(CNN)A pill has cut the risk of hospitalization or death from Covid-19 by half in a study, Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said Friday.

(美国有线电视新闻网,Cable News Network,简称CNN)默克公司和Ridgeback Biotherapeutics公司(一家专注于罕见病和传染病的生物技术公司)周五称,在一项研究中,一种药物将Covid-19导致的住院或死亡风险降低了一半。

It would become the first oral medicine that fights viral infection for Covid-19 if approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization.

如果美国食品与药物监管局(US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization,简称FDA)批准了该药物的紧急授权,它将成为首款抵御Covid-19感染的口服药。

Also on Friday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said his state will become the nation's first to require Covid-19 vaccinations for students.

同样在周五,加利福尼亚州州长加文·纽森(Gavin Newsom)说,该州将成为全国第一个要求学生接种Covid-19疫苗的州。

The mandate will be a condition of in-person attendance for the 6 million students in the state's public schools. Independent study is an option for those unvaccinated, Newsom's office said in a release.


Previously required are vaccines against diseases such as diptheria, polio, measles, mumps and chicken pox.


In August, the state required all school staff to either show proof of Covid vaccination or submit to weekly testing.


Merck seeking emergency use authorization 'as soon as possible'


"At the interim analysis, molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by approximately 50%," Merck said in a news release. "7.3% of patients who received molnupiravir were either hospitalized or died through Day 29 following randomization (28/385), compared with 14.1% of placebo treated patients (53,377). Through Day 29, no deaths were reported in patients who received molnupiravir, as compared to 8 deaths in patients who received placebo."


Merck said it will seek FDA emergency use authorization "as soon as possible."


Molnupiravir is not a vaccine. It is an oral antiviral, and experts have said developing such a drug could be the next chance to thwart Covid-19. A short-term regimen of daily pills would aim to fight the virus early after diagnosis and prevent symptoms from developing after exposure.


Merck has been producing doses while awaiting the study results and expects to produce 10 million by the end of the year.


One antiviral drug has been approved to treat Covid. Remdesivir is given intravenously to sick patients in the hospital. It is not meant for early, widespread use.


Vaccination still the best tool, White House official says

白宫(White House,美国总统的官邸和办公室)办公室表示,疫苗是对付Covid-19最好的工具。

The announcement by Merck is "very good news," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday in a White House Covid-19 briefing.

美国国家过敏和传染病研究所(National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)所长安东尼·福奇博士(Anthony Fauci)周五在白宫Covid-19简报会上说,默克公司的公告是“非常好的消息”。

"The news of the efficacy of this particular antiviral is obviously very good news," Fauci said. "The company, when they briefed us last night, had mentioned that they will be submitting their data to the FDA imminently."

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The best way to think about the antiviral, when it is authorized or approved, is as an additional tool, White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients added.

白宫Covid-19应对协调员杰夫·齐恩茨(Jeff Zients)补充说道,当抗病毒药物获得授权或批准时,最好考虑将其作为一种附加工具。

"If approved, I think the right way to think about this is this is a potential additional tool in our toolbox to protect people from the worst outcomes of Covid," Zients said. "I think it's really important to remember that vaccination, as we've talked about today, remains far and away our best tool against Covid-19. It can prevent you from getting Covid in the first place. And we want to prevent infections, not just wait to treat them once they happen."

“如果该药物获得紧急使用授权,我认为对它正确的看待方式是这是我们的病毒应对工具箱里的一个潜在附加工具。” 齐恩茨说道。“我认为非常重要的是,正如我们今天所讨论的那样,记住疫苗接种仍然是我们对抗Covid-19的最佳工具。它可以从一开始就防止你感染Covid-19。我们希望预防病毒感染,而不是等到感染发生后才去治疗。”
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Some states are seeing increased vaccinations


Meanwhile, more states and health care systems are moving toward mandatory inoculations for certain workers. Officials hope the incentive of employment will eliminate hesitancy over Covid-19 vaccines -- while one governor is making contingency plans.


Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has instructed the National Guard to prepare in case of staffing shortages when a mandate and testing requirement go into effect at the end of Monday. State employees must provide proof of vaccination or submit to weekly tests; those who don't will be put on unpaid leave.

康涅狄格州州长内德·拉蒙特(Ned Lamont)命令国民警卫队做好准备,以防在周一底授权和测试要求生效时出现人员短缺。工薪阶层必须提供疫苗接种证明或每周接受检测,否则将被停薪留职。

As of Thursday, more than 63% -- 20,000 employees -- were fully vaccinated, while 12% of employees have started weekly testing, Lamont said. More than 8,000 non-compliant employees remain, yet some 2,000 have upxed their status in the last two days.


"We have provided most state employees with the option to get tested weekly instead of getting vaccinated, providing more flexibility than our neighboring states. We have also provided our employees with a compliance grace period. There is no reason all our employees should not be in compliance," Lamont said.


Connecticut is one of several states that face pushback over mandating vaccinations for critical workers. Health experts say it is necessary to protect people at a higher risk for Covid-19. But it has been met with resistance from a minority wishing to remain unvaccinated and in their current roles.
In Rhode Island, the Health Department announced in August that "all employees, interns, and volunteers in RIDOH-licensed healthcare facilities" would be required to get their first dose of the vaccine by Friday.

康涅狄格州是数个在强制关键工人接种疫苗上受挫的州之一。卫生专家说,有必要保护Covid-19感染高危人群。但这遭到了少数人的抵制,他们希望保持未接种疫苗状态的同时,保住自己的职位(或地位)。在罗得岛州,卫生部于8月宣布,“所有在罗得岛州卫生部(The Rhode Island Department of Health ,简称RIDOH)授权的医疗机构工作的员工、实习生和志愿者”将被要求在周五之前接种第一剂疫苗。

Care New England, one of the largest hospital systems in the state, reported Thursday more than 95% of its health care employees have been vaccinated. Staff vaccination "continues to climb by the day and the hour," said CEO James E. Fanale.

