What We're Reading: Nurse Unions Critical of Mask Guidance; Positive Sanofi, GSK Vaccine Results; Georgia Fentanyl Overdoses

Prominent nurse unions are critical of new CDC mask guidance; Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline announce positive phase 2 results of their joint COVID-19 vaccine; Georgia officials report significant fentanyl overdose rates tied to tainted substances.

Major Nurse Unions Disagree With New CDC Mask Guidance

Amid a new guidance by the CDC stating that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks or physically distance outside and inside, except for health care settings and crowded indoor facilities, the largest US nurses union, National Nurses United, and an affiliate, the California Nurses Association, were critical of the new guidelines, stating that it is not based on science and puts the health of nurses, front-line workers, and patients at risk. Reported by San Francisco Chronicle, the union noted that some information on the COVID-19 vaccine, such as length of protection and transmission when vaccinated, remains unclear.

Sanofi, GSK COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Shows Positive Early Results

Today, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced positive results from a phase 2 clinical trial of their joint COVID-19 vaccine, with all ages studied found to develop strong levels of neutralizing antibodies similar to those found in people who have recovered from the virus. Reported by STAT, information regarding results of the trial are still limited with full data findings set to be published shortly in a peer-reviewed journal; higher favorable response from the vaccine was reported in people 18 to 59 years old. Both companies said that a large international phase 3 trial will begin in a few weeks.

Georgia Reporting Rising Fentanyl Overdoses

Reported by the Associated Press, Georgia officials said that clusters of fentanyl overdoses linked with tainted pills falsely sold as Xanax or Percocet have been reported across Savannah and Columbus, following a set of cases initially found in Augusta. Notably, overdoses in Chatham County, whose largest city is Savannah, reported 336 suspected overdoses from January 1 to April 19, 2021, compared with 368 overdoses reported in all of 2020.

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