Covid vaccine in the US news summary: 28 April 2021
- CDC, Biden announce new 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 centers 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: 32.22 million cases / 574,247 deaths (live updates from JHU)
What is a covid passport?
As the Biden administration's vaccination effort continues, we take a look at the possibility of a federal system to track who has had the life-saving shot.
(Photo: Jason Redmond / AFP)
29.5% of US population now fully vaccinated
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its vaccine data, revealing that 43% of the US population have now received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and that 29.5% have now been fully vaccinated.
In total, 98,044,421 people in the US have been fully vaccinated against covid-19.
As President Biden marks 100 days in office, roughly 30 percent of the US population has been vaccinated. With vaccination levels inching closer to herd immunity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released interim guidance on what is safe for fully vaccinated people to do.
CDC study: Pfizer, Moderna vaccines reduce hospitalization risk by 94% among adults aged 65 and over
Real-world data compiled in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study has shown that the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines have reduced the risk of hospitalization by 94% among fully vaccinated people aged 65 or over in the United States.
The research also found that the vaccines are 64% effective among those aged 65 and above in the US who have been partially vaccinated.
“These data suggest that continuing to rapidly vaccinate U.S. adults against COVID-19 will likely have a marked impact on COVID-19 hospitalization and might lead to commensurate reductions in post-COVID conditions and deaths,” the researchers said in their report.
US Marines get vaccine in Japan
A United States Marine receives the Moderna coronavirus vaccine at Camp Foster in Kin, Japan, on Wednesday.
A US military vaccination program aiming to inoculate all service personnel and their families against covid-19 is underway on Japan's southernmost island of Okinawa, home to around 30,000 American troops and one of the largest US Marine contingents outside of mainland USA.
(Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images)
29% of US population fully vaccinated; over 40% have received at least one dose
Over 40% of the US population have received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine, according to the latest data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As of Tuesday morning, 141,751,857 people in America - 42.7% of the nation - had been given at least one shot. Taking into account only over-18s, this percentage rises to 54.2%.
Meanwhile, 29.1% of the US is now fully vaccinated - 96,747,454 people.
More than two-thirds of all over-65s - 67.9%; 37,149,968 people - have now been fully vaccinated.
Good news for the almost 29% of the US 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.
BioNTech chief says third vaccine dose will likely be needed
The CEO of BioNTECH, which is the company that developed the first vaccine approved in the US along with Pfizer, has said that a third dose of the coronavirus jab will likely be needed.
Studies show the efficacy of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine declines from 95% to about 91% after six months, he said. “Accordingly, we need a third shot to get the vaccine protection back up to almost 100% again” Ugur Sahin said.
He suggested this should be administered nine to 12 months after the first shot.
“And then I expect it will probably be necessary to get another booster every year or perhaps every 18 months again,” he said.
Mexico agrees domestic production of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine
Mexico will produce Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 domestically, its foreign minister said on a visit to Moscow on Wednesday.
Mexico's top diplomat travelled to Moscow on Sunday for talks to hammer out plans for Mexico to bottle Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine domestically following delays in shipments.
Mexico's state-run vaccine manufacturer Birmex would handle the final packaging and filling of the vaccine, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said in comments shared by the ministry.
Bottling the Russian shot in Mexico could start as early as May, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which markets the vaccine abroad, said on Twitter.
Ebrard, whose government is aiming to quicken its pace of vaccinations, said about a million people in Mexico had been vaccinated with Sputnik V thus far.
"The results are very positive, which speaks of the quality of science and technological development in this country," Ebrard said of Russia.
He said the pandemic had "opened the door for us to expand and deepen this relationship."
Mexico's Health Ministry said in late February it expected to receive 7.4 million doses of Sputnik V by April and an additional 16.6 million shots in May. Mexico has signed an agreement to acquire a total of 24 million doses. (Reuters)
President Biden will make his first joint address to Congress Wednesday night… here is all you need to know to tune in and watch the speech live. Read article.
1 in 4 Texans now fully vaccinated against COVID-19
According to the latest CDC data, one in four Texans is is not fully vaccinated, while 37% of the state's population had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Governor Greg Abbot has appealed to Texans who received the first dose to go back for the second amid reports that 5 million people in the US missed appoitnments for their second jab.
"It’s vital that Texans who received the 1st dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, go back for the 2nd dose," Abbot said in a video posted to Twitter.
CDC does not see link between heart inflammation and covid shots
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not seen a link between heart inflammation and covid-19 vaccines, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said on Tuesday.
"We have not seen a signal and we've actually looked intentionally for the signal in the over 200 million doses we've given," Walensky said in a press briefing.
She said the CDC is in touch with the Department of Defense over its investigation of 14 cases of heart inflammation or myocarditis among people who were vaccinated through the military's health services.
