(Associated Press) Dr. Anthony Fauci is saying Sunday that it is “really unfortunate” that Gov. Greg Abbott has moved to ban vaccine mandates in the state of Texas.
The nation’s leading infectious disease doctor, speaking on Fox News Sunday, said that the Republican governor’s decision to block businesses from requiring inoculations would damage public health since vaccines are the “most effective means” to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Fauci was largely encouraged by the downward trend of coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths across the nation and suggested that vaccinated individuals could have a normal holiday season with others who have received the shot. But he said that those who have not been vaccinated should continue to avoid gatherings and should wear a mask.
He also suggested that those who received a shot of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine would likely have flexibility to get a booster from either Moderna or Pfizer.
The FDA advisory panel ruled last week that anyone 18 and up who had the J&J shot was eligible to get a booster.
New Zealand health care workers administered a record number of vaccine jabs Saturday as the nation held a festival aimed at getting more people inoculated against the coronavirus.
Musicians, sports stars and celebrities pitched in for the “Vaxathon” event, which was broadcast on television and online for eight hours straight. By late afternoon, more than 120,000 people had gotten shots, eclipsing the daily record of 93,000 set in August.
A throwback to TV fundraising “telethon” events that were popular from the 1970s through the 1990s, it comes as New Zealand faces its biggest threat since the pandemic began, with an outbreak of the delta variant spreading through the largest city of Auckland and beyond.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who chatted with motorists at a drive-through vaccination center in Wellington, initially set a target of 100,000 jabs for the day but upped that to 150,000 after the first target was met.
She also set a target of 25,000 shots for Indigenous Maori, whose vaccination numbers have been lagging and who have been hit hard by the latest outbreak.