The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday a third primary shot of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for immunocompromised people could significantly reduce their need for hospitalization. 

The CDC said the recommendation of a third shot, not a booster, is the result of a study of immunocompromised people in which the third shot proved to be about 88% effective against hospitalization. The two-shot regime proved to be 69% effective in avoiding hospitalization among that group.

The government authorized the third shots of Pfizer or Moderna for people with compromised immune systems in August. 

Later, in October, regulators said the immunocompromised who had gotten their third shots would be eligible for boosters early this year for even more protection.  However, that information has not trickled down to all health facilities and people have reported that they have been turned away at some hospitals and pharmacies. 

More than a million-and-a-half doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine recently arrived in Ethiopia from the United States.  The shots were provided to the East African nation through COVAX, the international vaccine alliance that strives to offer the world’s poorest countries equitable access to the life-saving shots.   

The American Embassy in Ethiopia said the vaccines arrived in two shipments on January 24 and 26, bringing “the number of doses of vaccines provided to Ethiopia by the American people to over 6.1 million since July 17, 2021.”

The head of the hospital system in Paris has questioned whether the unvaccinated should pay a portion of their hospitalization costs.

“When free and efficient drugs are available, should people be able to renounce it without consequences … while we struggle to take care of other patients?” Martin Hirsch posed in a recent television interview. 

His proposal has been met with mixed reaction from politicians and citizens.

Paris Mayor Anne Hildalgo, who is a Socialist, said she is against the idea, while Olga Givernet, a lawmaker from President Emanuel Macron’s party, said, “the issue as raised by the medical community could not be ignored.”  

Meanwhile, a recent poll revealed that 51% of the French population believe the unvaccinated should pay a portion of their hospital costs. France has universal health care which pays the entire amount of COVID-19 hospitalization, which costs more than $3,000 per day. 

Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska and a Republican vice-presidential nominee, has been spotted dining out in New York City, after having tested positive for COVID-19.  Her positive test forced the postponement of a trial in which she is suing The New York Times newspaper. New York City Mayor Eric Adams has advised anyone who has come in contact with Palin to get tested. 

More than 366.3 million global COVID-19 infections have been recorded, according to The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.  The center said early Friday 5.6 million people have died from COVID-19.   Almost 10 billion vaccine doses have been administered, according to Johns Hopkins.

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