Covid vaccine in the US news summary: 27 April 2021
US covid-19 vaccine news live: latest updates 27 April
- Biden to announce new CDC mask-wearing guidance (full story)
- Vaccine choice could determine travel options (full story)
- One in five Americans have no intention of getting covid jab (full story)
- Low covid-19 risk from surfaces confirmed (full story)
- US lifts pause on Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine (full story)
- CDC confirm 1/3 of US population are fully vaccinated
- 16 plus now eligible for vaccination in the US
- Some US vaccination centres set to close as demand drops
- 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
- US covid-19: 32.13 million cases / 572,674 deaths (live updates from JHU)
Good news for the almost 29% of the population that is now fully vaccinated, masks are no longer necessary outdoors. But for others restrictions still apply.
Covid-19 numbers are down, including vaccinations
New cases of covid-19 saw their biggest drop last week in the United States falling 16%. Deaths also hit a milestone dipping below 5,000 for the first time since October. Sadly, though the pace of vaccination is slipping, down 14% from the previous week.
Check to see how your state is doing in the race to reach herd immunity.
White House considering intellectual property waiver for vaccines
The White House is considering options for maximizing production and supply of covid-19 vaccines for the world at the lowest cost, including backing a proposed waiver of intellectual property rights, but no decision has been made, press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday.
"There are a lot of different ways to do that. Right now, that's one of the ways, but we have to assess what makes the most sense," Psaki said, adding that US officials were also looking at whether it would be more effective to boost manufacturing in the United States.
Photo: REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
Biden, Modi in talks over vaccines shipment
The United States is discussing when it could begin sending covid-19 vaccines to India and other countries, even as it sends therapeutics and other equipment to India amid a surge in cases there, President Joe Biden on Tuesday.
"I think we'll be in a position to be able to share, share vaccines as well as know-how with other countries who are in real need. That's the hope and expectation," he told reporters after remarks on the coronavirus at the White House.
Biden said he had spoken at length with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, including as to when the United States would be able to ship vaccines to the country of 1.3 billion people, and said it was his clear intention to do so.
Biden gave no specific date for when vaccine shipments could begin, but White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday that the United States could start sending up to 60 million doses of AstraZeneca Plc's coronavirus vaccine as soon as the next few weeks.
In the meantime, Biden said the United States would begin shipping other supplies and rendering assistance to India, including Gilead Sciences' antiviral drug remdesivir and mechanical parts needed for the machinery they have to build a vaccine.
Photo by NARINDER NANU / AFP
Quebec reports first death of a patient due to AstraZeneca vaccine
The Canadian province of Quebec on Tuesday reported the first death of a patient from the AstraZeneca vaccine due to clotting.
Public Health Director Horacio Arruda told reporters the death of the patient, a 54-year-old woman, will not change the province's vaccination strategy.
US consumer confidence hits 14-month high
US consumer confidence jumped to a 14-month high in April as increased vaccination against covid-19 and additional fiscal stimulus allowed for more services businesses to reopen, boosting demand and hiring by companies.
The upbeat survey from the Conference Board on Tuesday, which also showed a strong increase in vacation plans, suggested the economy continued to power ahead early in the second quarter after what appears to have been robust growth in the first three months of the year, believed by many economists to have been the second strongest since 2003.
Growth this year is expected to be the best in nearly four decades.
"Consumers are seeing the light at the end of the covid tunnel," said Ben Ayers, senior economist at Nationwide in Columbus, Ohio. "Led by strong spending as households return to eating out, traveling and visiting stores, the economy should surge ahead starting the second quarter and likely carrying into 2022."
After 100 days in office following his election victory over Donald Trump, Joe Biden will address a joint session of Congress for the first time this week.
Unfortunately experiencing some form of side effects is a completely normal part of receiving any vaccine, and is actually a sign that your body is responding positively. The vaccine shot essentially introduces a small dose of the coronavirus into your system so your body is better able to fight of a similar infection in future.