周四,该州最大的医院系统之一的新英格兰医疗中心(Care New England)报告说,其95%以上的医护人员已经接种了疫苗。首席执行官詹姆斯·E·法纳尔(James E.Fanale)表示,员工疫苗接种率“持续攀升”。
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The deadline has passed in other states. California's 2 million health care workers needed to be vaccinated by Thursday or risk losing their jobs, with exemptions available for religious beliefs or qualifying medical reasons.

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In New York, none of the health care facilities shut down as a result of vaccine mandates for workers, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday. Earlier this week, it was reported 92% of nursing home staff, 89% of adult care facilities staff, and 92% of hospital staff have received at least one dose statewide.
"You will see that number go higher quickly, because what we're finding is, you know, as more people are furloughed or suspended, that that number is going to go up," Hochul said.

纽约州州长凯西·霍克尔(Kathy Hochul)周四表示,没有一家医疗机构因工人接种疫苗而关闭。据报道,本周早些时候,全州范围内92%的养老院工作人员、89%的成人护理机构工作人员和92%的医院工作人员至少接种过一剂疫苗。“你将看见这个数据迅速上升,因为我们发现,你知道,随着更多的人休假或停职,这个数字将会上升。”霍克尔说道。
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A group of public school teachers asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to block the New York City vaccine mandate set to go into effect Friday afternoon.


New York City's teachers are now 93% vaccinated, with the deadline approaching at the end of the day, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday morning.

纽约市市长比尔·德·白思豪(Bill de Blasio)周五上午表示,周五底,随着最后期限的临近,纽约市93%的教师接种了疫苗。

New York City Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter does not expect to have a shortage of teachers on Monday after a vaccine mandate for educators goes into effect, she said.

纽约市教育局长梅莎·波特(Meisha Porter)预计,在教育工作者疫苗授权生效后,周一不会出现教师短缺。
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"We have more subs that are vaccinated than unvaccinated. Teachers and our superintendents have been working with our principals to develop plans to ensure our students get the education and continue to get the education they deserve in person," Porter told CNN.


Vaccines for younger kids be available soon, but poll finds hesitancy remains


The resumption of in-person learning in schools has already been complicated by Covid-19 outbreaks and the quarantining of exposed students and staff.


Yet despite evidence vaccinations are lowering infections and severity among eligible age groups, hesitancy remains among some parents about inoculating children 5 to 11, a survey says.

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One-third of parents of 5- to 11-year-olds say that they will vaccinate their child as soon as possible, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation Vaccine Monitor on Thursday. A similar percentage, 32%, say that they will wait and see how the vaccine is working, and 24% say that they definitely won't get their kids vaccinated.

据凯撒家庭基金(Kaiser Family Foundation,一个无党派的非营利性组织)疫苗监测项目周四报道,5至11岁的父母中有三分之一的人说他们会尽快给孩子接种疫苗。32%的人表示,他们对疫苗的效果拭目以待,24%的人表示他们绝对不会让孩子接种疫苗。

The bulk of interviews, conducted September 13 to 22 from a sample of more than 1,500 adults, were before Pfizer announced that clinical trials showed their Covid-19 vaccine was safe and generated an immune response in this age group.


The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is approved for people age 16 and older and has an emergency use authorization for people ages 12 to 15.


Friday, the FDA announced two meetings of its vaccine advisers, including one October 26 to discuss Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11. Pfizer has submitted data about the age group to the agency but has not yet formally requested emergency use authorization.


The group of advisers will also meet October 14 and 15 to discuss boosters for the two-dose Moderna Covid-19 vaccine and Johnson & Johnson's single-shot vaccine. The agency added the group will also discuss data on "mix and match" boosters.

顾问小组还将于10月14日和15日举行会议,讨论两剂莫德纳(Moderna,一家研发一系列疾病创新疗法的生物技术公司)Covid-19疫苗和强生公司(Johnson & Johnson,一家医疗保健产品、医疗器材及药物制造商)单针疫苗的推进。该机构补充道,该小组还将讨论推进“(疫苗)混搭”的数据。

Among those already eligible for vaccines, the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows nearly 200 million US adults have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine. Nearly 67% of US adults are fully vaccinated.

美国疾病控制和预防中心(US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)的最新数据显示,有资格接种疫苗的人群中,近2亿美国成年人至少接种了一剂疫苗。近67%的美国成年人接受了全面接种。

Death rates in non-metropolitan areas are higher, study finds


Researchers are looking at the pandemic's effects on different parts of the nation.

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Deaths from Covid-19 in non-metropolitan areas are occurring at more than twice the rate in metropolitan areas, according to an analysis of Johns Hopkins University data from the University of Iowa's Center for Health Policy Analysis.

根据约翰·霍普金斯大学(Johns Hopkins University)对爱荷华大学健康政策分析中心(the University of Iowa's Center for Health Policy Analysis)数据的分析,非都市地区Covid-19死亡发生率是都市地区的两倍多。

In the two weeks ending September 15, non-metropolitan areas had an average of 0.85 Covid-19 deaths for every 100,000 residents. Metropolitan areas had an average of 0.41.


Deaths in non-metropolitan areas have outpaced those in metropolitan areas consistently since the beginning of the study in April 2020. The numbers from September 15 are the fourth time the non-metro death rate has been at least double the metro. The non-metro rate had not doubled the metro since December 1.