Israel's Health Ministry said on Sunday it was examining a small number of cases of heart inflammation in people who had received Pfizer's covid-19 vaccine, though it had not yet drawn any conclusions. Most of the cases in Israel were reported among people up to age 30.
Pfizer has said it has not observed a higher rate of the condition than would normally be expected in the general population.
Photo: REUTERS/Tami Chappell
Walk-in vaccines at state-run sites for all New Yorkers 16+ beginning Thursday
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday that walk-in vaccines appointments at state-run sites will begin on Thursday for all New Yorkers over the age of 16. Cuomo also confirmed that 45% of New Yorkers have now received a least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.
New mask-wearing recommendations for the fully vaccinated
Fully vaccinated people can safely partake in outdoor activities like walking and hiking without wearing face-masks but should continue to use them in public spaces where they are required, U.S, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday.
The CDC called the new guidelines a “first step” in helping fully vaccinated Americans resume activities they had stopped because of the pandemic.
Europe could allow fully vaccinated US tourists back this summer
Officials in Brussels confirmed the European Union is discussing with the United States the possibility of allowing American tourists who have had both doses of approved vaccines to visit Europe this summer.
The moves forms part of EU efforts to coordinate travel both from inside the Union and from non-EU countries in order to boost summer tourism.
"The Americans, as far as I can see, use European Medicines Agency-approved vaccines," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in an interview on Sunday. "This will enable free movement and travel to the European Union."
Recap on CDC recommendations following resumption of J&J vaccine
Last week, the CDC and FDA recommended the resumption of J&J vaccine rollout after it had been suspended due to links with 15 cases of a rare blood clot disorder. If you have concerns about the J&J vaccine, here is a recap of what the CDC has said (from its website):
- CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine resume in the United States, after a temporary pause.
- Reports of adverse events following the use of J&J/Janssen vaccine suggest an increased risk of a rare adverse event called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). Nearly all reports of this serious condition, which involves blood clots with low platelets, have been in adult women younger than 50 years old.
- A review of all available data at this time shows that the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks.
- However, women younger than 50 years old should be aware of the rare but increased risk of this adverse event and that there are other COVID-19 vaccine options available for which this risk has not been seen.
- CDC and FDA will continue to monitor the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines.
- Seek medical care right away if you develop any of the symptoms below after receiving the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.
Biden: "Go get the shot"
President Joe Biden has urged Americans yet to be vaccinated to "go get the shot". All Americans over 16 years old are now eligible for the vaccine...
Biden says talks ongoing about U.S. shipments of COVID-19 vaccine abroad
The United States still expects to send COVID-19 vaccines to India and other countries amid ongoing discussions over how soon doses could be shipped out even as it sends therapeutics and other equipment to India amid a surge in cases there, U.S. 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 coronavirus at the White House. (Reuters)
EU legal case against AstraZeneca begins in Brussels court
The European Commission's legal proceedings against Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca over vaccine supplies began at the Brussels Court of First Instance on Wednesday.
The Commission, the European Union's executive, launched the proceedings accusing the company of failing to fulfil its contract for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, and for not having a "reliable" plan to ensure timely deliveries.
The proceedings are public, will be made up of two hearings, and conducted under an emergency procedure, which means they could be concluded in a matter of weeks, the Commission said. (Reuters)
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.
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."
CDC issues J&J reassurance
After the J&J vaccine was brought back into circulation last week following its removal due to cases of thrombosis being reported, the CDC has reaffirmed that the "vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks."
Several countires have halted the rollout of J&J vaccines or limited its use after several cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis were reported in recipients.
Duke and Duchess to attend covid-19 vaccine concert
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will appear at the Vax Live event for which they are campaign chairs. The star-studded concert aimed at increasing access to covid-19 vaccines will be hosted by pop star Selena Gomez.
US President Joe Biden will also attend the concert organized by anti-poverty group Global Citizen.
"We will all benefit, we will all be safer, when everyone, everywhere has equal access to the vaccine," Harry and Meghan said. Adding "We must pursue equitable vaccine distribution and, in that, restore faith in our common humanity. The mission couldn't be more critical or important."
Miami private school advises teachers not to get the covid-19 vaccine
A Miami private school said it won't employ anyone who has received the covid-19 vaccine, citing concerns that the injection might not be safe.
Centner Academy outlined its controversial policy in a letter to parents, encouraging faculty and staff to hold off on being vaccinated "until there is further research available." Those who do wish to be vaccinated are asked to wait until the end of the school year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that the injections are "safe and effective." According to the CDC, long-term side effects from the shots are "extremely unlikely."
Covid-19 vaccine news: welcome
Hello and welcome to our dedicated live blog for Wednesday 28 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.