GE suspends Covid vaccine, take a look at guidelines after excessive courtroom nixes Biden mandate

An employee helps install a traction motor on the truck of a General Electric Evolution Series Tier 4 diesel locomotive at the GE Manufacturing Solutions facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

Luke Sharret | Bloomberg | Getty Images

General Electric suspended its Covid vaccine and testing requirements on Friday after the Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration’s mandate, a company spokesman told CNBC.

GE, which had 174,000 employees at the end of 2020, has encouraged its employees to get vaccinated, the spokesman said.

The conservative majority of the Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision, called the Biden administration’s requirements a “blunt instrument” that “makes no distinctions by industry or risk of exposure to Covid-19.”

In a statement following the court decision, President Joe Biden urged companies to voluntarily implement the vaccination and testing rules.

“The court has ruled that my administration cannot use the authority granted to it by Congress to require this action,” Biden said. “But that doesn’t stop me from using my voice as president to advocate for employers to do the right thing to protect the health and economy of Americans.”

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh has vowed to use the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s existing power to hold companies accountable for protecting workers from Covid.

“We urge all employers to require workers to be vaccinated or tested weekly to most effectively combat this deadly virus in the workplace,” Walsh said in a statement Thursday. “Employers are responsible for the safety of their workers in the workplace.”

The American Medical Association, one of the largest medical associations in the US, contradicted that the Supreme Court blocked “one of the most effective tools in the fight against further transmission and death from this aggressive virus”.

“Workplace transmission has been an important factor in the spread of Covid-19,” said AMA President Dr. Gerald Harmon. “More than ever, workers in all settings across the country need sound, evidence-based protection from Covid-19 infection, hospitalization and death.”

Harmon urged companies to protect their workers from the disease. A number of large companies – including Citigroup, Nike and Columbia Sportswear – have announced plans to lay off unvaccinated workers.

The Covid-Omicron variant is driving new infections to unprecedented levels. The US is reporting an average of more than 786,000 new infections each day, a 29% increase from the previous week, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

Additionally, based on federal data going back to the summer of 2020, hospitalizations are at a pandemic high. About 151,000 Americans were in hospitals with Covid as of Friday, a seven-day moving average of health and social services data shows, up 23%. from a week earlier. That number includes both patients who have been admitted to hospital due to Covid and those who have tested positive after admission.

— CNBC’s Nate Rattner contributed to this report

Florida governor DeSantis suspends all remaining Covid restrictions

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks wearing his face mask about the rise in coronavirus cases in the state during a press conference at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami on July 13, 2020.

Chandan Khanna | AFP | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order on Monday suspending immediately all pending local Covid-19 emergency orders and related public health restrictions.

“The fact is that we are no longer in a state of emergency,” DeSantis said during a press conference. He conceded that Florida was not finished with its fight against the coronavirus, but reiterated the nation’s decline in Covid-19 cases and deaths.

“I think that’s the evidence-based thing,” DeSantis said, adding that asking vaccinated people to continue wearing masks would undermine confidence in the coronavirus vaccine.

Private businesses may still require masks and enforce social distancing and other protective measures.

DeSantis signed an invoice on Monday this codifies the Executive Ordinance with effect from July 1st. The executive order, he said, should “fill the gap” by then. The move, which is effectively ending all local restrictions related to pandemics, also bans vaccination certificates.

Florida has reported the third most common Covid-19 cases in the US with more than 2.2 million since the pandemic began and the fourth highest death toll with more than 35,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. However, the average number of new cases there has dropped more than 13% in the past week and dropped to 4,885 according to data on Sunday.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Last week, the Biden government announced a relaxation of federal health guidelines on wearing masks outdoors.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that fully vaccinated people exercise and participate in small outdoor gatherings to wear without a face mask. The agency also recommends that fully vaccinated individuals wear a mask in crowded outdoor areas.

Germany suspends AstraZeneca vaccine amid blood clot fears

LONDON – Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands have joined growing list of countries who have suspended the use of Coronavirus Vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University for blood clot problems.

The Dutch government said on Sunday that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine would not be used until March 29, while Ireland said earlier in the day it had temporarily suspended the shot as a precautionary measure.

On Monday, the federal government also announced that it would stop using it. The vaccine authority, the Paul Ehrlich Institute, requested further investigations. The Italian Medicines Agency made a similar announcement on Monday afternoon, and French President Emmanuel Macron also said that use of the vaccine would be suspended pending a ruling by the EU regulator. Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias said Monday the country would stop using the shot for at least two weeks, Reuters reported, and Portugal later suspended the vaccine as well.

