Vaccinated travelers from abroad were allowed to enter the U.S. this week, concluding a painful 18-month wait and producing joyous gatherings for thousands of people.
The country’s opening of the borders on Monday is expected to dramatically increase the inflow of tourism money and give some help to a travel industry that lost billions of dollars in the pandemic. On Monday alone, more than 200,000 international leaflets arrived in the United States, according to Customs and Border Protection.
Every customs booth in San Ysidro, California, was occupied while visitors from Mexico crossed the border to reunite with relatives or seek medical attention. But in the north, there were concerns that the Canadian government’s entry requirement of a PCR test – more expensive and time-consuming than the rapid antigen test – could discourage some Canadian travel to the United States.
At the same time, discussions continued on US mandates on preventive measures by Covid. A federal appellate court upheld a block on the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for large employers; the government is expected to appeal. And 10 states sued the federal government on Wednesday over its vaccine mandate for health care workers.
Mass commanders had a mixed week in the courts. A federal judge ruled that Texas’ ban on mass commanders in schools violated the rights of students with disabilities, while in Pennsylvania, a judge overthrew a state commander for grades K-12; it remained in effect pending an appeal.
Pfizer asked the FDA on Tuesday to authorize boosting doses of its vaccine for all 18 and older – an extension of the current authorization for those over 65 and younger people at high risk. The agency is expected to comply with the request, possibly in time for the holidays. Two states took that step this week before federal approval: Colorado and California.
Meanwhile, the director general of the World Health Organization said six times more booster doses are given around the world every day than primary doses in poor countries, a situation he called “a scandal that must stop now.” Countries including Germany, Israel, Canada and the United States have launched acceleration programs despite the objections of the WHO.
Here’s what else happened this week:
The White House estimates that nearly a million children ages 5 to 11 have been vaccinated since the Pfizer vaccine was released last week for that age group.
The New York Times examined the existing data on the long-term efficacy of the vaccines authorized for use in the United States. The conclusion: Their potency against infection does decrease, to varying degrees, but prevention of hospitalization and death remains strong.
Schools in much of the world have reopened, but in Uganda they are largely closed. Ten million primary and secondary students are still at home, and the long-term outlook is bleak. Nearly a third of the country’s students may never return to school, according to the government’s estimate.
Cases have risen sharply in Europe, occupying more than half of the 48,000 global coronavirus deaths reported in the first week of this month, according to the WHO The Netherlands has set up a partial blockade, and Germany has said it will resume free testing for all and discussed. the imposition of stricter rules. In Romania, doctors have done their best to fight misinformation and turn the tide against vaccine hesitation.
A gradual eviction crisis is developing in communities around the United States, especially in areas where federal rental assistance has been slow and where tenant protections are scarce. Evictions grew by almost 14 percent in the first two weeks of October compared to the first two weeks of the previous month.