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Coronavirus Roundup: Booster Shot News; GSA Rethinks the Future of Work

Here’s today’s list of news updates and stories you may have missed.

Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Monday they had submitted early clinical data to the Food and Drug Administration as they seek authorization for booster shots for everyone 16 and up. Last week the FDA approved a booster shot for Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine recipients who are immunocompromised, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's advisory committee voted to recommend and the CDC adopted. Here are some of the other recent headlines you might have missed. 

The Biden administration has determined that most Americans should get a booster shot eight months after they received their second shot, The New York Times reported on Monday, noting the announcement could come this week. “Their goal is to let Americans who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines know now that they will need additional protection against the Delta variant that is causing caseloads to surge across much of the nation,” the Times reported. “The new policy will depend on the Food and Drug Administration’s authorization of additional shots.” As for the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, officials expect those recipients to also need booster shots, but they are waiting to see the results of the company’s clinical trial, which is expected to come out later this month. 

The Federal Bureau of Prisons provided guidance about vaccine incentives for inmates to all of the agency’s chief executive officers “in an effort to improve institution inmate vaccination rates,” a BOP spokesperson told Government Executive on Tuesday. “Incentives may vary slightly at each institution.” As of Tuesday morning, 87,195inmates have been fully vaccinated, which is about 56% of the inmate population, according to BOP’s data. Nationwide, 61.8% of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. 

In a report publicly released on Monday, the Defense Department inspector general released the results of a survey conducted in August 2020 about the Defense Logistics Agency’s experience teleworking early on in the pandemic. About 50% of respondents said their productivity increased and of the respondents who gave written comments, 907 were positive and 227 were negative. “The majority of the positive remarks were on the topics of productivity (321 comments), better work-life balance (287 comments), and flexibility (209 comments),” said the report. “The majority of the negative responses were about information technology support (89 comments), issues related to management (88 comments), and increased workloads (52 comments).” The IG made public on Tuesday another report about the survey of the department’s Missile Defense Agency, which had similar results.

In a recent interview with Federal News Network, the new administrator of the General Services Administration, Robin Carnahan, said, “I think probably the biggest challenge and opportunity I’ll say is helping partners rethink the future of work and what the workplace is going to look like going forward.” This includes helping agencies “reimagine what that could look like in ways that are secure and equitable and inclusive and put customers right at the center of things.” 

Upcoming: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will give a briefing at 1:30 p.m. 

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