COVID 2021

COVID PM: Why teen vaccination will be key, potential hearing issues & a workplace masking question

Good evening, everyone.

Here is your news of note for Thursday, May 20...

On the vaccine front

Teen

Vaccinating young teenagers seen as vital to vanquishing COVID-19 in California: When L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced last week that the county could obtain herd immunity among adults and the oldest teenagers as soon as July, it marked an incredible milestone for a region once positioned as an epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the remarks also raised questions about what role, if any, young people will play in achieving that goal. Adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in California late last week. More from the LA Times on that here.

Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccines don’t cause sudden hearing loss, study finds: When you administer tens of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine, you’re bound to get reports of all kinds of side effects. That includes accounts of sudden hearing loss. Doctors at Johns Hopkins University treated some of the people whose hearing suffered in the wake of a COVID-19 shot, and it made them wonder whether the vaccine really could have been responsible. So they decided to investigate. Their verdict: The vaccine wasn’t to blame. More from the Times on that here.

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Screenshot of the state's MyTurn Volunteer website.
(MyTurnVolunteer.ca.gov screenshot)

Willing to help but nowhere to go: State’s recruitment of COVID-19 volunteers fell short: More than 251,000 Californians signed up on MyTurn to volunteer at vaccine clinics. But only 379 people have been able to book shifts through the state’s problem-plagued website. More from CalMatters here.

On the masking front

Target

California postpones decision on relaxing face mask and distancing rules for workers: A California workplace safety board postponed a vote Thursday on a proposal that would have allowed workers to return to their jobs without social distancing or face masks — so long as everyone in a room is vaccinated. As a result, workers must continue to wear masks and practice physical distancing for now, unless they’re alone — either in a room or outside. Workers can remove masks when eating or drinking but should be physically distant from others. The Times takes a closer look here.

On the pandemic life front

Vax

Back to the office? The complaints and lawsuits are already trickling in: Can your boss make you return to the office mid-pandemic? Can you refuse to be vaccinated and keep your job? Can you sue if the colleague in the next cubicle won’t wear a mask? As the COVID-19 pandemic abates in California, many employees who have worked from home for months will soon return to the office with no clear-cut answers on how to navigate coronavirus-related issues. Some are happy to go back. Others — not so much. More from the Times on that here.

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More from here & elsewhere

Fauci says public is ‘misinterpreting’ latest CDC mask guidance (NBC News)
Salma Hayek says she battled a near-fatal case of Covid-19 (CNN)
New York and Maryland follow Ohio in creating Covid vaccine lottery (CNN)
Will we need a Covid-19 vaccine booster? Fauci says we don’t know yet (NBC News)
Workers struggle to adjust to new mask policies (ABC News)
Anthony Anderson was ‘on the fence’ about getting vaccinated, but he has a message to share (USA Today)
The CDC Is Gambling On Relaxed Mask Rules To Get More People Vaccinated (NPR)
WHO says known COVID-19 variants respond to existing vaccines (CBS News)

And tomorrow I will get to wish you all a very happy Friday!

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor