Covid-19 and vaccine in the US: summary Monday 12 April 2021

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Covid-19 and vaccine in the US live updates: rate, where and when to get it, eligibility

US vaccine updates: Monday 12 April

Testing has begun on Moderna covid-19 booster vaccine 

Dr. Anthony Fauci last month said that the National Institutes of Health began testing a new formulation from Moderna "out of an abundance of caution… should there be a need for an updated vaccine.” Now 210 volunteers are taking part to test the safety of the vaccine, how people’s immune systems respond and what side effects come up.

CDC: 74 million US citizens fully vaccinated

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 121 million Americans have now received at least one dose of covid-19 vaccine and 74 million have been fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.

President Joe Biden recently upgraded his pledge to have 100 million US citizens recieve at least one dose of vaccine in his first 100 days in office to 200 million doses in the same timeframe.


Why have pediatric trials of the AstraZeneca vaccine been stopped?

A UK-based trial on children aged from six to 17 was stopped due to concerns over causal links between the drug and clotting disorders amid warning from the EMA over brain clotting in adults receiving the vaccine. Several countires have suspended or limited the rollout of the AstraZeneca drug in recent weeks.

More therapeutics but no surge in vaccine for Michigan, Biden administration says

The White House said on Monday it was prepared to send additional therapeutic treatments to the state of Michigan, which is experiencing a troubling number of covid-19 cases, but did not promise more vaccine as the state has sought.

White House coronavirus adviser Andy Slavitt told reporters the US government would work to ensure that states such as Michigan were ordering the full amount of vaccine that was available to them and he called the data from the state troubling.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has pleaded with the federal government to increase the number of vaccines allotted to her state to address a dangerous surge in cases there, but the White House has declined to do so.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said more vaccine was not the answer to Michigan's problem.

"When you have an acute situation, extraordinary number of cases like we have in Michigan, the answer is not necessarily to give vaccine. In fact, we know that the vaccine will have a delayed response," she said.

"The answer to that is to really close things down, to go back to our basics, to go back to where we were last spring, last summer, and to shut things down."

Whitmer, a Democrat, has faced fierce political backlash from conservatives in her Midwestern state for her covid-19 restrictions, including armed groups entering the state capitol and a foiled plot to kidnap her. She was a frequent target of criticism by former President Donald Trump.


Ireland restricts use of AstraZeneca vaccine

Ireland became the latest European country to restrict the use of AstraZeneca's covid-19 vaccine, recommending on Monday that it only be given to those over 60 and presenting a new challenge to its vaccine rollout.

A European Medicines Agency (EMA) investigation of blood clots in the brain reported by some people given the AstraZeneca vaccine has prompted an increasing number of European countries to change their recommendations on who should be given the shot.

The EMA changed its guidance on the vaccine as it found possible links with very rare cases of unusual blood clots with low blood platelet counts, although it said the vaccine's advantages still outweighed risks.

"While this is an extremely rare condition, consideration must be given to the fact that it has a very high risk of death or severe outcome," Karina Butler, head of Ireland's National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC), said in a statement.

NIAC said those under 60 who have received a first dose of AstraZeneca and do not have a high-risk medical condition should wait 16 weeks rather than 12 weeks for a second dose to allow further assessment as more evidence becomes available.

Ireland, which briefly halted the use of the vaccine last month while the EMA investigated the clotting incidents, has mainly relied on Pfizer-BioNTech, to date with AstraZeneca accounting for just over one in five shots administered.

Photo: REUTERS/Daniel Becerril


What to do if you get covid-19 between vaccine doses?

The CDC doesn’t consider you fully vaccinated until two weeks after you have finished the full regimen of the covid-19 vaccination received.

Full story:

UN chief calls for pandemic wealth tax

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged governments on Monday to consider imposing a "solidarity or wealth tax" on the rich - who made money during the coronavirus pandemic - in a bid to cut extreme inequality.

"We must make sure funds go where they are needed most. Latest reports indicate that there has been a $5 trillion surge in the wealth of the world's richest in the past year," Guterres told a UN meeting on financing for development.

"I urge governments to consider a solidarity or wealth tax on those who have profited during the pandemic, to reduce extreme inequalities," he said.

US may be close to hitting a vaccine wall

There are growing signs that parts of the country may be close to meeting demand for the coronavirus vaccine - well before the US has reached herd immunity.

Why it matters: For the last few months, the primary focus of the US has been getting shots to everyone who wants them, as quickly as possible. Soon, that focus will abruptly shift to convincing holdouts to get vaccinated.

State of play: Red states in the South are administering the lowest portion of the vaccine doses that they receive from the federal government - a sign of low demand, slow public health systems, or both.

Full story. 


Publix Vaccine: how to sign up and get an appointment

How to sign and get a covid-19 vaccination appointment at Publix?

