Covid-19 vaccine in the US summary: 30 May 2021

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US vaccine latest news live: Sunday 30 May 2021

On 17 May the CDC released data on vaccine hesitancy from across the country. Researchers conducted a survey and asked respondents how likely they were to receive a cover-19 vaccine. The responses were divided into three groups:

- Estimated hesitant

-Estimated hesitant or unsure 

-Estimated strongly hesitant.

The researchers estimate that around 13% of individuals across the US are hesitant, 20% are hesitant or unsure, and 8% are strongly hesitant.  

Eighteen of Alaska’s twenty-nine countries had the highest levels of “strong” vaccine hesitancy with an estimated eighteen percent of residents who will not get vaccinated. 

Counties were also divided into five equal groups based on  “Level of Concern” which includes: 

-Very High Concern 

-High Concern 

-Moderate Concern 

-Low Concern 

-Very Low Concern.

Among those with Very High Concern, the estimated percent of residents who will not be getting a shot rose five percent, from eight to thirteen.  For those interested in seeing how this data looks geo-spatially, check out the CDC’s interactive map. 

Percent of fully vaccinated residents

Which states have the least amount of full vaccinated residents? 

Around 41% percent of residents in the US (States + DC) are fully vaccinated. This average is up ten points from this time last month. However, a little over half of all states fall under this average.

 

Percent of vaccines distributed that were administered in the US

In December 2020, only 26% of vaccines distributed in the US were administered. In May this number rose to 80%. Data shows that demand is beginning to catch up to supply in the US. 

 

Mexico records 1,307 coronavirus cases, 52 more deaths - health ministry data

Mexico recorded 1,307 coronavirus cases and 52 more deaths on Sunday, according to health ministry data, bringing the overall number of cases to 2,412,810 and the death toll to 223,507. (Reuters)

Hospital faces lawsuit over coronavirus vaccination mandate

A Texas hospital is being threatened with a lawsuit by 117 unvaccinated employees over its coronavirus vaccine mandate.

Houston Methodist Hospital gave employees a deadline of 7 June to get the jab or face suspension and termination, the lawsuit claims.

"Methodist Hospital is forcing its employees to be human ‘guinea pigs’ as a condition for continued employment," the complaint states, according to the Washington Post.

The states at the bottom of the vaccination table

In terms of percentage of the population fully vaccinated, below are the five worst-performing states:

Georgia - 31.1%

Louisiana - 31.1%

Arkansas - 31%

Alabama - 29.2%

Mississippi - 27.1%

States that have vaccinated more than half their population

As things stand, just five US states have fully vaccinated more than 50% of their total population:

Vermont - 54.7%

Maine - 54.4%

Conneticut - 53.1%

Massachusetts - 52.9%

Rhode Island - 51.2%

In total, 40.5% of the US population has been fully vaccinated, with 50.3% having received at least one dose.

SA

South Africa extends nightly curfew, limits gatherings as COVID-19 cases surge

South Africa has extended its nightly curfew and limited the number of people at gatherings to slow the spread of COVID-19 as positive cases surge, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.

The level two lockdown restrictions will start on Monday, forcing non-essential establishments like restaurants, bars and fitness centres to close by 2000 local time (2000 GMT) as the curfew will start at 2300 from midnight and end at 0400, Ramaphosa said in an address to the nation.

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A question that appeared to have been put to bed after the WHO's investigation, has once again resurfaced this week a growing number of scientists believing it may very well have. CBS is the latest mainstream outlet to run the story...

Rey

Spanish King Felipe gets covid vaccine

Felipe of Spain received the coronavirus vaccine on Saturday according to official palace sources with the monarch gettng his jab in the Wizink Centre in the Spanish capital of Madrid.

South Korea says 1 million doses of J&J covid-19 vaccines to arrive this week from US

South Korea will get 1 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine this week mainly to innoculate military personnel, after the United States almost doubled a pledge made earlier this month, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said on Sunday. South Korea has reported a lower death toll than many comparable developed countries from covid-19, but the government has come under criticism for a comparatively slow rollout of vaccines. Less than 11 percent of its 52 million people have so far received a first dose.

Health workers sue Texas hospital over compulsory vaccinations

A group of 117 healthcare workers at a Texas hospital filed a lawsuit in state court against their employer's mandate requiring all staff to get Covid-19 vaccinations, Washington Post reported on Saturday. Employees of Houston Methodist Hospital said in the lawsuit that their employer's compulsory immunization requirement violated the Nuremberg Code, a set of standards designed after World War Two to prevent experimentation on human subjects without their consent, the Post reported.

US NEWS

Coronavirus US: What is the minimum age to get vaccinated?

What is the minimum age to get vaccinated?

Children aged from 12 years upwards are now eligible for vaccination in all US states according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Coronavirus

How many people have suffered myocarditis or heart problems after getting the Covid-19 vaccine?

On 17 May, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that they were looking into a series of isolated incidents of myocarditis after a few people experienced the heart issue after being vaccinated. The rates of the incident are not abnormal and some health experts expect that no connection to the vaccine will be found. Myocarditis is a condition that causes inflammation in the heart and is usually caused by an infection, among other reasons.

The CDC Vaccine Safety Technical Working Group announced that the number of cases they are have captured in their monitoring system are not above the baseline they had set. The total number of patients that have developed myocarditis has not been reported but the CDC did notify the public that the condition is more common in younger males after they receive their second dose. The US health authority is taking these issues seriously because vaccines have been known to cause myocarditis. Additionally, with the vaccines being so new, it is important that the public trust that any possible issues are being investigated thoroughly.

Read the full story

CORONAVIRUS US

Can I take ibuprofen after getting covid-19 vaccine?

Health officials over the past several months have been providing guidance for what to expect after getting a covid-19 vaccine jab and how to treat any side effects that could be encountered.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend trying to get a jump start and try to prevent any possible side effects you may experience with over-the-counter medicine. As for after the jab, you should consult your doctor before taking medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines.

Read more

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CORONAVIRUS

What are the most common covid-19 strains in the US?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified the UK variant as the most common strain of covid-19 circulating in the United States, one of a number of regionalised variants that have spread globally.

As the coronavirus spreads from person to person it can undergo modifications which alter the genetic make-up, and can potentially make it more transmissible, harder to detect and more deadly. The UK variant, known as B.1.1.7, is thought to spread more easily, be more deadly than other strains and has now spread across the world.

Full story

India says will have 120 million vaccine doses for local use in June

India will have nearly 120 million doses of covid-19 vaccines available for domestic use in June, the government said on Sunday.

This marks a significant jump from the 79.4 million doses that were available in May.

Full details

$1 million Ohio vaccine lottery winner was on her way to buy a used car when she found out she won

NBC - Ohio resident Abbey Bugenske woke up Wednesday wishing for a new car. Before the day ended, she’d have enough money to purchase the most expensive car on the lot.

The 22-year-old woman, who lives in a Cincinnati suburb, is the inaugural winner of the state’s $1 million Vax-a-Million lottery, aimed at increasing the number of people getting covid-19 vaccination shots.

A proponent of vaccinations, Bugenske had taken the shot before the lottery was announced to protect her friends and relatives.

“Vaccines have always been in my medical history. It was a pretty easy decision to go and get the vaccine as fast as I could,” she said in a press conference Thursday. “I would encourage anyone to get the vaccine. If winning $1 million isn’t enough, I don’t know what would be.”

Full story

Vaccine rewards: a good or bad thing?

Ohio changed the game for vaccine incentives when the state introduced the Vax-a-Million campaign. Now, ten other states and some big companies have raised the stakes to boost vaccine rates.

Companies like Kroger, United Airlines and CVS are leaning in big, but beware - experts see a risk that could get sloppy copycats in big trouble. Ken Katkin, a law professor at Northern Kentucky University, said if customers have to go in the store and buy anything, the company’s legal sweepstakes becomes a liability.

