Texas governor bans COVID-19 vaccination mandates & 6 more healthcare updates

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Former employees of a Texas health system who were fired or resigned for not complying with the system's COVID-19 vaccination mandate are demanding their jobs back after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order banning vaccination mandates. 

Here are seven updates from the last week: 

1. New COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are falling nationwide, but some hospitals are still struggling to treat high volumes of patients. Here is a snapshot of the situation in three states with the highest COVID-19 hospitalization rates over the last two weeks, as of Oct. 11.

2. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Oct. 11 banning any entity in the state, including private employers, from enforcing COVID-19 vaccination mandates. Since the ban, former Houston Methodist employees who resigned or were fired for not complying with the system's vaccination requirements are demanding their jobs back.

3. More than 7.7 million people have gotten booster shots since the FDA authorized a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised people and a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine for a broader population, according to CDC data. Here are seven updates on COVID-19 booster shots.

4. Healthcare has lost half a million workers since 2020, according to the latest jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

5. Researchers at LSU Health in Shreveport, La., detected B.1.630 — a rare COVID-19 variant — in two samples from Baton Rouge, La., last week, the academic medical center announced Oct. 13. 

6. Many of the country's more than 250 organ transplant centers have recently moved to require COVID-19 vaccination for both organ recipients and donors. Here's how nine hospitals are approaching COVID-19 vaccinations for transplant patients

7. An average of 837,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses per day were administered in the last week, an 11 percent decrease from the week before. Here's how vaccination rates are changing in each state — up in 12, down in 38.

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