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[ice-t video games]Coronavirus live updates: CDC director urges parents to get their teens vaccinated

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  Until teens are fully vaccinated, Walensky said, “they should continue to wear masks and take precautions when around others who are not vaccinated to protect themselves, their friends, family and community.”

  Walensky said that ahead of the announcement recommending the Pfizer-BioNTech shot for adolescents as young as 12, “CDC observed troubling data regarding the hospitalizations of adolescents with covid-19.”

  She cited a CDC weekly report set to be published Friday, saying its findings “force us to redouble our motivation to get our adolescents and young adults vaccinated.”

  Here are some significant developments:

  The Biden administration announced a plan Thursday to share 25 million vaccine doses globally by the end of June.Covid-19 surges in counties using Sinopharm have dimmed the reputation of China’s great vaccine hope.Biden declared June a “national month of action” as he revealed private-sector incentives in a bid to inoculate 70 percent of adult Americans with at least one coronavirus vaccine shot by the Fourth of July.Mass vaccination sites are closing as vaccine demand wanes. Maryland is closing mass-inoculation sites in coming weeks and shifting resources to mobile and community-based clinics.The United States reported a seven-day average of 16,667 new infections on Wednesday, down almost 30 percent from the previous equivalent period. Hospitalizations have dipped sharply — as has the number of tests.

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  By Natalie Compton3:00 a.m.Link copiedlink

  Pre-pandemic, choosing a group travel adventure may have come down to categories such as destination, common interests or age group. Now there are coronavirus concerns to factor into your planning. Will the others be vaccinated? Will they be anti-vaccine? Do other people’s vaccination status matter if you’re vaccinated?

  From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s point of view, the unvaccinated people on the trip are the ones that need to be concerned about safety issues. Because you are fully vaccinated, you can travel safely within the United States and go back to doing the things you love without wearing a mask or physically distancing (except where there are local rules to do so).

  However, some health experts still think it’s a good idea for fully vaccinated people to be mindful about reducing risks

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  AdvertisementUpdates continue below advertisementBy Meryl Kornfield2:17 a.m.Link copiedlink

  Production on the British set of the latest “Mission: Impossible” film has been shut down for two weeks after some crew members tested positive for the coronavirus, Paramount Pictures said Thursday.

  “We have temporarily halted production on ‘Mission: Impossible 7’ until June 14th, due to positive coronavirus test results during routine testing,” a Paramount spokesperson said in a statement shared with the Associated Press. “We are following all safety protocols and will continue to monitor the situation.”

  Fourteen workers tested positive, according to the British news outlet the Sun, citing unnamed sources. The 60-person crew and star Tom Cruise must quarantine for two weeks, the Sun reported.

  Filming of the latest installment in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise, like other major productions, was halted when the pandemic first hit in early 2020.

  The action film, set to be released in May 2022, has faced further delays in production after workers tested positive during filming in Italy in the fall.

  In December, audio leaked of Cruise yelling and cursing at crew members after he saw that two were not observing social distancing.

  AdvertisementUpdates continue below advertisementBy Justin George2:00 a.m.Link copiedlink

  Decreasing wait times, lowering fare prices and expanding bus routes were three options that Metro board members said Wednesday could best serve transit riders coming out of the coronavirus pandemic.

  Most agreed on short-term changes expected to take effect this summer. They could include waiving a $1.50 transfer fee between Metrobus and Metrorail, launching a flat $2 Metrorail weekend fare, offering cheaper seven-day Metrobus passes and reducing fares for low-income riders.

  Board members also are considering extending Metrorail service hours from 11 p.m. to midnight and decreasing wait times to 12 minutes or less, including on 20 bus lines. The proposals are intended to address a decline in ridership, even as pandemic restrictions ease, and the economic effects on lower-income workers who rely on transit.

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  AdvertisementUpdates continue below advertisementBy Pam Moore1:00 a.m.Link copiedlink

  If you think jumping rope is for “girls in their skirts, jumping on a playground,” Alysia Mattson suggests you reconsider. “It’s way more of a badass sport than that,” said the 28-year-old Seattle jump-rope maven. When she was without access to the gym and sick of Zoom workouts during shutdowns in April 2020, she bought one of the few pieces of fitness equipment that hadn’t sold out — a jump-rope.

  Since then, Mattson has found camaraderie in the online jump-rope community, which she said has seen its numbers “skyrocket” since the pandemic started. In an email, Erica Brandelius, public relations representative for the San Diego jump-rope manufacturer Rx Smart Gear, said pandemic jump-rope sales increased by 30 percent compared with the prior year. Tim Haft, the Manhattan-based founder of Punk Rope, said its jump-rope sales grew by 145 percent during the same time period.

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  AdvertisementUpdates continue below advertisementBy Adam Taylor and Paul Schemm12:00 a.m.Link copiedlink

  Last year, Bahrain became one of the first countries to throw support behind China’s Sinopharm vaccine, granting it emergency use approval in December — a substantial boost for Beijing’s global ambitions for the vaccine, despite doubts on the part of some scientists over lack of public safety and efficacy data.

  Now, the Persian Gulf country is the latest to raise doubts about the vaccine’s effectiveness.

  Bahraini officials told news outlets this week that it would be offering Pfizer-BioNTech doses to certain high-risk individuals who have already received two Sinopharm jabs, suggesting they no longer saw two doses of the Sinopharm vaccine as enough, in the face of a new wave of coronavirus infections.

  The policy comes just weeks after the World Health Organization granted Sinopharm emergency use listing, making it the first Chinese-developed vaccine to receive the global health body’s stamp of approval.

  The vaccine, developed by Sinopharm with the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, makes up a significant chunk of China’s own supply of vaccines for domestic use. Though slow to start, China’s vaccination drive is ramping up, with officials suggesting 80 percent of the country could be immunized by the end of the year.

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  AdvertisementUpdates continue below advertisementBy Caitlin Gibson11:00 p.m.Link copiedlink

  In the weeks after Joelle Cosmas’s son was born in May 2020, waves of friends arrived outside the duplex she shared with her husband and their newborn child in Chicago. The guests would hover outside the front gate, their smiles cloaked by masks, and set down bags filled with homemade dinners, gifts and groceries, sandwiches from a favorite Italian deli in the city. Cosmas would walk down the steps, lifting her son, Johnny, for her friends to behold — “like the Lion King,” she recalls now, laughing a little, even though those visits often made her cry.

  There wasn’t time to talk — really talk — about how things were going, what it felt like to be a first-time mother at the height of a global pandemic. After a few minutes of chatter, her friends would be on their way, and Cosmas and her husband would bring the food and gifts inside, close the door and find themselves the way they’d mostly been for months: alone together again.

  “My friends don’t realize how I’ve changed and grown in the past year — and not only me, but my husband as well,” says Cosmas, 33. “They missed the whole thing. And it’s sad that they don’t really know me as a mom, because it’s now my priority, and such an important part of who I am.”

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  AdvertisementUpdates continue below advertisementBy Aaron Blake10:00 p.m.Link copiedlink

  On Tuesday, The Washington Post and then BuzzFeed News published previously unreleased emails from the U.S. government’s top infectious-disease expert, Anthony S. Fauci. The emails were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which allows journalists to request internal government emails.

  The disclosures gave conservatives who have long questioned Fauci’s stewardship of the coronavirus response something to latch on to beyond shifts in his public comments. They argue that these private emails show Fauci wasn’t forthcoming or curious enough when he cast doubt upon the “Wuhan lab leak” theory and argued for a more cautious covid response than President Donald Trump.

  The emails have been cited all over conservative media, with commentators often labeling them “smoking guns” and GOP lawmakers including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) re-upping their calls for Fauci to be relieved of his duties.

  But what’s actually in the emails? And how does it square with everything else we know? Let’s run through a few of the big supposed smoking guns.

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  AdvertisementUpdates continue below advertisementBy Dan Diamond, Emily Rauhala and Laurie McGinley8:59 p.m.Link copiedlink

  The Biden administration on Thursday announced a plan to share 25 million vaccine doses globally by the end of June, routing about three-quarters through international public health organizations while reserving the remaining quarter for direct donations to handpicked nations.

  Officials described those doses as a down payment on at least 80 million doses the United States will share globally by month’s end — and of millions more they expect to distribute in coming weeks and months.

  “We are sharing these doses not to secure favors or extract concessions,” President Biden said in a statement. “We are sharing these vaccines to save lives and to lead the world in bringing an end to the pandemic, with the power of our example and with our values.”

  The Biden administration has been under pressure to share doses from the nation’s vaccine stockpile, particularly as the pandemic recedes in the United States while continuing to surge abroad. More than half of Americans have received at least one shot of a coronavirus vaccine, according to The Washington Post’s tracker, compared with about 1 in 10 people globally.

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  AdvertisementUpdates continue below advertisementBy Lindsey Bever8:01 p.m.Link copiedlink

  More than a year into a pandemic that has sickened tens of millions of people in the United States and killed more than 500,000, most people are eager to reclaim some semblance of their former lives.

  About half of the country has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration. Infection rates are dropping. And federal health authorities have relaxed mask recommendations for people who are fully vaccinated against the virus.