"They have to be careful to make sure that it's absolutely free for anybody to enter," Katkin said. "Because that would be gambling, which they're not necessarily licensed for, right. So a sweepstakes or a lottery that costs nothing for anyone to enter isn't considered gambling. It's legal for them to do that."

Larry Seward explains more

Vaccine royalty

Kate Middleton revealed on Saturday that she has received her first dose of the covid-19 vaccine.

The Duchess of Cambridge made no mention of which vaccine she had received, but stated that it happened on Friday at London's Science Museum.

"I'm hugely grateful to everyone who is playing a part in the rollout. Thank you for everything you are doing," she posted on the official Twitter handle.

The photo shows the Duchess in a casual t-shirt and jeans as she gets the dose.

Prince William also received his first shot on Tuesday at the same location.

Over 10% of Korean population receive first vaccine

As of Saturday midnight, 10.5 percent of Korea's population, or 5,399,015 people, had received one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.
 
AstraZeneca vaccines were given to 3,268,001 people, while 2,131,014 received Pfizer's.
 
As of Saturday, 4.2 percent, or 2,143,293 people, had been fully vaccinated.
 
According to the covid-19 Vaccination Task Force, 163,457 people got their first shots Saturday.
 
The country hit a record number of vaccinations for a single day with 657,192 on Thursday, the first day vaccinations for people aged 65 to 74 began. Some 542,227 got shots on the second day, Friday.
 
The number of vaccinations decreased to 171,989 on Saturday, partly due to the closure or shorter operating hours of medical institutions on the weekend.
 
The government plans to inoculate 13 million by the end of June and 36 million by the end of September, and reach herd immunity no later than November.
 
Korea's daily new coronavirus cases fell back into the 400s on Sunday for the first time in 20 days, although fewer tests are conducted over the weekend.
 
The country reported 480 new covid-19 cases, including 464 local infections, raising the total caseload to 139,910, the KDCA said.
 
There were six additional virus deaths, raising the death toll to 1,957.

US sending 1 million Janssen shots for Korean military

Korea will receive 1 million courses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the United States this week following Washington's pledge to provide covid-19 vaccines for Korean troops, and will administer them to military-related personnel aged 30 and over.
 
The volume is nearly twice what US President Joe Biden originally promised — which was courses to cover all 550,000 South Korean troops. It was the first time the US administration promised vaccines for all members of a foreign army.
 
"We will send our military aircraft to bring in the vaccines in early June,” said Jeong Eun-kyeong, commissioner of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), during a briefing on Sunday.

Full story

Vaccinated $18, unvaccinated $1,000 - punk logic

A punk rock show in St. Petersburg, Florida will cost $1,000 for unvaccinated fans, while those who have been vaccinated against covid-19 will only have to pay $18.

The New York Post reported that the show, featuring Teenage Bottlerocket, MakeWar, and Rutterkin, is trying to encourage young people to get vaccinated by advertising the sky-high prices for unvaccinated attendees. Paul Williams of Leadfoot Promotions, the concert promoter, posted that those wishing to pay the lower price “you will need to bring a government issued photo ID and your covid-19 Vaccination Record Card.”

Vaccinated attendees will need to have “had your second shot of Pfizer or Moderna, or your single shot of Johnson and Johnson covid-19 vaccine on or before 6/12/2021,” he added, also providing a link to a website that can replace a vaccination card.

Full story from Ashe Schow

CORONAVIRUS

Can a vaccinated person spread covid-19?

The latest figures show that over half of the US population have now received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine as both infection and death rates continue to fall.

Full story

covid-19

What is a vaccine booster and why would people need it?

Some diseases you get only once while others can come back year after year, likewise, with vaccines some you only need one shot while others lose effectiveness over time or an additional dose is needed to increase the effectiveness.

Currently there are three covid-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use in the US, the Johnson & Johnson is a one-dose vaccine while both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are two-dose vaccines, an initial shot and then a booster.

