The governors of New York and New Jersey both reported months-long highs in total COVID hospitalizations Thursday as officials in both states work to contain burgeoning clusters that threaten the hard-earned progress made since spring.
In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said 754 people in total were hospitalized for COVID as of Thursday, the highest number since July 16. In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy noted 652 hospitalizations, the highest number since Aug. 5; he also noted the highest daily new COVID case total since late May.
Cuomo responded to soaring positivity rates in certain parts of New York — areas of Brooklyn, Queens and Rockland, Orange and Broome counties this week — by implementing a sweeping slate of new restrictions based on risk. The highest-risk hotspots in the city saw nonessential business and schools shut down all over again as of Thursday, as well as new restrictions reimposed on gathering sizes that have infuriated some in the ultra-Orthodox community to the point of protest.
Saying Human Trials Aren’t Enough, Researchers Call for Comparison of COVID-19 Vaccines in Monkeys
Primate researchers in the United States have banded together in a push for an ambitious monkey study that would do head-to-head comparisons of the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Although 10 candidates are already undergoing large-scale tests in people, proponents of the monkey plan say those clinical trials may not deliver the comprehensive data needed to choose the safest and most effective vaccines. The comparison trial in monkeys, in contrast, could shed light in a matter of weeks on how the candidates stack up on measures including potential side effects, the strength of immune responses they trigger, and how well they protect against infection and disease.
“We should take a cold, hard look at all of the data and ask ourselves, ‘What appears to work best?’” says Nancy Haigwood, who directs the Oregon National Primate Research Center and is a key advocate for the comparative monkey study.