Covid vaccine in the US news summary: 30 April 2021
Covid-19 vaccine in the US | Live updates 30 April
- Researchers uncover connection between swollen lymph nodes after vaccination and individuals who had tested positive for covid-19. The study, which is currently undergoing peer review, found that those who had experienced covid-19 were more likely to report that they had swollen lymph nodes after receiving a vaccine. Read more.
- Biden: 70% of US residents aged 65 or over are fully vaccinated. Senior deaths from covid are down 80%.
- Russia develops covid-19 vaccine for animals
- AstreZeneca CEO denies overstretch on supply promises
- New recommendations from CDC for fully vaccinated individuals, read them here.
- CDC: More than five million Americans did not receive a second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.
- Covid-19 vaccine passports apps: which ones can be used in the US? Learn more
- US covid-19: 32.34 million cases / 575,921 deaths (live updates from Johns Hopkins University)
Scroll through some of our related articles:
Two states in the US have authorized a covid-19 passport for use while several states have banned the concept. The White House will not make it mandatory.
Mexico looks for US help as AstraZeneca admits Latin America delay
Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador said on Friday the United States would probably send his country five million more doses of AstraZeneca's covid-19 vaccine, as the company admitted production in Latin American had suffered multiple setbacks.
Struggling with behind-schedule local AstraZeneca production and shortfalls in deliveries from foreign vaccine suppliers, Mexico has asked the US for more shots after initially receiving some 2.7 million AstraZeneca doses from the country.
"It's probable that they'll help us with a loan, while the AstraZeneca plant in Mexico gets up and running," López Obrador said at a regular news conference.
The US State Department did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
In a statement shared with Reuters on Friday, AstraZeneca said it regretted the delays, which it attributed to lower-than-expected yields from initial vaccine batches, shortages of critical supplies and longer periods for regulatory approval.
Florida's Port Canaveral becomes first US port to offer vaccines to seafarers
Port Canaveral is the first U.S. port to sponsor COVID-19 vaccine distribution to port workers and vessel crew members in response to a Florida Public Health Advisory approved by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Surgeon General Scott A. Rivkees, MD issued on April 29, expanding vaccine eligibility to include individuals who are in the state for purpose of providing good or services for the benefit of residents and visitors of the State of Florida.
“We have been working closely with our cruise partners, the Florida Department of Health, and our port community to come up with a plan and timeline of vaccinating cruise ship crews that could begin the process for a safe return to cruising,” stated Capt. John Murray, Port CEO. “This expanded eligibility is significantly important for our cruise tourism business, and we’re proud of our efforts to help get this industry up and running.”
NY locations for walk-in vaccine appointments
With over 45% of New Yorkers having recieved at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, there are now several locations offering walk-in appointments to all residents. NY congressman Jamaal Bowman has published a definitive list of all those locations...
U.S. hears global demand for vaccines, but still studying how to allocate
The United States is hearing "huge demand" from countries around the world for vaccines not needed by Americans, but has not yet developed a criteria for allocating them, the U.S. State Department's coordinator for global COVID-19 response, Gayle Smith, said on Friday.
The White House said on Monday the United States will start to share up to 60 million doses of AstraZeneca Plc's coronavirus vaccine with other countries, as soon as the next few weeks, but the Federal Drug Administration still needs to approve those doses.
Smith said on a call with reporters that Washington hasn't decided yet on how to allocate those vaccines that will be shared with other countries, despite the clamor from allies like India, where the virus is surging.
"I think we certainly will be making a decision based on what impact we can have on the spread of the virus, where needs are most acute and what will be the most effective," said Smith.
She said the situation in India was "very, very serious" but had not yet peaked and would need persistent attention for some time and the immediate aid that the United States was already providing, such as protective gear and vaccine manufacturing supplies.
"We're also looking at other things that can be done to build up supply chains within India so there can be a more steady supply of all those things that are needed to manage this overtime," Smith said. (Reuters)
100m adults now vaccinated in the US
100 million adults in the United States are now fully vaccinated, the White House announced on Friday. The country has administered about 237 million shots of the three approved Covid-19 vaccines as of Friday morning, according CDC.
"That's a hundred million Americans with a sense of relief and peace of mind, knowing that after a long and hard year, they're protected from the virus," Zients told reporters at a White House Covid-19 briefing.
He continued: "Knowing their decision to get vaccinated protects not just themselves but also protects their families, their friends and their communities."
"A hundred million Americans who can follow the new CDC guidance released this week and enjoy going to the park with their family, dining and socializing with their friends outside and many more outdoor activities without needing to wear a mask," Zients said.
Canada will get Pfizer vaccine doses from the US from next week
Canada will start getting Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from the United States next week, a company spokesperson said Friday, in what will be the first time the U.S. has allowed that company’s vaccine exported to Canada.