About a quarter of the US population over 18 has now been fully vaccinated. Over half the states allow any adult over 16 to get vaccinated.

Publix Pharmacies are located in seven southeastern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Publix Pharmacy now administers both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines but they are subject to availability. Each vaccine has specific designated booking opportunities throughout the week you will need to check your state.

Although some of the states where Publix serves the public have opened up vaccination to everyone 16 and older, the Moderna and Johnson & Johnosn vaccines are not approved for anyone under the age of 18. Fortunately, in every state where Publix Pharmacies are located, all 18-year-olds can sign up for an appointment where supplies exist.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one dose, while the Moderna vaccine will require a follow-up shot 28 days after the first.

Read more on appointments.

New Hampshire has administered highest percentage of covid-19 vaccines

The United States is giving out about three million shots a day, an increase from roughly two million in early March.

New Hampshire has administered the highest percentage of covid-19 vaccines it has received, according to the CDC's covid-19 vaccine distribution and administration data tracker. Oklahoma and New Hampshire are the latest states to announce they will open up vaccine eligibility to nonresidents.

In New Hampshire, Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, said on Wednesday that officials were confident that there would be enough shots to vaccinate out-of-state residents by April 19

Oklahoma began allowing nonresidents to get vaccinated in the state on Thursday, nearly two weeks after it expanded eligibility to all in-state residents 16 or older. Experts hope that more will soon follow suit as the production and distribution of vaccines ramps up.

Read full story.

Half of US adults to have vaccine by end of week

50% of US adults are expected to have at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine by the end of this week if vaccinations continue at the current pace.

Native health providers drive Alaska's vaccination success story

Despite its sprawling geography and often-inhospitable climate, Alaska ranks among the top U.S. states for getting covid-19 vaccine into the arms of its residents, and its indigenous population has played a major role in that achievement.

With a history and culture deeply shaped by deadly outbreaks of disease that have periodically ravaged remote corners of their subarctic homeland, Alaska Natives have aggressively led the way on inoculations against covid-19 for the state as a whole.

Through their federally recognized sovereign powers, Alaska Native tribes has secured larger vaccine supplies from the U.S. Indian Health Service (IHS) than the state government has obtained for itself, said Tiffany Zulkosky, a Yup'ik and state legislator from the southwestern Alaska community of Bethel.

As a result, tribal health organizations primarily serving indigenous communities - representing just 18% of the state's 730,000 inhabitants - have played an outsized role in the state's overall vaccine campaign.

Acting Anchorage Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson, who is white, tweeted a photo of herself getting a shot courtesy of a Native organization in early March.

"Alaska is leading the country in vaccinations because of the incredible work and generosity of our Tribal partners," she wrote.

By early April, more than 42% of all Alaska residents aged 16 and older had received at least a first dose of a covid-19 vaccine, ranking near the top among states with the highest rates of inoculation per capita and by percentage of population.

The percentages run higher in regions dominated by Native populations, which have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.


US has administered 187 million doses of covid-19 vaccines, CDC says

The United States had administered 187,047,131 doses of covid vaccines and distributed 237,796,105 doses as of Sunday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Those figures are up from the 183,467,709 doses the CDC said had been administered by April 10, out of 237,791,735 doses delivered.

The agency said 119,242,902 people had received at least one dose, while 72,630,892 people had been fully vaccinated as of Sunday.

The CDC tally includes the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines as well as Johnson & Johnson's one-shot vaccine as of 6 a.m. EDT on Sunday.

A total of 7,766,002 vaccine doses have been administered in U.S. long-term care facilities, the agency said.


When are you fully vaccinated from Covid: which vaccines require two doses?

When are you fully vaccinated from Covid: which vaccines require two doses?

There are currently three vaccines being administered in the US, those developed by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson.

States ranked by percentage of COVID-19 vaccines administered (as of 11 April):

1.    New Hampshire
Doses distributed to state: 1,003,555
Doses administered: 922,666
Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 91.94

2.    Wisconsin
Doses distributed to state: 3,999,985
Doses administered: 3,558,061
Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 88.95

3.    North Dakota
Doses distributed to state: 547,170
Doses administered: 484,807
Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 88.6

4.    Minnesota
Doses distributed to state: 3,777,940
Doses administered: 3,312,268
Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 87.67

5.    New Mexico
Doses distributed to state: 1,710,565
Doses administered: 1,477,908
Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 86.4

6.    New Jersey
Doses distributed to state: 6,362,455
Doses administered: 5,495,689
Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 86.38

7.    Maine
Doses distributed to state: 1,037,000
Doses administered: 883,051
Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 85.15

8.    Utah
Doses distributed to state: 1,954,460
Doses administered: 1,662,200
Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 85.05

9.    Rhode Island
Doses distributed to state: 803,105
Doses administered: 680,525
Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 84.74

10.    Massachusetts
Doses distributed to state: 5,331,330
Doses administered: 4,461,283
Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 83.68

Information via Becker's Hospital Review

Three states will open vaccines to all adults this week

Three more states will join the majority that have already lifted extended vaccine eligibility in recent weeks. First, Illinois will open up vaccine eligibility to those 16 and older Monday, with Washington state and California to do so on Thursday. 