Read the full story

Spain to welcome back international cruises from June 7

Reuters - Spain will allow cruise ships to dock in its ports from June 7, the transport ministry said on Saturday, hoping to salvage the country's battered tourism sector in time for the summer season. Spain's maritime authorities approved the reopening because of falling covid-19 incidence rates and an increase in vaccinations, according to an order in Spain's state gazette published on Saturday.

Spain banned cruise ships from docking in its ports in June 2020 as the pandemic ripped through Europe. A number of high-profile spreader events were linked to cruise liners around the world. "Shipping companies will have to comply with measures established by the health ministry ... to guarantee total security, both for cruise passengers and for the cities where they land," the transport ministry tweeted on Saturday.

It added that before the pandemic, Spain was the second most popular destination for international cruises in Europe. Spain, which was also the second most visited country in the world before the health crisis, was one of Europe's worst-hit nations, recording over 79,000 coronavirus deaths and 3.7 million cases. Foreign tourism plunged 80% last year as a raft of restrictions brought the industry to a standstill.

But with infection rates falling, vaccinations progressing, and most regions able to scrap curfews, Spain is looking towards reopening its vital tourism industry this summer. Last week Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced Spain would allow people from anywhere in the world to enter the country from June 7, provided they were vaccinated. 

Vaccine Inequality

The IMF has highlighted the "vaccination gap" with just two percent of Africa's population having been vaccinated, in comparison to 40% in the US and 20% in Europe...

In one month, the United States has administered 60,055,225 vaccine doses. This figure represents just under twenty percent of the total doses given out. On average the percent of residents who received their first dose — or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — was 6.8%. 

States that saw the greatest increase in the rate of people who have received at least one dose were: 

1. Vermont — 16.2%

2. Hawaii — 14.9% 

3. Puerto Rico — 14.4%

4. Massachusetts — 11/3%

5. Oregon — 11.2%

6. Washington — 11%

States that saw the lowest increases were: 

1. Oklahoma — 3.2%

2. North Dakota — 3.2%

3. Mississippi — 3.3%

4. Wyoming — 3.4%

5. Louisiana — 3.5%

Data from Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Health experts cautious about giving Covid-19 vaccines to UK children

The Guardian reports that there is concern among health experts in the UK that giving children the Covid-19 vaccine should only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

There is still limited information about possible side-effects to children who have nothing to gain from such a move, said Professor Adam Finn of Bristol University. "Children transmit Covid to some extent, although they rarely suffer badly from the disease themselves. If you offer them vaccines, then you put them at risk of possible side-effects – so there really needs to be some significant, tangible benefit to them, not just the indirect protection of adults from Covid-19."

The full article can be read here:

Mother Jones reports on the optics of the US offering its residents incentive to get vaccianted, while billions around the world have no access to a covid-19 vaccine. 

CDC report finds that although more people in the US have become eligible to receive a covid-19 vaccine, disparities in access still exist. The report's findings read that "By May 1, 2021, vaccination coverage among adults was lower among those living in counties with lower socioeconomic status and with higher percentages of households with children, single parents, and persons with disabilities."

Public health experts argue that to increase vaccine uptake, paid time must be provided. Recent studies have shown that fears over suffering possible side effects are increasing vaccine hesitancy among workers. 

Washington Post reports on lawsuits filed by nurses in Texas who are opposed to their hospital's vaccine mandate.  The suit was filed on behalf of more than 100 nurses. 

CORONAVIRUS

Why is the Wuhan lab-leak theory coming up despite the WHO having already researched it?

On Wednesday, President Biden called for a further review into the origins of covid-19. This announcement comes as United States intelligence considers two competing scenarios. 

The World Health Organization has suggested that the virus resulted from a natural mutation that allowed it to spread to humans. However, since the beginning of the pandemic, some scientists have claimed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus may have emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Full details

Covid-19 vaccine news: welcome

Hello and welcome to our dedicated live blog for Sunday, 30 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.

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