Coronavirus Morning News Brief – Sept. 17: Should You Get Flu Shot and Covid Booster Together?, U.K. Expects Fall Wave

Number of Workers Returning to the Office Rises in New York City

By Jonathan Spira on 17 September 2022
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People strolling in St. James’s Park in London

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 891st day of the pandemic.

There’s been a lot of discussion about getting a flu shot and Covid booster at the same time, one-stop shopping if you would.

Getting both at the same time is safe but whether you should or not may depend on your tolerance for how sore you want your arm or arms to be afterwards.  Timing wise, however, many experts believe it may be too early to get a seasonal flu shot.

Flu season will first start later in the year, and protection from the influenza vaccine wears off rapidly.  Researchers recently reported that a key cell type hidden in bone marrow that quickly kicks into activity after vaccination fades within a few months.

My personal strategy will be to get the new bivalent coronavirus booster sooner rather than later, specifically before the end of September, and wait until late October or early November for the flu shot. Flu activity typically peaks between December and February so it’s important that the protection from the jab lasts until then.

In other news we cover today, researchers believe combining two antivirals may provide better outcomes in Covid cases and the rate of decline in new cases in the United Kingdom is at the lowest level in months.

Here’s a look at what has taken place over the past 24 hours.


The White House Covid Coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha, said in an interview with ABC News that people should try to get the new bivalent booster shot before Halloween for maximum protection during the holiday period later in the year.  Jha got his booster Friday at a clinic in Washington, D.C., alongside the second gentleman, Doug Emhoff.

Research by scientists at the National Institutes of Health found in an animal study that combining the antiviral Paxlovid with another antiviral, Lagevrio, could be both safe and more effective than either alone.  The findings, published as a preprint study that has yet to be peer reviewed, do not necessarily mean that the combination is safe and effective for humans, however.  The researchers do believe that the combination of the two antivirals could eliminate the rebound cases where a patient sees a return of symptoms after a course of Paxlovid.

Finally, in New York City, the percentage of workers who have returned to offices full-time is less than 10%, although the percentage of workers in offices on any given day has climbed 12 percentage points from the spring to nearly 50%, data from the Partnership for New York City, a business group with a stated goal of maintaining the Big Apple’s position as the global center of commerce, culture, and innovation, said last week.


Just days ahead of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, health officials in the United Kingdom reported that coronavirus cases have fallen to the lowest level in a year, although hospital admissions are rising in some areas.  The 7% decline is, however, the smallest week-over-week drop since a decline in cases started and comes as scientists predict another wave of cases as fall and winter approach.

In Hong Kong, where the outpouring of grief over the queen’s death has been second only to the United Kingdom, said that R-naught, or R0, the reproductive rate of the virus, has fallen below 1 for the first time since early August, signaling a possible break in the current outbreak.


Now here are the daily statistics for Saturday, September 17.

As of Saturday morning, the world has recorded 616.8 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.5 million cases, and over 6.5 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 596.1 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.6 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Saturday is 14,276,025, a decrease of 33,000. Out of that figure, 99.7%, or 14,064,029, are considered mild, and 0.3%, or 40,463, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical has not changed over the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 58,549 new coronavirus infections on Saturday for the previous day, compared to 94,168  on Friday, 115,402  on Thursday, and 61,511 on Wednesday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The 7-day incidence rate is now 61,792.  Figures for the weekend (reported the following day) are typically 30% to 60% of those posted on weekdays due to a lower number of tests being conducted.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 62,155, a 29% decrease, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 482, a decrease of 3% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 32,862, an 11% decrease.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Saturday, recorded 97.5 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 1.08 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 44.5 million, and a reported death toll of 528,302.

The newest data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed that, at the end of July, the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 823,623, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, behind the United States.  Rosstat reported that 3,284 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in July, down from 5,023 in June, 7,008 in May and 11,583 in April.

Meanwhile, France is the country with the third highest number of cases, just under 34.9 million, although Brazil has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 685,350, and has recorded over 34.6 million cases, placing it in the number four slot.

Germany is in the number five slot with 32.7 million cases.

The other four countries with total case figures over the 20 million mark are South Korea, with 24.3 million cases, the United Kingdom, with 23.6 million cases, placing it in the number seven slot, and Italy, with 22.1 million, as number eight, as well as Japan, with 20.6 million, and Russia, with 20.4 million.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of the past Thursday, over 263.4 million people in the United States – or 79.3% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 67.6%, or 224.6 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now just under 613 million. Breaking this down further, 90.3% of the population over the age of 18 – or 233.1 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 77.4% of the same group – or 199.9 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 51.7% of that population, or 103.4 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Starting on June 13, 2022, the CDC began to update vaccine data on a weekly basis and publish the updated information on Thursdays by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.

Some 67.9% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Saturday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 12.67 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 4.16 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 22.5% of people in low-income countries have received one dose, while in countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine.

Only a handful of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70% mark in vaccinations. Many countries, however, are under 20% and, in countries such as Haiti, Senegal, and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits, if not lower.

In addition, North Korea and Eritrea are now the only two countries in the world that have not administered vaccines.

Paul Riegler contributed reporting to this story.


(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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