Despite Canada’s tightly woven commercial ties with the U.S., it has been getting Pfizer’s vaccines from Belgium until now because U.S. authorities had kept supplies made in the U.S. for domestic use.
Biden set to ban most travel to US from India
US President Joe Biden is expected to impose new travel restrictions on India starting from Tuesday in light of the Covid-19 epidemic, barring most non-US citizens from entering the United States, a White House official told Reuters.
The new restrictions are on the advice of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and are imposed "in light of extraordinarily high Covid-19 case loads and multiple variants circulating in India," the official said. A formal announcement is expected on Friday and the policy will take effect on Tuesday 4 May at 12:01 am ET (0401 GMT).
In January, Biden issued a similar ban on most non-US citizens entering the country who have recently been in South Africa. He also reimposed an entry ban on nearly all non-US travellers who have been in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland and 26 countries in Europe that allow travel across open borders.
The policy means most non-US citizens who have been in one of those countries - and now India - within the last 14 days are not eligible to travel to the United States. China and Iran are also both covered by the policy.
Second only to the United States in total infections, India has reported more than 300,000 new cases daily for nine days in a row, hitting another global record of 386,452 on Friday. Total deaths have surpassed 200,000 and cases are nearing 19 million - nearly 8 million since February alone - as virulent new strains have combined with 'super-spreader' events such as political rallies and religious festivals. Medical experts say real numbers may be five to 10 times higher than the official tally.
Covid-19 spike protein damages blood vessels
The 'spike' proteins that the coronavirus uses to help it break into cells inflicts other damage as well, according to a new study that shines a spotlight on the many ways Covid-19 attacks organs other than the lungs. The spike proteins themselves cause direct damage to the cells that line the blood vessels, scientists found in test tube experiments using an engineered version of the spike and artery-lining cells obtained from mice.
After attaching itself to the ACE2 protein on healthy cells, the spike disrupts signaling from ACE2 to the mitochondria - the cell's energy-generating structures - causing the mitochondria to become damaged, researchers reported on Friday in Circulation Research.
Covid-19 is really a disease of the blood vessels, coauthor Uri Manor of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California said in a statement. The new findings could help explain the blood clots associated with Covid-19. They could also explain "why some people have strokes, and why some people have issues in other parts of the body," Manor said. "The commonality between them is that they all have vascular underpinnings."
Vaccines protect Covid-19 survivors against variants
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine protects not only against the original virus strain but also against worrisome variants, two studies show. UK researchers analyzed immune responses after a single dose of the vaccine in 51 people, including 25 people previously infected with an early version of the novel coronavirus. Survivors showed enhanced antibody responses against the newer, more infectious variants first seen in the UK and South Africa, whereas people who had not previously been infected did not produce antibodies that could neutralize the variants, according to a report on Friday in Science.
Separately, US researchers studied 30 people after two doses of the vaccine. Immune responses were 3.4 times better at neutralizing the coronavirus in the 10 Covid-19 survivors than in the 20 who were not previously infected, they reported on medRxiv on Thursday ahead of peer review.
The difference was even greater when looking at neutralization of new variants from the UK, South Africa and Brazil, said coauthor Fikadu Tafesse of Oregon Health & Science University. "For example, the South African variant, which is the best at evading neutralizing antibodies, was 6.5 times better blocked," or neutralized, in blood samples from people who were vaccinated after infection, he said. "Our findings give people another reason to go out and get vaccinated even if they have already had Covid-19."
Over half of US adults have received one shot of Covid-19 vaccine
According to the Food and Drug Administration, 54.5% of the US adult population has now received at least one shot of one of the three Covid-19 vaccines currently approved for emergency use. The number of those aged over 65 who have received both shots and are now fully vaccinated stands at 68.3%.
Dr. Janet Woodcock, Acting FDA Commissioner tweeted, "With the three vaccines we’ve authorized for emergency use, more than half of U.S. adults have received at least one shot, and two-thirds of seniors are fully vaccinated".
Canada to start to get Pfizer vaccines next week
Canada are due to start getting deliveries of the BioNTech-Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine from the United States next week. It will be the first time the US has exported its vaccine to their neighbours.
Until now, Canada has been receiving imports of the Pfizer vaccines from Belgium while the US kept doses for domestic use. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau repeated Friday that starting next week, Canada will be receiving 2 million doses a week from Pfizer alone.
School-aged child tragically dies of Covid-19 in Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Health delivered some extremely sad news this week following the death of a schoolgirl from Covid-19.
