Monday is the COVID vaccination deadline for all hospital and nursing home health care workers in the state of New York. Health care staff at other facilities, including home care and hospice facilities, are required to be inoculated by October 7. 

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has said she will call up medically trained National Guard members to deal with any staffing shortages that may arise if health care workers refuse to adhere to the mandatory vaccination deadlines.

Workers who refuse vaccination without a valid doctor-approved request for a medical exemption, the governor’s office said, will be terminated and not be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

In addition to the Workers who refuse vaccination without a valid doctor-approved request for a medical exemption, the governor’s office said, will be terminated and not be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. National Guard, the governor’s office said New York could also work “with the federal government to deploy Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) to assist local health and medical systems.” 

 “As of September 22, 84% of all hospital employees in New York State were fully vaccinated,” the governor’s office said. “As of September 23, 81% of staff at all adult care facilities and 77% of all staff at nursing home facilities in New York State were fully vaccinated.” 

South Korea

Elsewhere, South Korea announced Monday that in October, it will begin vaccinating youngsters ages 12 to 17 and give boosters to people ages 75 and older, according to the Reuters news agency.

The booster program is prompted by a jump in COVID cases following a recent Korean holiday, Chuseok, a three-day fall harvest festival. In recent weeks, people who had not been fully vaccinated accounted for more than 85% of new cases, the prime minister said, according to The New York Times. 

Meanwhile, a fourth member of the Brazilian delegation to the U.N. General Assembly has tested positive for the disease caused by the coronavirus. Pedro Guimaraes said Sunday he is fully vaccinated, asymptomatic and has been in quarantine since Wednesday.

Limited ‘trick-or-treat’ possible

The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the CBS television program “Face the Nation,” that children should be able to go Halloween trick-or-treating this year, “if you are able to be outdoors.”

Rochelle Walensky also cautioned that because of the pandemic, “I wouldn’t necessarily go to a crowded Halloween party, but I think that we should be able to let our kids go trick-or-treating in small groups.”

Halloween is celebrated each year in the U.S. on the last day of October. Children dress in costumes and go house-to-house, asking for candy and other treats.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration tweeted, “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.” to people taking ivermectin, a livestock anti- parasitic drug that was erroneously being promoted as a COVID treatment. Not everyone apparently got the message.

The Financial Times says the FDA has received 49 reports of poisonings and other serious reactions linked to human consumption of ivermectin to treat COVID so far this year. That is double the number of cases reported for all of 2020. At least 14 deaths were included in the 49 cases, although it is not clear if they were directly linked to the use of ivermectin. 

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center said Monday there are currently nearly 232 million COVID-19 cases globally and close to 5 million deaths. More than 6 billion vaccines have been administered, the center said.