  But it’s still unclear what our new normal will look like and whether, at least in some form, it will include face coverings — which have been shown to not only help protect against covid-19 but also, with additional measures such as social distancing, slow the spread of influenza and other respiratory diseases.

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  By Rachel Chason6:59 p.m.Link copiedlink

  With demand for coronavirus vaccinations falling, Maryland has started closing its mass-inoculation sites and shifting resources to mobile and community-based clinics, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Thursday.

  The Greenbelt mass-vaccination clinic has closed, and the Aberdeen site will close June 19. The site at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore will close July 2; sites at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis and The Mall in Columbia in Howard County will close July 3.

  Six Flags in Prince George’s County — which was one of the state’s first mass-vaccination sites and has been one of the most popular — will remain open through July 17. Some sites, including clinics at the Baltimore Convention Center and Montgomery College, do not yet have closing dates. Full information on where to get vaccinated in Maryland is available here.

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  By Jenna Portnoy5:53 p.m.Link copiedlink

  KING WILLIAM, Va. — The sign outside a new health center in the Richmond countryside features splashes of green and blue — symbols of nature dear to the Upper Mattaponi tribe, which overhauled the facility using federal coronavirus relief dollars.

  The tribe hopes the center will significantly improve the quality of life of tribal citizens and surrounding community members who previously had to travel farther to visit a doctor or pharmacy or lab — a hardship intensified by the pandemic.

  The tribe is one of six in Virginia granted federal recognition by Congress in 2018, a designation that made them eligible for funding through the Cares Act.

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  By Caitlin Gibson4:51 p.m.Link copiedlink

  The boys were begging to see their beloved St. Louis Cardinals play on their home field, which had finally reopened to fans, so Stephanie Malia Krauss and Evan Krauss carefully considered what it would mean to bring their young sons to a baseball game: They’d be surrounded by people, but the seating was socially distant and masks were required.

  Then, just over a week before the game, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released updated public health guidelines, stating that fully vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks outside or inside, no matter the crowd size.

  Krauss thought they’d settled the question — Is a baseball game safe for my children? — but now she wasn’t sure anymore.

  When the CDC abruptly changed its guidance on mask-wearing last month, many parents voiced frustration about the lack of clarity for families.

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  By Rick Noack3:20 p.m.Link copiedlink

  PARIS — The European Council on Thursday updated its list of countries that are deemed safe in the context of the pandemic, but decided to not add the United States.

  The only addition to the list of countries outside the European Union was Japan, the others being Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and — subject to reciprocity — China.

  The European Union’s 27 member states are expected to “gradually lift the travel restrictions” for residents from the nine nations, including those placed on nonessential travel.

  The determination is made based on a country’s “epidemiological situation and overall response to COVID-19, as well as the reliability of the available information and data sources.”

  The decision to keep Thailand on the list may come as a surprise to some — the country has seen more new coronavirus cases per capita over the past seven days than the United States has, and far fewer people in Thailand are vaccinated.

  The decision to not include the United States will have limited impact on fully vaccinated American travelers, who are already welcome in a number of E.U. nations and will gain access to more places within the next days or weeks.

  France is expected to reopen for vaccinated American tourists next week, regardless of the E.U. white list.

  The European Council’s next update is expected in two weeks and the United States could still be added to the list then, barring a resurgence in the number of new cases or the spread of variants.

  By Miriam Berger2:48 p.m.Link copiedlink

  The United Kingdom has fully vaccinated half of its population against the coronavirus almost six months after beginning its vaccination program, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday.

  “This is an amazing achievement,” he said in a video statement. “After months of sacrifice, we’re getting to do many of the things we’ve yearned to do for a long time.”

  Johnson thanked what he called the “jabs army” — doctors, nurses, vaccinators, volunteers, scientists and members of the military — for the success of Britain’s largest vaccination program.

  “Please keep coming forward for both vaccine doses when it’s your turn,” he added. “Only two doses can give you maximum protection.” (The one-shot vaccine offered by Johnson & Johnson was approved for use in the United Kingdom last week.)

  More than 26 million people have had both of their shots, according to U.K. official figures. U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Wednesday that three-quarters of adults have had their first shot.

  Only a handful of countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates, have access to enough doses to widely vaccinate their populations. The divide has been particularly stark between high-income and middle- and low-income countries, the former of which had the financial means to pre-purchase doses that provided them a virtual monopoly on the limited resource.

  Scientists have warned that the longer the virus circulates in unvaccinated populations, the more chances there are for highly transmissible variants to develop, such as the ones fueling waves in South and East Asia. Some public health advocates and political leaders have called on countries with vaccine surpluses, such as the United States, to share doses with countries facing vaccine deserts.