Covid-19 and US vaccine rollout: news summary for 16 April

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Headlines

- Pfizer CEO says third covid-19 vaccine dose likely needed within 12 months

- Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson covid-19 vaccines: how are they different?

- More than 200 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the US, CDC data shows

- Overall nearly 128 million people, or about 38.5% of the US population, has received at least one dose of the vaccine, with nearly 81 million people (around 25%) fully vaccinated

- President Biden has arranged for 300 million doses to be available to US citizens by the end of June

- Estimations are that 500 million Americans will be fully vaccinated by the end of August/early September

- Fauci says J&J vaccine rollout pause is a matter of "days to weeks, not weeks to months"

- CDC and FDA will continue to investigate J&J vaccine safety after six reported cases of rare clotting - cerebral venous sinus thrombosis - emerge

- US will draw on stocks of Moderna and Pfizer after J&J rollout halted

State specific news:

- New York: All New Yorkers 16 years of age and older are now eligible to be vaccinated. Use the City's Vaccine Finder to search for a location near you

- California: Every Californian aged 16 and up is now eligible for vaccination. Book an appointment using My Turn

- Florida: All Florida residents are now eligible to receive any covid-19 vaccine. Find a vaccine location using the state's vaccine location finder

- Texas: Everyone aged 16 and older is now eligible to receive a covid-19 vaccine in Texas. Sign up and register online at GetTheVaccine.dshs.texas.gov

Related articles:

Alaska to offer free vaccinations to tourists

Alaska is to begin offering free covid-19 vaccinations to visitors to the state in a bid to kickstart its tourism industry, Governor Mike Dunleavy said on Friday.

The program will be carried out at its four major airports: Anchorage, Juneau, Ketchikan and Fairbanks.

"The idea is that we have access to vaccines, so why not use them? So this is what we’re saying to our tourists: If you come to Alaska - and this will start on June 1 - if you come to Alaska, you get a free vaccination," Dunleavy said, per the Anchorage Daily News.

VACCINE NEWS

What is a cerebral venous sinus thrombosis? Blood clot symptons and causes

Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, or CVST, is a condition wherein a blood clot forms in the brain that prevents blood from draining and can cause headaches, blurred vision, fainting or loss of consciousness, loss of control over movement, seizures and coma.

Further information on CVST

CORONAVIRUS VACCINE

Can you drink alcohol after taking a covid-19 vaccine?

The rollout of coronavirus vaccinations continues across the United States, and the World Health Organization has issued guidelines on drinking after the shot.

Full details

Dr Fauci discusses vaccine hesitancy with former NFL star

Dr Anthony Fauci, the United States’ top infectious disease expert, has spoken to former NFL star Marshawn Lynch as part of his efforts to ward off vaccine hesitancy among African-Americans.

In a poll conducted by AP and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in March, 24% of black Americans said they would probably or definitely not get vaccinated.

Lynch told Fauci that this reluctance was related to a deep-seated, historical distrust of the US government among many African-Americans. "Any time we’ve been told that we were going to be in a position to have something given to us or put in our community to help us, it seemed to turn out very bad for us," Lynch, who spent 12 years in the NFL between 2007 and 2019, said in a conversation on his YouTube channel.

And it gets to the point where it’s almost like it’s a gamble, where if I go and take this vaccination, there’s a chance I can come out of this situation more fucked up than when I went into it.”

In response, Fauci said: "I do, and certainly many of my colleagues, totally respect the reluctance that African-Americans have about things like this, because you’re absolutely right. The history of how the federal government, going back decades, particularly in the area of medical issues, how they’ve treated African-Americans, has not been something to be proud of. That’s for sure; you’ve got to recognize that. So the reluctance that you’ve expressed is a reluctance that’s founded in historical reality.

"So how do we get past that? And the reason why we’ve got to get past that is we don’t want African-Americans in the community to not have the advantage of the protection of something that really works, because of history."

Full interview:

CORONAVIRUS VACCINE

Taking care after the vaccine: What medications or pain relievers are safe to take?

Getting a reaction to a vaccine is just your body showing signs that it’s learning how to defend itself.

Here’s what can you do to alleviate any symptoms.

