Biden pledges to “increase” the worldwide combat towards the virus; J&J vaccine
President Joe Biden on Thursday outlined plans for the US to “step up the global fight against this pandemic,” saying efforts are fueled by both American values and self-interest.
At the center of this campaign was the US commitment to buy 500 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and donate it to 92 low and middle income countries, which Biden confirmed at the G-7 summit in England. Of the total vaccination, 200 million doses will be distributed this year and the rest in the first half of 2022, the president said.
“This is a monumental commitment by the American people,” Biden said, adding that the G-7 would announce their contribution to the global response to the pandemic on Friday. “This is not the end of our efforts to fight COVID-19 and vaccination”. the world.”
Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, whose company sold the vaccine doses to be dispensed at cost, joined Biden’s announcement, saying the ultimate goal is to deliver 2 billion doses to poorer countries over the next 18 months. He also said research into ways to fight the coronavirus and its mutations will continue, including the possibility of giving the vaccine orally.
“We are testing the response of our vaccine to incoming variants and coordinating surveillance efforts with health authorities around the world,” said Bourla. “So far, none of the existing variants has escaped the protection of our vaccine.”
Also on the news:
►A North Carolina woman is accused of selling a counterfeit COVID-19 cure during the height of the pandemic. Diana Daffin, 68, the owner of a holistic healthcare company in Charlotte, was arrested after sending the drug to an undercover agent, the FDA said.
►Former Wisconsin Governors Jim Doyle, a Democrat, and Scott Walker, a Republican, join forces to promote vaccinations in a new public television commercial. Both are vaccinated.
►The World Health Organization warned that the highly transmissible variant of the Delta, first identified in India, will “gain a foothold in the region” as many countries prepare to relax restrictions on summer travel.
►Germany has started rolling out a digital vaccination pass that can be used across Europe as the continent prepares for the all-important summer travel season.
►Two passengers aboard MSC Cruises’ MSC Seaside ship tested positive for COVID-19 and disembarked on Tuesday during a scheduled port visit in Sicily, Italy. MSC Cruises has been sailing in Europe again and again since August.
📈 Today’s numbers: The United States has more than 33.4 million confirmed coronavirus cases and at least 598,400 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The world totals: over 174.5 million cases and over 3.75 million deaths. Almost 141 million Americans have been fully vaccinated – 42.5% of the population, according to the CDC.
📘 What we read: While Americans are getting the coronavirus vaccine, a report released Wednesday found that teens and adults may have missed millions of routine vaccinations recommended by the CDC in 2020.
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Longer shelf life of Johnson & Johnson vaccines can prevent waste
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday extended the expiration date for hundreds of thousands of doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, giving states with large unused allotments more time to administer. The shelf life of the J&J vaccines has been extended from three months to four and a half months after testing for stability. Many cans would have reached their expiration date on June 24th.
Falling demand and the ongoing impact of an 11-day hiatus on the J&J vaccine left states with huge vaccine stocks at risk of expiry and being discarded. As of Wednesday, Arkansas alone had 93,271 doses of the unadministered J&J vaccine. Of these, 42,971 would have expired on June 23 and another 10,042 on July 4, the Arkansas Department of Health said.
In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine had warned that nearly 200,000 J&J cans would have to be thrown away by June 24 if they could not be bought.
– Elizabeth way
Moderna is calling on the FDA to approve its vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 17
Moderna announced Thursday that it has applied for emergency clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for its COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12-17.
The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine has already received FDA approval for use in children aged 12 and over. Providing safe COVID vaccines to children is a critical part of efforts to normalize classroom learning in just over two months in some school districts for the 2020-21 school year.
Moderna, which had previously applied for adolescent approval with Health Canada and the European Medicines Agency, planned to file a similar application with authorities around the world.
“We remain determined to help end the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, in a statement.
“Joints for Jabs” gets off to a shaky start in Washington State
The new vaccination incentive program “Joints for Jabs” in the US state of Washington has got off to a shaky start. Some cannabis retailers say they have no place for clinics. And some health clinics shy away from setting up a shop in a pot shop. Some retailers say they would prefer, like the Liquor and Cannabis Board allowing breweries, wineries, and bars, to offer a free drink to customers who only provide proof of vaccination – no on-site clinic required.
“We hear from retailers that they want to be a part of it,” said Aaron Pickus, a spokesman for the Washington CannaBusiness Association, an industry group. “Why can’t we do it like the wineries and breweries?”
Stop the fireworks: Biden July 4th vaccination target may be out of range
President Joe Biden’s vaccine goal for America – 70% of adults will get at least one COVID-19 shot by July 4th – is starting to look like a long shot. If the shots continue at their current pace, the US will miss that mark. Over the past week, an average of around 365,000 adults have received their first vaccine every day. To achieve Biden’s goal, that number needs to rise to around 630,000 adults who are re-vaccinated every day. The pace of vaccine administration has slowed significantly since its peak in early April when more than 2 million adults were vaccinated every day.
– Janie Haseman
Add to the growing number of DC hospitals that require staff vaccinations
Most Washington, DC hospitals require their staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and are joining a growing number of health systems and other companies across the country that are opting for the controversial mandate. The hospitals will each set their own deadline, the District of Columbia Hospital Association said in a statement on Tuesday. The hesitant vaccination has slowed progress in conquering the nation, and some health systems and other companies are trying to revive the vaccination momentum.
Jacqueline Bowens, President and CEO of the District of Columbia Hospital Association, said the consensus is an iteration of our hospitals’ commitment to safety by protecting our employees, patients and visitors from COVID-19.
California regulators withdraw controversial work mask rules
California labor inspectors overturned for the second time in a week and withdrew a controversial, pending mask ordinance late Wednesday. That gives them time to ponder a rule more in line with Governor Gavin Newsom’s promise that the state will reopen fully on Tuesday after the pandemic.
The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board’s revised rule would only have allowed workers to forego masks if every employee in a room is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. This is in contrast to the state’s broader plan to abolish virtually all masking requirements for vaccinated individuals, in line with the latest CDC recommendations.
The goal, said Chief Executive Officer David Thomas, is to change the workplace ordinance “so that it is in line with the CDC and the California Department of Health so we are all on the same page. That’s what this is about, so we’re not out of step with everyone else. “
Seattle and San Francisco are major cities for vaccination
Two cities on the west coast are in a head-to-head race for the best vaccination status in the country, and each may be eligible for the lead. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said Wednesday that her city will be the first major U.S. city to have 70% of residents 12 and over completed their COVID-19 vaccinations, up one percentage point in San Francisco.
“Now that we have achieved community protection, we can guide the nation in reopening safely and in earnest recovery,” Durkan said in a statement.
However, San Francisco is slightly ahead with the nation’s best rate of residents 12 and older who received at least one vaccination, 79-78%, and could have a head start in the race for herd immunity.
“I think we are well on our way to being the first city to achieve herd immunity,” said Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco, on the San Francisco Chronicle.
“Our high immunity rate means we are not prone to new infections even when traveling here,” she said.
Contribution: The Associated Press