Whole bunch of COVID news today, starting with the Pentagon making it official: All active duty members of the military were ordered today to get the coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible, according to a memo from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who told military leaders to "impose ambitious timelines for implementation." Now that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has full FDA approval, the vaccine has been added to the already-long list of vaccines required for all service members.

Austin's memo doesn't set a timetable for reaching full vaccination of the roughly 800,000 service members who haven't yet been vaccinated, but each branch will be required to regularly report on progress. The AP says a "senior defense official said that Austin has made it clear to the services that he expects them to move quickly, and that this will be completed in weeks not months."

Get ready for some whining from Fox News and from idiot Republicans about how unfair it is that people in the military don't have any freedom to make their own choices, as if that were an entirely new thing. [AP]


Florida: Most Students Must Mask Up, Fuck You DeSantis

School districts in Florida are preferring to keep their students safe instead of playing along with Gov. Ron DeSantis's presidential ambitions, and that means that a bit more than half of the state's 2.8 million school kids attend public schools that are defying DeSantis's insane ban on mask mandates. DeSantis ordered that any school mask order allow parents to opt out at will, making such orders little more than suggestions, but more and more schools are requiring masks anyway, with only medical exemptions allowed.

The Orange County school board voted yesterday to require masks. Orange County schools had started the school year with the opt-out provision, but decided on a full mandate after multiple outbreaks in district schools. Several schools are suing to overturn DeSantis's executive order. Masks reading "FUCK YOU DESANTIS" will probably not be allowed under school dress codes, but maybe Wonkette will sell some anyway. [ABC News]

All The Businesses Are Mandating Vaccinations, Fuck You DeSantis

As expected the full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine has led to vaccinations being ordered by a whole bunch of major businesses, like CVS Health, Deloitte, and Walt Disney Company. The most recent vaccine mandates are from Goldman Sachs, which is ordering not only that employees be vaccinated, but that clients and visitors who come to US offices in person also show proof of vaccination; the New York Post, which like other Murdoch lie factories has promoted anti-science bullshit about vaccines while touting quack cures; and Delta Air Lines, which probably has been none too happy that there isn't also an American, United, Southwest, or Jet Blue variant of the virus. [WaPo / CNN]

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Booster Looks Good, Fuck You DeSantis

The Biden administration rolled out plans for vaccine booster shots last week, but only for the two-dose MRNA vaccines from Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna; a booster plan for Johnson & Johnson's single dose vaccine has to wait until more testing is done (that's OK though, since the J&J vaccine also was approved later than the other two, meaning a plan should be in place well before the J&J vaccine's effectiveness begins to wane).

Johnson & Johnson reported today that ongoing studies of a booster for its vaccine are looking good, with a second dose, given six to eight months after the initial dose, increasing antibodies against the virus nine times higher than they were 28 days after that first dose.

The data comes from two Phase 2 studies conducted in the United States and Europe, the company said in a statement. Some of the 2,000 or so people in the studies got booster doses six months after their first doses of J&J's Janssen vaccine.

"New interim data from these studies demonstrate that a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine generated a rapid and robust increase in spike-binding antibodies, nine-fold higher than 28 days after the primary single-dose vaccination," the company said in its statement.

The results have not yet been peer reviewed, and any J&J booster would need authorization by US health officials at the CDC and FDA, but it's encouraging news so far. [CNN]

Bad Axios Headline Has Nothing To Do With Florida, Fuck You DeSantis Anyway

Hours after it was spotted by Vice News's Roberto Aram Ferdman, Axios still has a seriously misleading headline up on a story about a promotion by Tyson Foods aimed at encouraging its employees to get vaccinated. The promotion at roughly 50 Tyson chicken processing plants will enter employees in a weekly drawing for the chance to win $10,000, with five weekly drawings over the next five weeks. If you do the math on that, it means five employees will win $10,000 each, out of the company's 139,000 employees in all divisions. (Axios didn't say how many people work in the chicken outfits, however.)

So maybe that story should not be headlined "Tyson chicken plants offer employees $10,000 to get vaccinated."

Congratulations to Mr. Ferdman, who deserves the Pullet Surprise for his reporting. [Twitter / Axios]

(Credit where due: "Pullet Surprise" stoled from Roy Blount Jr. ca. 1985 as I recall)

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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