CORONAVIRUS

Will a third vaccine dose for covid-19 be needed in the future?

Billions around the world are still to receive a single dose of a covid-19 vaccine, but the question of whether booster doses will be needed to combat emerging variants is already circulating.

Full details on the potential need for a third dose

"Half of eligible Californians have now received at least one dose"

California Governor Gavin Newsom says the US state has now provided at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine to half of those eligible for a shot. All Californians aged 16 and over are now eligible to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Covid-19 clinical trial North Carolina

In pictures: Alejandra Gerardo, 9, is held by her mother as she gets the second dose of the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine this week, during a clinical trial for children at Duke Health in Durham, North Carolina.

(Photo: Shawn Rocco/Duke Health/Handout via REUTERS)

US surpasses 200 million-mark

According to the latesst CDC data, 202,282,923 total doses have been administered in the US, which is approximately 78% of the 258,502,815 doses delivered. 

Overall nearly 128 million people, or about 38.5% of the US population, has received at least one dose of the vaccine, with nearly 81 million people (around 25%) fully vaccinated, the CDC data shows.

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In pictures: Nursing student Brian Pineda and volunteer Susie Bushnell dance as they welcome people to a vaccination center as California opens up vaccine eligibility to any residents 16 years and older, during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Chula Vista, California. (Mike Blake)

Biden administration to invest $1.7 billion to fight COVID-19 variants

The Biden administration on Friday said it will invest $1.7 billion to help states and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fight COVID-19 variants that are rapidly spreading across the United States.

The investment, which will be part of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, will improve detection, monitoring, and mitigation of these variants by scaling up genomic sequencing efforts - a key step in containing the spread, the White House said.

"The original strain of COVID-19 comprises only about half of all cases in America today. New and potentially dangerous strains of the virus make up the other half," the White House said in a statement.

In early February, U.S. laboratories were only sequencing about 8,000 COVID-19 strains per week. Since then the administration has invested nearly $200 million to increase genomic sequencing to 29,000 samples per week - an effort that will get a boost with the new funding.

The investment will be broken down into three areas: $1 billion to expand genomic sequencing, $400 million to help build six research centers for genomic epidemiology and $300 million to build a national bioinformatics infrastructure - which will help build a repository of data. (Reuters)

US panel to meet again next week to discuss pause on J&J's COVID-19 shot

A US panel will meet again next week to discuss whether the pause on the use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine's should continue, after delaying a vote on the matter earlier this week.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory panel will meet on April 23, according to a notice posted on the regulator's website.

U.S. health regulators recommended earlier this week that use of the J&J vaccine be paused after reports of six cases of rare brain blood clots in women.

The advisory panel on Wednesday called for more data before making a decision on how and whether to resume use of the one-dose shot. (Reuters)

US could have 300m excess vaccine doses in July

The United States could have 300 million excess doses of the COVID-19 vaccines by the end of July, according to a report from a team of Duke University health experts.

Sanders urges Biden to support waiving vaccine patents

Bernie Sanders and nine Democratic senators have urged President Joe Biden to join them in supporting a waiver of COVID-19 vaccine patents at the World Trade Organization, which they say will help to ensure access to vaccines in lower-income countries. 

“Your Administration has the opportunity to reverse the damage done by the Trump Administration to our nation’s global reputation and restore America’s public health leadership on the world stage,” the senators wrote in a letter to Biden dated Thursday.

“To bring the pandemic to its quickest end and save the lives of Americans and people around the world, we ask that you prioritize people over pharmaceutical company profits by reversing the Trump position and announcing U.S. support for the [waiver].”

Facts on the six blood clot cases linked with J&J vaccine

ABC News has put together a fact-sheet giving more details on the six women who developed rare blood clots possibly associated with the J&J vaccine...

CORONAVIRUS VACCINE

Pfizer, Moderna and J&J/Janssen: who can get each, side effects, doses

There are currently three vaccines that have been approved for use in the US, that have been shown to be highly effective against the covid-19 virus. Which one is for you?

What is the difference between the Pfizer, Moderna and J&J/Janssen vaccines? Find out here:

5500 doses of J&J vaccine administered in Maryland

Nearly 5500 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine have been reported as administered in Maryland since Feds recommended 'pause'. According to the latest figures, 25.39% of the state is now fully vaccinated.