The World Health Organization tried to downplay the ongoing safety concerns and stated last week that there was no link between the shot and an increased risk of developing blood clots. The United Nations Health Department has urged nations to continue using the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Even so, some European countries have already stopped the use of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. It added to the region’s worries sick vaccination campaign at a time when the German health department warned that a third wave of coronavirus infections has already started.

Thailand has also stopped the planned use of the vaccine.

The move to discontinue use by Dutch and Irish officials came shortly after the Norwegian Medicines Agency said Three health workers were reported to have been treated for bleeding, blood clots and low platelet counts in the hospital after receiving the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. Norway has suspended its vaccination program against Oxford-AstraZeneca.

Geir Bukholm, director of the Infection Control and Environmental Health Department at the Norwegian Public Health Institute, said the Norwegian Medicines Agency will “follow up on these suspected side effects and take the necessary action in this serious situation”.

The picture taken on November 27, 2020 shows “Nikki” Anniken Hars treating a Covid-19 patient in the intensive care unit of Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet in Oslo, Norway.

JIL YNGLAND | AFP | Getty Images

The European Medicines Agency, the European Medicines Agency, said there was no evidence that Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine caused blood clots and believed that the vaccine’s benefits “continue to outweigh the risks”.

The EMA admitted that some European countries had stopped using the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot, but said vaccinations may continue to be given while a clot investigation is ongoing.

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin told CNBC on Monday that he anticipated a temporary hiatus and that the country wanted to catch up with its vaccination program quickly.

“No causal effect or anything like that has been identified yet, but as a precautionary measure, in line with the precautionary principle and with great caution, our clinical advice has been to halt the program while the EMA reviews,” he said. “This is an undesirable pause, but I still think it’s important that we heed the advice we received.”

How did AstraZeneca react?

“A careful review of all available safety data on more than 17 million people vaccinated with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the European Union (EU) and the UK found no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis ( DVT) or thrombocytopenia in a specific age group, sex, specific batch or in a specific country “AstraZeneca said in a statement Sunday.

The most common side effects of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, which does not contain the virus and cannot cause Covid, are usually mild or moderate and improve within a few days after vaccination.

A health worker holds a box of the AstraZeneneca vaccine at the Bamrasnaradura Institute for Infectious Diseases in Nonthaburi Province on the outskirts of Bangkok.

Chaiwat subprasome | SOPA pictures | LightRocket via Getty Images

The pharmaceutical company said that 15 events involving deep vein thrombosis and 22 events involving pulmonary embolism were reported among those vaccinated in the EU and the United Kingdom.

“This is much less than expected to occur naturally in a general population of this size, and it is similar to other approved COVID-19 vaccines,” said AstraZeneca.

What do the experts say?

“Covid definitely causes bleeding disorders and each of the vaccines prevents Covid disease, including more severe cases,” said Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

“Therefore, it is highly likely that the vaccine’s benefits will significantly outweigh the risk of clotting disorders, and the vaccine will prevent other consequences of Covid, including deaths from other causes.”

Evans said it was “perfectly reasonable” to conduct studies on vaccines and coagulation disorders, but added, “It seems a step too far to take precautionary measures that would prevent people from receiving vaccines that prevent disease.”

Many high-income countries – such as the UK, France, Australia and Canada – have decided to continue rolling out the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

“When there is clear evidence of serious or life-threatening side effects that have important consequences,” Adam Finn, professor of pediatrics at Bristol University, said in a statement.

“So far, however, this has not been the case, and it is highly undesirable to disrupt a complex and urgent program every time people, after receiving a vaccine, develop illnesses that are random and not causal. In situations like this, it is not easy to Making the right call, but a steady hand on the tiller is probably what is needed most, “said Finn.

Covid-19 guidelines: Dubai suspends leisure actions – Information

Dubai tourism will continue to evaluate progress with health authorities.

Dubai Tourism suspended all entertainment permits issued in the emirate on Thursday.

The Dubai Media Office announced on its official Twitter handle that in order to ensure public health and safety, all entertainment permits issued in the emirate will be on hold with immediate effect.

To ensure public health and safety, all entertainment permits issued are on hold with immediate effect. @ Dubai tourism will continue to evaluate progress with health authorities.

– Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) January 21, 2021

Tourism in Dubai will continue to evaluate progress made by health authorities.

In the past three weeks, Dubai authorities have closed 20 facilities and imposed 200 breaches of Covid-19 rules, the Dubai Media Office said.