COVID News: Study finds 90% of hospitalizations among unvaccinated

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- New data from Cleveland Clinic shows how effective the COVID-19 vaccine is in reducing hospitalizations.

In August, researchers discovered 90% of those who were admitted were not vaccinated.

Dr. Rachel Scheraga of the Cleveland Clinic says they also found in September that 85% of infections were in unvaccinated individuals, whereas only 15% of those who were vaccinated had a breakthrough infection.

In addition, those who were admitted that were fully vaccinated generally were older than 65 years old and had significant underlying medical conditions.

Dr. Scheraga hopes this data will help encourage those who are still hesitant to get vaccinated.

Here are more of today's COVID-19 headlines:



Suffolk County Exec tests positive
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced Wednesday that he tested positive for COVID-19. He said he is experiencing mild symptoms and feels good otherwise.

"I hope this serves as a reminder to all residents that while we are making incredible progress in the war against COVID-19, we are not done just yet. To that end, I encourage anyone who is eligible to receive their booster shot to do so. For more information on vaccination, you can go to suffolkcountyny.gov/vaccine."

NYC announces COVID vaccine mandate for all municipal workers
New York City is requiring all municipal employees to get vaccinated, eliminating the testing option for unvaccinated members of the city workforce. Workers must get their first shot by Friday, October 29. Starting Wednesday, city employees will receive an extra $500 in their paycheck for receiving their first shot at a city-run vaccination site. This benefit will end at 5 p.m. on the deadline day. Employees who do not get vaccinated will be placed on unpaid leave, and their future employment will be resolved in ensuing negotiations with individual labor unions. Correction officers will face a later deadline of December 1.

White House details plan to roll out COVID vaccines for younger kids
The White House on Wednesday unveiled its plans to roll out COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11, pending US Food and Drug Administration authorization. The Biden administration has secured enough vaccine supply to vaccinate the 28 million children ages 5 to 11 who would become eligible for vaccination if the vaccine is authorized for that age group and will help equip more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care offices, hundreds of community health centers and rural health clinics as well as tens of thousands of pharmacies to administer the shots, according to the White House.

"Today the Biden Administration is announcing a plan to ensure that, if a vaccine is authorized for children ages 5-11, it is quickly distributed and made conveniently and equitably available to families across the country," the White House said in a news release.

US expected to authorize Moderna, J&J booster shots
The U.S. is expected to greenlight COVID-19 vaccine boosters for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots as soon as Wednesday, ABC News has learned. Federal regulators are also expected to authorize the mixing and matching of booster doses this week in an effort to provide flexibility as the campaign for extra shots expands. The upcoming announcement by the Food and Drug Administration follows the OK for a third dose for the Pfizer vaccine for many Americans last month. The move was previewed Tuesday by a U.S. health official familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly ahead of the announcement.

San Francisco shuts down In-N-Out burger spot for not checking vaccination
The In-N-Out hamburger chain is sizzling mad after San Francisco shut down its indoor dining for refusing to check customers' vaccination status. The company's Fisherman's Wharf location - its only one in San Francisco - was temporarily shut by the Department of Public Health on Oct. 14. Authorities said it refused to bar clients who couldn't show proof of vaccination to dine indoors, as required by a city mandate that took effect Aug. 20. In-N-Out ignored repeated warnings to enforce the vaccination rule, the department said, calling the mandate a matter of public health to keep COVID-19 from spreading.

"We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government," Arnie Wensinger, the chain's chief legal and business officer, said in a statement.

Experts explain why lawsuits against COVID-19 vaccine mandates fail
From teachers to airlines workers, some employees who have faced termination for not complying with their company's COVID-19 vaccine mandates have gone to court to fight the decisions. Some of the plaintiffs, such as New York City Department of Education employees, a handful of Los Angeles county public employees and United Airlines workers, have argued that the mandates should be removed, questioning the rules' constitutionality and some contending their religious rights weren't observed. So far, these arguments have not swayed judges who have almost all ruled in favor of the employer, or not issued long injunctions while they hear the case. And legal experts tell ABC News they don't expect different outcomes in courtrooms anytime soon.

What to know about religious exemptions for COVID shots as vaccine mandates roll out
With COVID-19 vaccine mandates proliferating across the country in the public and private sectors as well as some school districts, the pushback from those unwilling or hesitant to get their shots is heating up. The vaccination effort has raised new questions about exemptions because mandates for adults are generally rare outside of settings like healthcare facilities and the military, and the inoculations are relatively new.

While there is no overall data yet on exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines, a number of companies and state governments have seen interest in religious exemptions -- a protection stemming from the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This leaves employers in the difficult and legally precarious position of determining whether the requests are valid. As such, some states have tried to do away with non-medical exemptions overall for their employees.

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