500 million Pfizer doses that the United States purchased this Summer to deliver to 92 nations worldwide, including Pakistan."

It stated that the United States was the largest contributor to COVAX's efforts towards global COVID-19 vaccine access.

This latest development is in line with a steady decline of the fourth wave coronavirus in Pakistan, which has recorded 28,228 deaths from coronavirus since last year. There have been 12,62771 cases.


COLUMBIA (S.C.) -- A sprawling federal nuclear reserve in South Carolina has announced that the vast majority of its 5,500 employees have been vaccinated against COVID-19 since the company ordered the shots.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions is suing nearly 80 Savannah River Site employees for refusing to be inoculated. They claim the requirement violates South Carolina law and amounts to illegally prescribing medicine.

Workers filed a South Carolina state court complaint Thursday asking for a judge's intervention to stop the federal contractor implementing the mandate. This mandate requires that employees get vaccinated against highly contagious viruses by the fall deadline or risk being fired.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions has held a U.S. Department of Energy contract since 2008 to manage and operate the nuclear weapons complex south of Aiken.


WASHINGTON -- A White House official said that the Biden administration will announce Friday that it will lift travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people who travel to the U.S. on Nov. 8.

If they can show proof of vaccinations and a negative COVID-19 testing within three days of their travel, foreign nationals will be allowed to travel to the U.S. Although the policy change was first announced in September by the White House, the White House will announce Friday when it will go into effect.

The White House announced this week that it will lift restrictions on foreign nationals fully vaccinated for travel to the U.S. land border and ferry crossings with Canada or Mexico in November. Officials will require proof of vaccination for land and ferry travelers.

An anonymous official spoke out about a policy that was not publicly known. He said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had informed airlines that all FDA-approved and approved vaccines as well as those with an Emergency Use List from the World Health Organization are acceptable. In the coming weeks, guidelines will be issued by CDC on acceptable proof of vaccination.


PARIS -- The COVID-19 test in France is no longer available for adults who are not vaccinated, unless prescribed by a physician.

Adults who have not been vaccinated and children aged 18 or older will still be free of charge, but they will need to pay 22-45 euro ($25-$52) for their tests starting Friday.

This change was introduced by the government to complement the COVID-19 passes, which have been required in France ever since the summer. A person must show proof of vaccination, a recent negative or recovery from the virus in order to get a pass.

Passes are required for tourist visits, hospital visits, domestic train trips, and domestic flights. France's vaccination rate has increased thanks to the introduction of the pass requirement in July.

More than 49 million people in France have been vaccinated against coronavirus. This is 74% of the total population. All people over 12 years old are eligible to receive shots.

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