It would become the first oral antiviral for Covid-19 if approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization.
“In the interim analysis, molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by approximately 50%,” Merck said in a press release. “7.3% of patients who received molnupiravir were hospitalized or died up to day 29 after randomization (28/385), compared to 14.1% of patients treated with placebo (53,377). Up to day 29, no deaths were reported in patients who received molnupiravir, compared with 8 deaths in patients who received placebo. “
Some states are seeing an increase in vaccinations
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has asked the National Guard to prepare in case there is a staff shortage when a vaccine warrant and testing requirement go into effect late Monday, he said. he declares. State employees must provide proof of vaccination or submit to weekly tests before the deadline, and those who fail to comply will be placed on unpaid leave.
As of Thursday, more than 63% – 20,000 employees – were fully vaccinated while 12% of employees began weekly tests, Lamont said. More than 8,000 non-compliant employees remain, but some 2,000 have updated their status in the past two days.
“We have provided most state employees with the option to get tested weekly instead of getting vaccinated, providing more flexibility than our neighboring states. We have also provided our employees with a compliance grace period. There is no reason why all of our employees should not be in compliance, ”said Lamont.
Connecticut is just one of many states facing a rollback in the immunization requirement for essential workers, a move that has been highlighted by health experts as necessary to protect those at higher risk of Covid-19, but which has encountered strong resistance from a vocal minority who wish to remain both unvaccinated and in their current role.
In Rhode Island, the Department of Health announced in August that “all employees, interns and volunteers of RIDOH approved healthcare facilities” would be required to receive their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by Friday.
Care New England, one of the state’s largest hospital systems, announced Thursday that more than 95% of its healthcare workforce has been vaccinated. Staff immunization “continues to increase day by day,” according to system CEO James E. Fanale.
Many hospitals polled by CNN had high vaccination rates among employees, averaging over 90% in some of the state’s largest healthcare systems.
“You will see that number increase rapidly, because what we are seeing, you know, as more and more people are put on leave or suspended, that number is going to increase,” Hochul said.
Vaccines for 5-11 year olds may be available soon, but survey finds reluctance persists
As the Delta variant continues to spread, healthcare workers are far from the only ones facing daily risks on the job. The resumption of in-person learning in schools has already been complicated by the Covid-19 epidemics and the quarantine of exposed students and staff.
Yet despite evidence that vaccinations reduce Covid-19 infections and severity among eligible age groups, parents and guardians are still reluctant to vaccinate children aged 5 to 11, according to a new survey.
According to the report, 58% of parents said K-12 schools should require school masks for all students and staff, 4% said masks should only be mandatory for students and staff unvaccinated, and 35% said there should be no mask requirement. .
There is a split between vaccinated and unvaccinated parents surveyed, according to KFF, with 73% of vaccinated parents saying schools should require masks for all students and 63% of unvaccinated parents saying there should be no no mask requirement.
Most of the interviews, conducted September 13-22 with a sample of more than 1,500 adults, took place before Pfizer announced that clinical trials showed their Covid-19 vaccine to be safe and generated a immune response in this age group.
An official submission to apply for the EUA for the vaccine is expected to follow in the coming weeks, the companies said in a statement.
Death rates in non-metropolitan areas higher, study finds
Meanwhile, researchers are examining the effects of the pandemic on different parts of the country.
Covid-19 deaths in non-metropolitan areas now occur at more than twice the death rate from Covid-19 in metropolitan areas, according to an analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University of the Center for Health Policy Analysis of the University of Iowa.
After analyzing data on average death rates from Covid-19 at the county level, it was determined that in the two weeks ending September 15, 2021, non-metropolitan areas had an average of 0.85 deaths of Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants. Metropolitan areas had half of that on average – 0.41 Covid-19 deaths per 100,000 population.
Deaths in non-metropolitan areas have consistently exceeded those in metropolitan areas since the study began in April 2020, and the September 15 figures are the fourth time overall that the non-metropolitan death rate has been at least the double the metropolitan death rate. However, the non-metropolitan rate had not been double that of metropolitan areas since December 1, 2020.
The researchers used the methodology of the United States Department of Agriculture to differentiate between metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas. Counties were classified as metropolitan if they had an urban area of 50,000 or more inhabitants or if they were a peripheral county with strong economic ties to an urban center. All other counties in the study were coded as non-metropolitan.
CNN’s Virginia Langmaid, Naomi Thomas, Melanie Schuman, Augie Martin, Rosalina Nieves, Lauren Mascarenhas, Elizabeth Joseph, Melissa Alonso, Jamie Gumbrecht and Ben Tinker contributed to this report.