All adults may be vaccinated on April 19th. Deaths lower sharply
President Joe Biden will announce today that he is extending his deadline to April 19 for states to qualify for a coronavirus vaccine for all adults in the US, a US White House official confirmed TODAY.
Biden previously announced that 90% of adults would be eligible by April 19 – and have a vaccination site within five miles. He had previously requested full adult access by May 1 as vaccinations had increased dramatically. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of more than 3 million doses are given each day, compared with less than 1 million in January.
The growing momentum comes from a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University’s data showing Americans are now dying of COVID-19 at less than half the pace they had a month ago.
The 5,453 U.S. deaths from the disease in the week ending Monday are down from 12,263 who died in a week a week ago – to 21,383 in a week just two months ago.
Most of the United States’ vaccination efforts have been directed against the most vulnerable. Experts say this should contain deaths from infection.
The United States continues to report high levels of cases. In the week leading up to Monday, 452,636 cases were reported. That is 20% more than two weeks ago.
Also in the news:
► According to the United Nations, the United Nations-backed program to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the world’s most vulnerable people has so far administered more than 36 million doses to 86 poor and developing countries.
► A senior U.S. health official says young people are driving the recent surge in COVID-19 cases as increasing vaccination rates among older Americans prevent the most serious cases among seniors.
► The Nationals begin their season on Tuesday hosting the Atlanta Braves after Major League Baseball postponed the team’s three-game series on Monday due to a coronavirus outbreak involving 11 Washington players.
► The UK government says all adults and children can have routine coronavirus tests twice a week to eradicate new outbreaks if the UK emerges from the lockdown.
► Vice President Kamala Harris promised that a popular vaccination site in her home state of California will remain open. Oakland Coliseum was due to stop vaccinating on Sunday after an eight-week contract with FEMA, but Harris told the San Francisco Chronicle that the website would remain open.
📈 Today’s numbers: There are more than 30.7 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 555,000 deaths in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. The global total: more than 131.8 million cases and 2.8 million deaths. At least 207 million vaccine doses have been distributed and 167 million administered in the United States, according to the CDC.
📘 What we read: People across the country also spoke to the US TODAY about their feelings after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Here are their stories.
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You can put the disinfectant away, CDC says
Home disinfection to reduce COVID-19 transmission is likely not required unless someone in your home is sick or someone positive for COVID-19 has been at your home within 24 hours, it is said in a new manual from the CDC. Cleaning with a household cleaner that contains soap or detergent will reduce the amount of germs on surfaces and, in most situations, remove most of the virus particles on surfaces, the instructions say.
“Clean touch-sensitive surfaces regularly (e.g. daily) and after you have had visitors in your house,” the instructions say.
3 people who had been vaccinated died of a virus in Michigan
Michigan health officials said 246 people tested positive for the virus two weeks or more after being fully vaccinated – and three died. State Department of Health spokeswoman Lynn Sutfin told USA TODAY in an email that positive tests account for a very small fraction of 1% of the 1.7 million people vaccinated across the state. Two of the three deaths occurred within three weeks of completing the vaccine, she said. All three were 65 years or older.
“While the majority of the population develops full immunity within 14 days of completing their vaccine series, a small fraction appears to take longer to achieve a full antibody response,” Sutfin wrote.
New York, Maryland, opens vaccines to all adults 16 and older
New York and Maryland will resume the country in the fight against more mutant forms of the spread of coronavirus on Tuesday, the day after 12 states did the same, opening immunization eligibility to those 16 years of age or older. The two states will join a dozen other states that have opened vaccinations to everyone over the age of 16: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Michigan, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
Federal government-run vaccination centers continue to pop up, and three more were announced by the White House on Monday. The locations in South Carolina, Colorado and Minnesota bring the total number of vaccination sites to 28. Still, experts warned of a possible fourth wave of the disease after the spring break when students returned home.
Walgreens to change the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine to the timing of the CDC
Walgreens gave Pfizer’s second dose of COVID-19 vaccine a week under federal guidelines that say it will be ideally delivered. However, the chain will change its policies to meet government recommendations. While extension is not feared as a problem, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged the drugstore chain to follow their guidelines, the New York Times reported. So far, Walgreens had given the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine four weeks after the first, the company confirmed to the US TODAY on Monday. Federal consultation is three weeks.
“We have automatically scheduled patients’ second doses at least 28 days after their first dose to ensure that no dose is given earlier than the approved intervals and that patients can complete the series vaccination,” said Rebekah Pajak, spokeswoman for Walgreens an email.
The company is improving its scheduling system to allow people to set their second can date within the three-week timeframe starting this week, Pajak said.
– Nathan Bomey
California now has the lowest COVID rate in the country after the surge in winter
California now has the lowest coronavirus infection rate in the country – months after the state experienced a winter spike that made it the epicenter of the pandemic.
Governor Gavin Newsom bragged about the low infection rate on Twitter. The Golden State is the only one in the country with a quota of less than 2%. This is based on data released by Health and Human Services for the last week of March. The state recorded a positivity rate of 1.7%.
Los Angeles County’s COVID cases also fell dramatically after the area – the most populous county in the entire country – was overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases during the winter.
At the start of the pandemic, California was hailed for its swift actions to contain the spread of the virus, but the tough measures quickly became unpopular. Frustration grew over the winter when the state saw sudden spikes in some cases. At one point, the state had a positivity rate close to 20%. The complaints led to more supporters of product recalls against the governor.
1.2 million people have contracted COVID-19 in the state and more than 23,000 people have died.
Featuring: Mike Stucka, USA TODAY; The Associated Press