AMA Calls for Vaccine Mandates; ‘Blame the Unvaccinated Folks’; Colo. Plague Death

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The American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, and 55 other groups are calling for COVID vaccination mandates for healthcare and long-term care workers. (Washington Post)

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R), who leads one of the least vaccinated states in the country, didn’t mince hers: “It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks” for surging cases. (Al.com)

As of Monday at 8 a.m. EDT, the estimated COVID-19 toll in the U.S. was 34,444,702 cases and 610,892 deaths, increases of 363,812 and 1,871, respectively, versus this time a week ago.

In Missouri, an unvaccinated nursing instructor, Christy Henry, has been hospitalized with COVID-19 and is urging everyone to get their shot. (CNN)

Meanwhile, county health officials in St. Louis re-implemented an indoor mask mandate for anyone 5 and older in public spaces and on public transportation; the state’s attorney general said he plans to challenge the policy. (ABC News)

Following a surge in COVID cases, Tennessee’s top state health officials said its vaccination outreach program will resume in full, with the exception of social media posts aimed at children. (The Tennessean)

The Biden administration just bought 200 million more coronavirus vaccine doses from Pfizer, which may be used as booster shots or, if the FDA authorizes it, for children under 12. (CBS News)

The European Medicines Agency recommended expanding the authorization of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents ages 12 to 17 years.

In Israel, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was only 39% effective against the Delta variant, according to new data from the country’s health ministry, but the shot still prevented most cases of serious illness and hospitalization. (CNBC)

Among the U.S. athletes competing at the Tokyo Olympics, 83% have been vaccinated against COVID-19. (Washington Post)

Japan’s Naomi Osaka won her first tennis match at the Olympics following a mental health leave, and team USA sabre fencer Khalil Thompson is speaking out about his own battle with severe depression and anxiety. (Fox News, USA Today)

Meet “The Most Influential Spreader of Coronavirus Misinformation Online,” according to the New York Times: Joseph Mercola, DO.

Critics of an ad campaign for Biogen’s controversial Alzheimer’s drug, aducanumab (Aduhelm), say it will “overly medicalize” normal age-related memory loss. (CNN)

On Friday, Incyte announced that its investigational PD-1 inhibitor retifanlimab was rejected as a treatment for squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal, with FDA requiring further data for approval; the news follows a negative recommendation from the agency’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC).

And Bristol Myers Squibb said it has withdrawn the indication for nivolumab (Opdivo) as a monotherapy for liver cancer after treatment with sorafenib (Nexavar), in line with a recent ODAC recommendation.

A 10-year-old boy in Colorado “died from causes associated with plague” found in animals and fleas in six Colorado counties. (The Hill)

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    Shannon Firth has been reporting on health policy as MedPage Today’s Washington correspondent since 2014. She is also a member of the site’s Enterprise & Investigative Reporting team. Follow

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