Covid-19 vaccine in the US news summary: 25 May 2021
US Vaccine news | Live updates
- United Airlines launch vaccine contest (full story)
- Moderna claim vaccine 'strongly' protects children
- Nine US states pass 70% vaccine target
- CureVac vaccine approval expected in June
- Indian state unable to obtain covid-19 shots directly from Moderna
- Pfizer and BioNTech pledge to give one billion doses to low- and middle-income countries by end of year
- California won’t create vaccine passport, but large events may require vaccine/test proof
- New travel rules for vaccinated US citizens
- US vaccine roll-out to children aged 12-15
- Study shows AstraZeneca vaccine works well as third booster
- Over 131 million US citizens now fully vaccinated (track CDC data here)
- US covid-19: 33.14 million cases / 590,553 deaths (live updates from JHU)
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Colorado becomes latest sate to implement a lottery for those who have been vaccinated. State officials hope that the possibility of winning a cash prize could increase vaccination numbers across the state. More details here.
The first reported case of covid-19 infection in North America, according to data released by the WHO, was on 21 January 2020, when a 35-year-old American citizen in Snohomish County, Washington tested positive for the virus. The man developed symptoms a week after returning home from a trip to the region close to Wuhan where the outbreak is believed to have started.
Fast-forward to December when 52-year-old critical care nurse Sandra Lindsay volunteered to become the first person to be vaccinated in the United States. And since then, especially since President Joe Biden took the reigns in January, the nation's covid-19 vaccination programme has been progressing at a rapid pace.
Vaccine data dive across the US
If you enjoy delving deep into the data surrounding covid-19 case development since before and since the vaccine program kicked in, then you are almost certainly going to appreciate this thread by Trover Bedford.
In one of the posts he plots frequency of different variant lineages through time and across states to get a sense of competitive dynamics.
Getting 'free shit' for vaccines
Sure, keeping you and your loved ones safe is a good reason to get vaccinated, but what about all that 'free shit' that can be picked up?
Vaccine incentives are here and Michael Kosta is on a mission to see what he can score...
As borders closed and stay-at-home orders were implemented, flights were canceled, workers in the airline industry were laid off, and fleet sizes were decreased to meet demand. Nearly 400,000 individuals in the industry were laid off or furloughed during the pandemic. The impacts of the pandemic on the sector are almost impossible to overstate, especially considering that in 2020, the industry took in only forty percent of the profits they saw the year before.
McKinsey and Company hypothesize that the increased demand for traveling by plane is fueled by individuals vacationing for leisure rather than business travel. In most crises, travel for work tends to take a bit longer to meet normal levels. As more and more people become vaccinated and are eager to travel to see friends and family, United is offering a chance for free flights to those who can prove they have been vaccinated.
Maite Knorr-Evans brings you all you need to know.
Study: 1 in 5 people between ages 18 and 34 who are infected with covid-19 reported lingering symptoms
CNN - For young Americans who feel hesitant or even unmotivated to get vaccinated, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that even mild covid-19 illness can result in life-disrupting impacts.
"There's a syndrome that is referred to as long Covid, which means that you get a syndrome following the clearing of the virus where it could be for months," the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases said Monday at a town hall, adding that possible persisting symptoms include profound fatigue, muscle aches, temperature dysregulation and an inability to focus.
About 1 in 5 people between ages 18 and 34 who are infected with covid-19 reported lingering symptoms beyond two or three weeks, according to a study last year by the CDC.
Percent of Texans fully vaccinated
Health experts estimate 75% to 90% of Texans need to achieve immunity to covid-19 to reach herd immunity. As of May 23, about 34.1% of Texas’ 29 million people have been fully vaccinated. One obstacle is vaccines are not approved for children under 12, who make up about 17% of the population.
Covid-19 vaccines are not mandatory for Texas students. Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott also banned schools from requiring masks starting in early June, which Kaplan said could be another motivator to get kids vaccinated before in-person school resumes in the fall. Local governments are also banned from enforcing mask ordinances.
Texas youth show up in "amazing" numbers as state tries to vaccinate 1.7 million children now eligible for covid-19 shot
In the first week that Texas adolescents were eligible to be vaccinated for covid-19, after a year of pandemic-induced isolation from their families, peers and classrooms, more than 100,000 kids ages 12-15 poured into pediatricians’ offices, vaccine hubs and school gyms across Texas to get their shots.
One of them was Austin Ford, a 14-year-old in Houston whose mother is a pediatric nurse, whose father has a disability that makes him vulnerable to COVID, and who lost a family member to the virus last month.
“It was a no-brainer for us,” said his mother, Sherryl Ford, 46, who took Austin to Texas Children’s Hospital for his shot last Friday, less than 24 hours after the Pfizer vaccine was approved for emergency use for his age group. “I have friends who took their kids the night before.”
People under 24 getting doses at lower rates
CNN - People 24 and younger are getting vaccine doses at much lower rates. Among those 12 to 15, only 1.4% have received at least one dose, while 1.7% of 16- to 17-year-olds have and 7.6% of 18- to 24-year-olds have, according to data from the CDC.