21,000 tested positive in one week after first vaccine dose
According to a Washington Post analysis, 21,000 who tested positive for coronavirus in the US in the week ending April 18 had received one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
Pfizer and Moderna's are 80 percent effective after one dose, with the efficacy rate climbing to 90 to 95 percent after the second dose.
As outlined by The Hill: "Health experts have said that until vaccines fully take effect, there is little difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, so it is important to continue observing COVID-19 guidelines."
More than half of Americans approve of Biden
More than half of Americans said they approve of the job President Biden is doing as he approaches his first 100 days in office, according to a new Washington Post-survey by. Forty-two percent of those surveyed say they disapprove.
The fast rollout of the coronavirus vaccine will have been one factor behind Biden's high approval rating, along with his administration's rollout of the $1,400 stimulus checks.
IN PICTURES - LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 26: A person is administered their vaccine as patients line up to receive their Pfizer COVID-19 shot during a vaccination event at Lynn Family Stadium on April 26, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky. Wild Health, a speciality healthcare provider, in conjunction with Louisville City Football Club offered free admission to the evenings soccer game with proof of vaccine administration from the pop-up site. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images/AFP)
Top U.S. trade negotiator meets Pfizer, AstraZeneca execs on COVID-19 IP waiver
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Monday met virtually with top executives of drugmakers Pfizer and AstraZeneca PLC to discuss a proposed waiver of certain intellectual property rights in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of the World Trade Organization are due to discuss a proposal by India and South Africa to waive certain provisions of the WTO's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) on April 30, but the United States and a few other big countries have blocked such a move.
Democratic lawmakers, civil society groups, and 60 former heads of state and 100 Nobel Prize winners have urged President Joe Biden to back the waiver. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Monday said she had no updates on the issue. Tai's meetings with the Pfizer and AstraZeneca executives reflect her intense engagement on the issue, and follow similar meetings with advocacy groups, industry executives and others.
Earlier this month, Tai told a WTO meeting the gaping divide between developed and developing countries' access to medicine was "completely unacceptable" and industry needed to make sacrifices in times of crisis.
In her discussion with Pfizer Chief Executive Dr. Albert Bourla, Tai emphasized her commitment to working with other members of the WTO on a global response to the crisis, her office said in a statement.
That included "the role of developing countries in any solution that addresses critical gaps in global production and distribution of vaccines," USTR said.
Tai also discussed the issue with Dr. Ruud Dobber, head of U.S. business at AstraZeneca, as well as the White House's decision to share up to 60 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine with countries in need. USTR said Tai and Dobber discussed "increasing vaccine production, global health issues and the proposed waiver." (Reuters)
Covid-19 vaccines are saving lives: CDC study confirms the obvious
Only 77 out of over 87 million people who got vaccinated in the US till 20 April died due to covid, according to data collected by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC), the country’s national public health agency.
The data shows that vaccines reduce hospitalisation and deaths in covid cases.
A total of 32,875,045 people in the US have been infected with covid-19 so far - the highest number of infections in the world. The US’ death toll is also the highest in the world - as many as 586,611 people have died in the country due to covid.
The CDC, on its website, revealed that as of 20 April, more than 87 million people in the US had been fully vaccinated against covid-19. During this time, the CDC received reports of vaccine breakthrough infections from 45 US states and territories.
Vaccines and ventilators by Amazon
Jeff Bezos' behemoth is taking action to help with the covid-19 relief effort in India, sending 100 ventilator units.
This comes after Amazon announced it was to give thousands of its Washington workers, contractors and their families covid-19 vaccine shots, a response to the company's critics, who have lambasted what they described as inadequate safety precautions.
Vaccine success allows mask rule changes
As we told you earlier, President Joe Biden is expected to announce a loosening of federal guidance on mask-wearing outdoors, as the coronavirus pandemic recedes.
Dr Scott Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration chief, wroter ecently that though “wearing masks and restricting large gatherings were essential to controlling the pandemic’s worst peaks … infection levels are dropping and vaccination rates rising.
“This is the time to revisit rules on masking and distancing in low-risk outdoor settings like parks and sports venues. Easing these rules would move more activity outdoors, which reduces viral transmission.”