A statement read: "We are deeply saddened to confirm that a child under age 10 from southwestern Minnesota has died due to complications from Covid-19. While Covid-related deaths in children are rare, they can occur even in otherwise healthy children. Since the start of the pandemic, three Minnesota children under age 18 have died due to Covid-19.
Obituary for Week Day
Week Day, aged six, of Marshall, Minnesota, passed away on Sunday 25 April 2021, at the Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Week Day was born on 7 August 2014, to Mu Mu and He Lars in Thailand. She emigrated from a refugee camp there to Marshall, Minnesota, with her family in December 2015.
Week was an enthusiastic student as a first grader at Parkside Elementary in Marshall. She was loved by her classmates and teacher, Ms. Hewitt. Week was a sweet girl who enjoyed school and appreciated her studies and sought to learn about the world around her.
Week was known to be a lively girl who loved the color pink! Singing songs and dancing were her favorite ways to entertain her family. She enjoyed drawing and painting and was a wonderful big sister to her beloved little brother, Michael. She brought both immeasurable love and joy to her family, friends, and community. She made a big impact with her 6 years, 8 months, and 18 days of life. May she forever enjoy the sacred realm.
100 million Americans are fully vaccinated - the White House
The United States reached another landmark in their Covid-19 vaccine rollout as the White House announced this afternoon that 100 million American citizens are now fully vaccinated.
"Today, 100 million Americans are fully vaccinated -- almost double the 55 million who were fully vaccinated just a month ago. Now, nearly 40% of all adults in this country are protected and, as the CDC outlined this week, are able to safely do outdoor activities without a mask".
The new figures mean that just over 30% of the US population is now fully vaccinated.
CDC issues cases update
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the weekly seven-day average of reported new cases in the US has dropped by 16 percent over the previous week.
WHO expects assessment of Moderna and two Chinese vaccines by end of next week
The World Health Organization expects to release its assessments for emergency use listing of the two main Chinese vaccines for covid-19 as well as the Moderna shot by the end of next week, WHO Assistant Director-General Mariangela Simão said on Friday.
Simão said the WHO's independent panel was assessing the Moderna vaccine and a vaccine from China's Sinopharm on Friday and was due to look at China's other main vaccine, made by Sinovac Biotech, next week.
"So, by the beginning of next week or the end of next week we will have the final assessment of these three vaccines out," she told a briefing.
Photo: REUTERS/Nathan Howard
United States Marines queue to receive the Moderna coronavirus vaccine at Camp Hansen in Kin, Japan. A United States military vaccination program aiming to inoculate all service personnel and their families against Covid-19 coronavirus is under way on Japan's southernmost island of Okinawa, home to around 30,000 US troops and one of the largest US Marine contingents outside of mainland USA.
Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images
Biden undecided on requiring US military to get vaccine
President Joe Biden said he has not ruled out requiring US service members to get a covid-19 vaccine, according to an NBC interview broadcast on Friday.
"I'm not saying I won't," Biden said when asked if he would require the men and women in the US armed services to get vaccinated. "I think you're going to see more and more of them getting it. And I think it's going to be a tough call as to whether or not they should be required to get it in the military, because you're in such close proximity with other military personnel," Biden said in the interview, conducted on Thursday.
The Biden administration's covid-19 vaccination effort has been hailed as a success, with more than 237 million doses administered. The number exceeds Biden's target of 200 million doses - double his initial goal - by his first 100 days in office, which he marked on Thursday.
The Marine Corps said that as of April 23, approximately 93,500 Marines had received the covid-19 vaccine while 52,900 Marines have declined a shot, or about 36 percent. An additional 92,300 Marines have yet to be offered one.
AstraZeneca says US data load for covid-19 vaccine approval very big
AstraZeneca is working as fast as possible to compile data on its covid-19 vaccine to apply for US approval but the dataset is very big, executives said on Friday as the drugmaker faces delays to its submission.
"There's a lot more data than just a Phase III study and so we're working as fast as we can to pull it all together and submit," said Mene Pangalos, executive vice president of BioPharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca.
Chief executive Pascal Soriot said in a briefing following the release of first-quarter results there was nothing wrong with the data, but the dataset was very big.
On Friday, the company said it planned to apply for US approval in the coming weeks. That is a delay from late March when the company also said it would submit the data in the coming weeks.
Soriot said the company still expected to hit output of 200 million doses of the vaccine this month.
Photo: REUTERS/Ann Wang
US Vice President Kamala Harris tours a Covid-19 vaccination site with Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House Chief Medical Adviser on Covid-19, at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)
The five million people who have foregone their second vaccine dose have public health experts concerned... but what are the possible impacts?
Japan says Olympics must not burden regional medical systems
The Olympics must not be a burden on regional medical systems, Japan's chief government spokesman said on Friday, amid worries that daily athlete testing will tax health resources already stressed in fighting a rebound of covid-19 cases.
