A South Boston bus company whose business has dropped dramatically since the coronavirus pandemic hit last year is looking at transforming its fleet into mobile vaccination centers. Yankee Line already has redesigned a portion of its 70 buses to each accommodate six vaccination stations and is in talks with the federal, state and local government about repurposing them for the state's vaccine rollout, said Michael Costa, the company's manager. "Our industry, which is mostly tourism-based, has been brought to a standstill, so we're eager to pivot our idle resources," Costa said. In the buses that have been reconfigured, he said, about half of their 50 seats have been removed to make room for the vaccination stations; each would have refrigeration for the Moderna vaccine, which has to be frozen at about minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit; and each would have space for dry-ice storage for the Pfizer vaccine, which has to be kept at about minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit. The buses also would have ramps to make them handicapped-accessible, as well as Wi-Fi and power outlets for laptops needed for record keeping, Costa said.
The rapidly climbing vaccination rate has flip-flopped the situation in medical practices and vaccination centers. Whereas they used to complain of a shortage of doses, now, they sometimes have trouble finding enough patients. In Bremen, for example, every 10th appointment for a first vaccine dose is either being cancelled or patients simply aren't showing up, says Lukas Fuhrmann, the health spokesman from Bremen. It is rare, he says, for appointments for a second dose to be missed. "Slowly, it's becoming difficult to find people who aren't yet vaccinated."
Japan's health ministry said Monday that five more people in the country suffered anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal allergic reaction, after receiving vaccinations against the novel coronavirus. With the new cases, the number of confirmed instances of anaphylaxis following coronavirus vaccination in the country rose to eight. The five women, in their 20s to 50s, developed symptoms such as rash and discomfort in the throat. Their condition improved after taking medication. Four of the five have underlying conditions such as asthma or a history of other drug allergies, according to the ministry. According to medical institutions that reported the additional cases, the anaphylactic reaction was associated with the vaccination for three of the five women, while any causal relationship was unclear for one of the other two, with evaluation impossible in the remaining case.
The Japanese government plans to administer a COVID-19 vaccine to medical workers, as well as elderly people and those with underlying health problems, on a priority basis, once such a vaccine is put into practical use, Jiji Press learned Wednesday. This vaccination priority is aimed at ensuring adequate medical services, informed sources said. The government is expected to draw up an outline of its COVID-19 vaccination program at a related panel meeting on Friday. The panel on the novel coronavirus, responsible for the respiratory illness, initially planned to include pregnant women in the vaccination priority group. But this plan has been dropped, due to a clinical test on a potential COVID-19 vaccine suggesting higher risks of side-effects such as headache and fever than those from other vaccines, the sources said.
Gallup surveyed more than 3,500 random adults between August 16-22 on a variety of vaccine mandates. Results showed 61% of Americans favor vaccination requirements for air travel, 53% of respondents support vaccine proof for dining out, and 56% of those polled support mandates for their office or work settings. But researchers warn these numbers show widespread vaccination mandates would come with a lot of pushback. "In short, if it came to a national referendum, these vaccination proof requirements would win -- but with significant opposition," reports Gallup researcher Frank Newport. Gallup began polling Americans on hypothetical vaccination requirements in April, and support for showing proof has grown across the board.