Regardless, in primetime on Monday night the Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed requiring children to wear masks outdoors was “child abuse”.
Martin Pengelly gives his view for The Guardian on Carlson's rant.
'Call the police if a child is wearing a mask' - Carlson takes the fight somewhere dark
In a further attempt to stoke hate and divide a nation, Fox News' Tucker Carlson has gone on yet another angry rant, using mistruths and twisting facts to suit his agenda.
Damir Marusic suggests that the reason for some of his ludicrous suggestions is simply that the political right’s only response is to downplay the President Biden's successful vaccine rollout and expeected 'economic boom fueled by pent up demand and massive stimulus'.
As always, take advice from scientists and experts, not a TV shock jock.
Vaccinated? Unvaccinated? Mask guidance coming
We may soon get new guidance when it comes to wearing masks outdoors.
A source familiar with the discussions has told NBC News that President Joe Biden is expected to announce new Centers for Disease Control guidance on the subject as early as today.
However, the source cautioned the final recommendations are still being finalized, and there will likely be guidance for those who are fully vaccinated versus those who are not.
Former US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb appeared on CNBC Monday, where he said he thinks outdoor mask mandates are no longer necessary. More than a dozen states have already repealed mandates.
US must be global leader on vaccines
'The United States must continue to be a leader and support and strengthen national immunization systems around the world to help build back from covid-19,' says Washington's Rep. Adam Smith.
Sputnik V vaccine: WHO wants more info
The World Health Organization said on Tuesday it was still in discussions about the Russian-made Sputnik V covid-19 vaccine and had not yet set a date to evaluate the shot's clinical data for possible emergency use listing.
"On Sputnik, we are still waiting, we are still in the back-and-forth stage. So we don't have a review meeting scheduled yet," WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a briefing in Geneva.
Brazilian health regulator Anvisa on Monday rejected importing the Sputnik V requested by state governors battling a deadly second wave. Technical staff highlighted "inherent risks" and serious defects, citing a lack of information guaranteeing its safety, quality and effectiveness.
World immunization week
Jos Biden's administration is pushing through its vaccination program at pace, as are leaders across the globe.
This week, running from 24-30 April, has been coined World Immunization Week so the focus on getting appropriate doses is even greater.
But this message will have to continue as the fight continues against covid-19.
The vast majority of parents don't think twice about getting their child vaccinated for measles, and rightly so.
As per the WHO, this vaccine alone saves around two million lives per year.
Go get your jab.
Americans avoiding second vaccine dose
More than five million Americans did not get their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That’s about 8% of patients who received at least one vaccine and about double the percentage of people compared to a few weeks into the vaccine rollout.
“I got the Moderna shot,” said Makaila Tibbs, who raised concerns over receiving her second dose because of the Johnson & Johnson pause. “I got the first one. I still need to get my second one. The Johnson & Johnson does make me nervous, especially already having my first shot. It does make me skeptical.”
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the three main variants found in the United States are the:
- B.1.1.7, which originated in the United Kingdom
- B.1.351 variant which originated in South Africa
- P.1 variant which was traced back to Brazil.
Other variants have been identified but the number of cases reported has not reached the “variant of concern” level that the other three have.
Maite Knorr-Evans brings you details on the covid-19 variants.
Vaccine recipients in line for $100 bond: West Virginia
GOP Gov. Jim Justice of West Virginia has announced that the state will award those aged between 16 and 35 a savings bond worth $100 if they get the covid-19 vaccine. All states have hit President Biden's target to open up vaccine eligibilty for all adults, but some are sturggling to find enough people to get them.
The idea of a national incentive for vaccinations has been mooted in the past, including tying the stimulus check payment to the vaccine, but some lawmakers argued that it was unconstitutional.
New covid-19 infections drop sharply in US
New cases of covid-19 in the United States fell 16% last week to about 409,000, the biggest percentage drop in weekly new cases since February, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data.
Deaths from covid-19 fell 4% to 4,972 in the week ended 25 April, dropping below 5,000 for the first time since October. Michigan still led the states in new cases per capita, though new infections fell 29% last week compared to the previous seven days. New cases also fell by over 20% in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the states with the next highest rates of infection based on population.