Half of New York City residents now vaccinated

According to the most recent data, New York had administered at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose to 7,912,401 residents - 50.7% of the total population. A total of  5,273,499 NYC residents (34.1%) have now been fully vaccinated, according to the state’s COVID-19 Tracker.

Astrazeneca

Covid-19 epidemic appears to be shrinking in England

The Covid-19 epidemic in England is estimated to be shrinking more quickly compared to last week, the health ministry said on Friday, adding that the reproduction 'R' number might also be lower. The daily growth rate of Covid-19 infections was estimated between -6% and -1%, down from -4% and 0% last week. The estimated range for the R number was 0.7 to 1.0, meaning on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 7 and 10 other people. Last week it was estimated at 0.8 to 1.0

AstraZeneca agree to investigate blood clot link with Johnson & Johnson

British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company AstraZeneca has agreed to join forces with Johnson & Johnson in a study to investigate the risks of blood clots in relation to Covid-19 and Covid-19 vaccines

Johnson & Johnson also approached Pfizer and Moderna to take part in the study but both companies declined, the Wall Street Journal reports. Pfizer and Moderna objected because they did not see the need to duplicate the efforts of agencies and companies that were already looking for blood-clot cases and investigating the cause, according to the report. The specific adverse event has not been reported by those who received the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the companies had said. J&J, AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna were not immediately available for comments on the report.

Rising reports of vaccine spam calls

Watch out for covid-19 vaccine scams. Don’t respond to or click on links from unknown sources. Don’t give out your credit card or other personal info.

Be wary of anti-vaxx disinformation. Report spam or scams at ago@mass.gov

Man accidentally given wrong Covid-19 vaccine

Craig Richards, from Lempster, New Hampshire has now had both Covid-19 jabs - but received different vaccines. WMUR 9 report that Mr. Richards was given the Moderna vaccine during his first appointment but a mix-up at the clinic meant that he was administered the Pfizer vaccine when he returned for his second shot four weeks later.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises against mixing vaccines but health officials have said that Mr. Richards will be fine.

Pfizer

Less than 0.01% of fully-vaccinated Americans have contracted Covid-19

Out of the 76.6 million Americans who have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, around 5,800 (0.01%) have gone on to contract the disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports. Of those, 396 (7%) required hospitalization, and 74 (1.3%) died from the disease, the CDC said in a statement. More than one in five Americans have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19

CORONAVIRUS VACCINE

Can you drink alcohol after taking a covid-19 vaccine?

The rollout of coronavirus vaccinations continues across the United States, and the World Health Organization has issued guidelines on drinking after the shot.

Is it safe to drink alcohol after being vaccinated? Find out here:

Vaccine usa

Evidence shows vaccine effectiveness

The link between covid-19 and serious illness or death is being broken by the rollout of vaccinations, according to Wales' chief scientist.

Dr Rob Orford said lockdown was behind current low transmission levels but the vaccine would now do the "heavy lifting" in controlling its spread.

Coronavirus hospital admissions are the lowest since the start of September and Wales' R number continues to decline. Dr Orford termed the breaking of the link "uncoupling." "We can see that in the evidence," he said.

CORONAVIRUS VACCINE

How many blood clots and thrombosis incidents have been reported in the US after the vaccine?

Blood clots and low levels of blood platelets in those who have been vaccinated for Covid-19 are extremely rare but a cause for concern nevertheless.

Find out how many blood clot cases have occurred to date in the US here:

Vaccine

US economy rebounding amid vaccine rollout - Federal Reserve survey

A survey conducted by the US Federal Reserve has found that the country's economy experienced an upswing between late February and early April as a result of aid measures such as the increased rollout of coronavirus vaccines and the distribution of stimulus checks of up to $1,400 to eligible Americans.

Covid-19 vaccine news: welcome

Hello and welcome to our dedicated live blog for Friday 16 April 2021.

Here we aim to keep you fully up to date with all the latest news and updates regarding the covid-19 pandemic and all aspects of the vaccine development and rollout across the United States.

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