The Games will be held in a manner that makes everyone feel safe, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters, responding to concerns raised by a nurses' union that the world's biggest sporting event will sap medical resources needed by the public.
Tokyo 2020 organisers this week issued the second edition of "playbooks" that lay out infection prevention standards for the Summer Games, which are due to start in less than three months after a one-year delay because of the pandemic.
The rules require daily testing of athletes and restrict their use of public transportation, complicating logistics in more remote venues.
The venue for surfing in the Tokyo Olympics refused to set up covid-19 testing facilities for athletes, citing a lack of medical facilities, NHK reported on Friday.
Japan is struggling to tame a coronavirus resurgence and its vaccination drive, dependent so far on imported doses of Pfizer Inc's shots, is lagging all other wealthy nations.
Health Minister Norihisa Tamura confirmed on Friday that the first doses of Moderna Inc's vaccine, expected to be approved in May, had arrived in Japan.
Japan has inoculated only 1.8% of its population, too little to blunt a fourth wave of cases driven by more infectious strains of the virus.
Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP
Russia produces first batch of covid-19 vaccine for animals
Russia has produced the world's first batch - 17,000 doses - of covid-19 vaccines for animals, its agricultural regulator said on Friday.
Russia registered Carnivac-Cov in March after tests showed it generated antibodies against covid-19 in dogs, cats, foxes and mink.
The first batch will be supplied to several regions of Russia, the regulator Rosselkhoznadzor said in a statement.
It said companies from Germany, Greece, Poland, Austria, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Lebanon, Iran and Argentina had expressed interest in purchasing the vaccine.
The World Health Organization has voiced concern over the risk of transmission of the virus between humans and animals. The Russian regulator has said the vaccine would be able to protect vulnerable species and thwart viral mutations.
"About 20 organisations are ready to negotiate registration and supply of the vaccine to their countries. The file for registration abroad, in particular in the European Union, is under preparation and will be promptly used for the registration process," the Russian watchdog said.
CEO says AstraZeneca didn't overpromise on covid-19 vaccine supplies
AstraZeneca's chief executive said on Friday the drugmaker had not overpromised on its ability to supply covid-19 vaccines around the world, as he defended big cuts in deliveries that prompted a lawsuit by the European Union.
Pascal Soriot told a media briefing that the company did its best to deliver as much as it could to the EU. "We never overpromised, we communicated what we thought we would achieve at the time," he said.
How are swollen lymph nodes related to covid-19 vaccination?
Researchers may have uncovered a connection between swollen lymph nodes after vaccination and individuals who had tested positive for covid-19. The study, which is currently undergoing peer review, found that those who had experienced covid-19 were more likely to report that they had swollen lymph nodes after receiving a vaccine.
Good news for senior citizens in the US
The CDC this week released the results of an assessment which found that fully vaccinated seniors are 94% less likely to need to be hospitalized with a severe case of covid-19. The research team looked examined hospitalization rates of seniors who had received either Pfizer or Moderna's vaccine.
With demand for vaccines declining in some states, public health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci are counting on athletes and other public figures to encourage those who follow them to get vaccinated. Some NBA teams have also worked with state and local governments to use their arenas as vaccine distribution centers.
On 28 April, NBA commissioner Adam Silver told "Time" that 70% of players had been given at least one shot.
Covid-19 vaccine passports apps: which ones can be used in the US?
Two states in the US have authorized a covid-19 passport for use while several states have banned the concept. The White House will not make it mandatory.
30% of US population now fully vaccinated
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest figures, 43.3% of the US population have now received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine, and 30% have now been fully vaccinated.
In total, 99,688,445 people in the US have been fully vaccinated.
CDC projects up to 595,000 US Covid-19 deaths will have been reported by May 22
An ensemble forecast published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now projects that there will be 583,000 to 595,000 coronavirus deaths reported by May 22. The US has so far reported 574.978 Covid-19-related deaths, according to John Hopkins University figures.
Why are there side effects to covid-19 vaccines?
Vaccines train your immune systems to recognize a pathogen and prevent infection. When being vaccinated, you may find that you suffer from side effects ranging from fever to headache. This is good news and means the vaccine is working.
In the case of the covid-19 vaccines, your body is receiving pieces of the virus’ genetic code so that in the case you are infected, your immune system can quickly begin to create antibodies.
In the US, three pharmaceutical companies -- Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson -- have had their vaccines approved. These vaccines have demonstrated high efficacy in preventing covid-19 infection but after the poke some patients have reported feeling side effects, which are in almost all cases mild.
Covid-19 vaccine news: welcome
Hello and welcome to our dedicated live blog for Friday 30 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.