New infections are still rising on a weekly basis in 12 out of 50 states, down from 30 states last month. The states with the biggest percentage increases are Tennessee, Oregon and Arizona. As of Sunday, 43% of the US population has received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine, and 29% was fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Nationally, the pace of vaccinations fell 14% from the previous week to an average of 2.7 million shots per day. The average number of covid-19 patients in hospitals across the country held steady at about 41,000, according to the Reuters analysis.
The United States has resumed use of the Johnson & Johnson covid-19 vaccination after health regulators lifted an 11-day pause. The vaccination’s use was temporarily suspended at the start of this month after reports of recipients suffering from rare blood clots.
Around eight million doses of the J&J vaccine had been administered before the pause and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have so far found 15 cases of the rare disorder known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis.
Read more about the current situation with the J&J vaccine.
Vaccine pact between US, India, Japan and Australia still on track
A cooperation between the United States and three of its closest Indo-Pacific partners to supply up to a billion coronavirus vaccine doses across Asia by the end of 2022 was 'still on track', senior administration officials said on Monday, despite a surge of the virus in India, one of the countries involved. "It's moving forward expeditiously," a senior administration official told reporters in a briefing call.
In March, a Quad fact sheet said the United States, through its International Development Finance Corp, would work to finance Indian drugmaker Biological E Ltd to produce at least 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses by the end of 2022.
Biden vaccine target hit...and hit again
President Joe Biden set the target of administering 100 million vaccine doses in 100 days. After two months that was reached.
He then challenged his nationwide teams to reach double than figure. By 21 April, more than 200 million doses had been given.
There is more work to be done, but the progress thus far has been positive.
One of the first legislative priorities for Biden was to pass the large-scale relief bill that would form the basis of his immediate response to the pandemic. The American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, was signed into law on 11 March after weeks of wrangling in Congress.
Included in the bill was federal funding to improve the speed of the vaccine rollout across the country, providing additional support for hard-to-reach areas. Biden initially set the target of administering 100 million vaccine doses in 100 days but, after reaching that within two months, he doubled it to 200 million.
By 21 April Biden was able to announce that they had reached the new target.
Will Gittens reflects on the almost 100 days of Joe Biden in the Oval Office.
US vaccine surplus could aid Central America
The COVAX facility, a global multilateral initiative to ensure vaccine equality, has reached 100 economies worldwide but the global vaccination drive still faces challenges as the world's largest economies stockpile doses
The US is being urged to share its surplus with neighboring countries in the Central American region.
Two Chinese covid-19 vaccines up for WHO approval
The World Health Organization expects to decide whether to give emergency approval for China's two main covid-19 vaccines in the next two weeks, Assistant Director-General Mariângela Batista Galvão Simão told a briefing on Monday.
Simão said the WHO could decide on a vaccine made by Sinopharm by the end of this week, and one made by Sinovac Biotech by the end of next week.
China has already deployed millions of doses of both vaccines at home and has exported them to many countries, particularly in Latin America, Asia and Africa.
An emergency listing from the WHO is an indication to national regulators of a shot's safety and efficacy, and would allow the Chinese vaccines to be included in COVAX, the global programme to provide vaccines mainly for poor countries.
If approved, the Chinese vaccines would be the first from a non-Western country to gain approval from the global health body. So far the WHO has given emergency approval to vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. It is also expected to review Moderna's shot this week.
US to share up to 60 mln AstraZeneca vaccine doses globally
The United States will start to share up to 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine doses with other countries as they become available, White House senior Covid-19 adviser Andy Slavitt said on Monday.
"US to release 60 million AstraZeneca doses to other countries as they become available," he wrote on Twitter. The Associated Press earlier on Monday reported the doses would be shared in coming months following a federal safety review. The Biden administration in March said it would send roughly 4 million of the drugmaker's vaccine to Canada and Mexico and is under growing pressure now to expand sharing of its stockpile with India and other countries.
Covid-19 vaccine news: welcome
Hello and welcome to our dedicated live blog for Tuesday 27 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.