To reach the threshold of protection needed to limit the virus' spread, at least 70% to 85% of the US population will need to be immunized through vaccines or infection, health experts say. Not only could vaccinating children, teens and young adults help reach that percentage, but leaving them unvaccinated could give the virus a chance to spread, mutate and develop a strain resistant to existing vaccines.
Young Americans are lagging with covid-19 vaccines
CNN - Experts are turning their focus in the fight against covid-19 to vaccinating young Americans - warning that even though they don't face a high chance of serious illness, they still risk long-term symptoms if they get coronavirus.
The United States has so far made significant progress in vaccinating adults. At least 25 states, plus Washington, DC, have now fully vaccinated at least half of their adult residents, data published Sunday by the CDC shows.
The White House was expected to announce Tuesday a new milestone: 50% of US adults are now fully vaccinated.
White House expects US to reach 50% adults fully vaccinated
The White House expects the US to have 50% of adults becoming fully vaccinated on Tuesday.
More than 130.6 million Americans are fully vaccinated against covid-19 as of Tuesday morning, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The latest figures from Texas
83,814 vaccine doses were administered in Texas on Monday, 44,796 of which were first doses. That brings the state's rolling 7-day average to 131,074 doses/day.
44.5% of all all adults in Texas are now fully vaccinated.
White House expects US to reach 50% fully vaccinated milestone today
The White House expects a new vaccination milestone to be reached today when 50% of US adults become fully vaccinated against covid-19. Officials are expected to tout the numbers during today's coronavirus briefing at 1:30 p.m. ET, CNN reports.
As of Monday, 49.8% of US adults (some 131m) were fully vaccinated, according to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data reviewed by CNN. Earlier this month, President Joe Biden said the target is to have 160 million US adults fully vaccinated by July 4. (Photo by: Reuters)
Mexico says first local AstraZeneca vaccines coming this week
Mexico will release its first batches of locally-produced AstraZeneca vaccines against COVID-19 this week, a senior Mexican official said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a regular government news conference, Alejandro Svarch, head of medical regulator Cofepris, said the first four batches would be released this week. (Reuters).
Moderna says vaccine 100% effective for 12-17 year olds after US study.
Moderna has announced that its COVID-19 vaccine was strongly effective in a study of children aged 12 to 17 in the United States, a step set to pave the way for the jab to become the second option for that age group in the United States after Pfizer's.
The company released the preliminary findings based on testing on more than 3,700 12- to 17-year-olds in the US, AP reports.
White House says cannot confirm report on covid-19 origins, needs more information
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday the United States could not confirm a Wall Street Journal report on the origins of covid-19 and needed more information.
Three researchers from China's Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) sought hospital care in November 2019, a month before China reported the first cases of covid-19, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing a US intelligence report.
Psaki said the United States hopes the World Health Organization can move into a more transparent investigation of the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
Half of US states have fully vaccinated at least 50% of adults
At least 25 states, plus Washington, DC, have now fully vaccinated at least half of their adult residents.
Those states are: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
Four of those states -- Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont -- have fully vaccinated more than half of their total resident population, not just adults, the CDC.
One of Central Florida's largest vaccine sites to close for good on Tuesday
One of the largest covid-19 vaccine sites in Central Florida will close for good on Tuesday, becoming the second major site to close in less than a week.
More than 200,000 vaccines have been administered at the FEMA site at Valencia College since it opened on March 3. Valencia College is planning a special celebration for the staff on Tuesday, while leftover vaccines will be redistributed throughout the state.
New York offering state park passes as COVID-19 vaccine incentive
NY governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that New Yorkers that receive a vaccination at any state site from May 24 to 31 will be entitled to a free two-day pass to any New York State Park, which is valid until September 30.
"Every State Park across New York is as unique and beautiful as the region it serves, and bringing the COVID vaccine to our parks will further expand access and make it even easier for New Yorkers to get vaccinated," Governor Cuomo said. "Providing those who get vaccinated with a free park pass is an incredible summer-season incentive, and a great way to get more people outdoors to enjoy all that New York has to offer."
The announcement follows that on the 'Vax and Scratch' lottery program last week, which gives vaccinated New Yorkers an opportunity to win up to $5 million.
Biden and Fauci urge young people to get vaccinated
In a YouTube Town Hall on vaccines, Biden and Fauci urged young people to get vaccinated, particularly those who may think it is not necessary for them to do so...
Uber launches US vaccine rides program in White House partnership
Uber Technologies Inc on Monday launched its covid-19 vaccine rides program in partnership with the White House, offering all Americans an up to $25 discount for each of their trips to and from a vaccination site.
Customers who have booked a vaccine appointment can request a ride through the Uber app and either incur no charges if the trip costs less than $25, or receive a $25 discount for their journey, the company said.
Youth Vaccine Roll-Out
As of 25 May, 7.2 million residents under eighteen have been received at least one dose of the Pfizer & BioNTech vaccine. Over the course of the last five days, the US has administered to 1.3 million of the youngest residents eligible.
Covid-19 vaccine news: welcome
Hello and welcome to our dedicated live blog for Tuesday, 25 May 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 and around the world.