President Joe Biden had previously set April 19 as the date that all US adults would be eligible for the vaccine. The six remaining states plan to extend eligibility to all adults on or before the date.


Fastest US states to administer covid-19 vaccines

New Hampshire has administered the highest percentage of covid-19 vaccines it has received, according to the CDC's covid-19 vaccine distribution and administration data tracker. Oklahoma and New Hampshire are the latest states to announce they will open up vaccine eligibility to nonresidents.

Read full story.

Biden denies Michigan request for more vaccines

President Joe Biden has said Washington will give Michigan more federal resources to support vaccinations and testing but not additional vaccines.

Michigan has the highest rate of new coronavirus infections in the US, with the state reporting 6,900 cases Saturday and 74 more deaths.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has promised to pushing the White House for more covid-19 vaccines as the state experiences a spike in cases.

CREW to investigate Florida governor

Citizens for Ethics (CREW) is opening investigation to find out if Governor DeSantis was influenced by campaign donations in his decision to make Publix Florida’s primary vaccine distributor in January.

"CREW has requested communications, calendar entries, and all other records from Governor DeSantis’ office regarding Publix and vaccine distribution. CREW has also requested records reflecting any plans for efforts to distribute COVID-19 vaccines specifically to Florida communities with high populations of Black, Latino, historically underserved, or low-income residents, as well as records on vaccine distribution to residents of West Palm Beach, Florida," it says.

Vaccine rollout in California

To date, 22.35m doses of the vaccine of have been administered in California. 37.7% of Californians have received at least one dose.

All Californians 50 or older are now eligible for vaccination. Every Californian 16 and up will be eligible for vaccination on April 15, 2021.

My Turn is where Californians can find out if you are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, schedule appointments, and sign up for notifications.

Nearly 25% Of New York Residents Now Fully Vaccinated, Cuomo Says

Nearly 1 in 4 New Yorkers now fully vaccinated, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Sunday. About 24% of New Yorkers are fully vaccinated, and about 37% of New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Vaccine appointments going unfilled in rural Amercia

USA Today's front page story this Monday focuses on the vaccine appointmens going unfilled in parts of rural America.


In pictures: Volunteer Miriam Lopez Ambrosio (TOP), a folkloric dancer from Oaxaca, assists a person with their second vaccination appointment on their phone at a clinic targeting Central American Indigenous residents at CIELO, an Indigenous rights organization, on April 10, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. CIELO launched an outreach campaign for vaccinations to address language barriers, accessibility, mistrust of government and misinformation among Mexican and Guatemalan Indigenous residents.

They have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic with many losing work in the hospitality industry. St. John's Well Child and Family Center is administering COVID-19 vaccines across South L.A. in a broad effort to bring vaccines to minority communities.

Biden posts Vaccination Report

President Joe Biden has published a graph on the Vaccination Progress Report, stating: "Our progress on vaccinations is proof that there’s nothing America can’t achieve when we do it together."

More than 183 million doses have been administered in the United States, with 70 million people, or 21.3% of the total population, fully vaccinated.

New Hampshire and Oklahoma to announce vaccine eligibility for nonresidents

New York Times - As the US supply of covid-19 vaccines continues to grow and states plan to meet or beat President Biden’s April 19 deadline for expanding eligibility to all adults, some states have begun dropping one of the last barriers to vaccine access: residency rules.

New Hampshire and Oklahoma are the latest states to announce they will open up vaccine eligibility to nonresidents. Experts hope that more will soon follow suit as the production and distribution of vaccines ramps up.

The United States is giving out about three million shots a day, an increase from roughly two million in early March. The push remains urgent as dangerous variants of the coronavirus circulate and the country reports a sharp rise in new cases, with an average of almost 68,000 a day over the past week, according to a New York Times database.

Vaccine Card: what you need to know

With more than 20% of Americans now vaccinated against COVID-19, people are increasingly wondering what to do with their vaccine card. The New York Post has put together a useful article covering important questions about the card...

CDC publishes myths and facts about covid-19 vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a very useful fact sheet in the covid-19 vaccine. You can see the CDC's 'Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines' here.

Good morning

Good morning and welcome as we begin our live blog this Monday, 12 April focusing on all the latest news and updates regarding covid-19 and the vaccine rollout in the United States.