COVID-19 Updates: Variant First Found in Brazil Now on the Rise in U.S.

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Sumary of COVID-19 Updates: Variant First Found in Brazil Now on the Rise in U.S.:

  • The United States currently has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and related deaths in the world..
  • COVID-19 cases trending upward, and nearly 80,000 new infections reported yesterday, health officials warn about the spread of multiple, more transmissible coronavirus variants, some of which have caused outbreaks in states such as Michigan and California, reported The Washington Post..
  • These variants have mutations in the virus genome that alter the characteristics and cause the virus to act differently in ways that are significant to public health,”.
  • Pfizer to seek EUA for COVID-19 vaccine for children Currently, no COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for children under age 16..
  • But that could soon change as Pfizer and BioNTech have asked the Food and Drug Administration to expand their emergency use authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine to include children as young as 12..
  • New data released by the companies has reportedly shown that the vaccines appear to be effective and safe in younger children..
  • Scientists work toward development of COVID-19 pill We now have vaccines that prevent most cases of COVID-19, and we even have drugs that help with the most severe symptoms of the disease, reported STAT..
  • Online scammers push phony vaccine cards Scammers are offering false and stolen vaccine cards for sale as businesses and states consider using proof of COVID-19 vaccination to relieve pandemic restrictions, reported The New York Times..
  • These critically important vaccine cards began showing up for sale on popular websites like Facebook, eBay, and Twitter beginning in late January, reported The New York Times..
  • Saoud Khalifah, founder of Fakespot, a service that offers tools to detect fake listings and reviews online, told The New York Times..
  • government and health experts in the country rushed to defend the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford following concerns over a possible link to blood clots, reported CNBC..
  • “This is to ensure vaccines are performing as expected, to identify any new side effects that may arise, and to ensure the benefits continue to outweigh the risks,”.
  • Mental health or neurological symptoms are diagnosed in up to 34 percent of people who have had COVID-19, according to research published yesterday in The Lancet Psychiatry..
  • Researchers analyzed the health records of more than 236,000 people, mostly Americans, who recovered from COVID-19..
  • President Joe Biden said today that the administration will now allow anyone over 16 to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on April 19..
  • “We are not going to have enough vaccines, the way we are going, into the arms of enough Americans over the course of the next 6 to 10 weeks with this surge that we are going to stop it,”.
  • Biden administration steps up worldwide effort against pandemic The administration has appointed a veteran diplomat to run its global COVID-19 response, and pledges to support more equitable production and distribution of vaccines, reported The Washington Post..
  • According to the network, a spokesperson for Stanford Health Care said the Stanford Clinical Virology Lab has identified and confirmed one case of the emerging variant through genomic sequencing..
  • “Since we know that the domain affected is the part that the virus uses to enter the body, and that the California variant is already potentially more resistant to some vaccine antibodies, it seems to reason that there is a chance that the Indian variant may do that too,”.
  • Game-changing COVID-19 vaccine enters clinical trials A new COVID-19 vaccine is entering clinical trials in Brazil, Mexico, Thailand, and Vietnam that could change how we fight the pandemic, reported The New York Times..
  • It the first vaccine to use a new molecular design widely expected to create more potent antibodies than the current generation of vaccines..
  • A key advantage is that the new vaccine can be mass-produced in chicken eggs like other flu vaccines made in factories around the world..
  • According to The New York Times, if the new vaccine proves safe and effective, drugmakers could potentially produce well over a billion doses of it a year..
  • Dr. Bruce Innes of the PATH Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access, which has coordinated the development of NVD-HXP-S, told the Times..
  • Health experts are pleading with Americans to maintain pandemic precautions until they’re fully vaccinated, reported CNN..
  • FDA authorizes changes to Moderna COVID-19 vaccine The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized two changes to the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine that could provide extra doses from each vial, reported The Associated Press (AP)..
  • Regulators also said healthcare professionals can safely extract up to 11 doses from the original 10-dose vials, and these changes will be added to instructions for healthcare workers, reported the AP..
  • The mix-up prompted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to delay shipments of the vaccine, according to Fox Business..
  • Reportedly, employees at Emergent BioSolutions, a production facility in Baltimore, mixed up two vaccine dosages..
  • officials said the vaccine spoilage wouldn’t affect plans to provide sufficient vaccines to immunize every adult by May, Fox Business reported..
  • Clinical trial results of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine find it 100 percent effective and well tolerated in children 12 to 15 years old, the drugmaker said today, reported CNN..
  • Pfizer plans to submit this data to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as soon as possible for expanded emergency use authorization of the vaccine..
  • “We share the urgency to expand the authorization of our vaccine to use in younger populations and are encouraged by the clinical trial data from adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15,”.
  • “We plan to submit these data to FDA as a proposed amendment to our emergency use authorization in the coming weeks and to other regulators around the world, with the hope of starting to vaccinate this age group before the start of the next school year,”.
  • vaccine rollout improving significantly, the daily number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is again on the rise after falling significantly from January highs, reported Yahoo!.
  • Hold on to that COVID vaccine card Millions of adults who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 have little proof beyond the paper card they get when getting their first dose, reported the Wall Street Journal..
  • Also, there no standard proof of COVID-19 vaccination like the yellow fever cards required for entry to many countries where that disease is prevalent..
  • According to a joint World Health Organization (WHO) and China study on the origins of COVID-19, the most likely scenario is that transmission of the coronavirus occurred from bats to humans through another animal..
  • In real-world setting, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines provide over 90% protection In a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers found that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines can provide 90 percent protection against coronavirus infections, The Washington Post reported..
  • In initial studies, the vaccines were providing about 94 to 95 percent protection against contracting a symptomatic infection..
  • But people with asymptomatic infections were not tested, so it was unclear how protective the vaccines were against infections with no symptoms..
  • Johnson vaccine After receiving emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Johnson &.
  • Johnson-owned Janssen Pharmaceuticals is now the third company to make a COVID-19 vaccine available in the United States, reported the American Medical Association (AMA)..
  • AMA Chief Health and Science Officer Dr. Mira Irons and AMA Board Member Dr. Sandra Fryhofer were interviewed on an episode of the “AMA COVID-19 Update”.
  • While J&J vaccine has 66.3 percent effectiveness overall and 74.4 percent effectiveness in the United States, it has “100 percent efficacy against hospitalization and death from the virus,”.
  • According to Fryhofer, a large body of evidence that includes an Ebola vaccine already tested in children and pregnant people, and approved in Europe, supports the technology used for this vaccine..
  • “The adenovirus vaccine uses a modified cold virus — an adenovirus called Ad26 — as the viral vector and several genes have been removed from this virus,”.
  • President Joe Biden announced today he plans to reach the goal of 200 million vaccines administered in his first 100 days in office..
  • AstraZeneca becomes controversial after missteps AstraZeneca has likely produced a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine in only 9 months, a significant achievement that could help end the pandemic, reported CNN..
  • regulators have questioned the accuracy of AstraZeneca vaccine data, saying it didn’t include the most recent data..
  • India detects double mutant coronavirus variant As India struggles to contain a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, the country health officials report the discovery of a new mutant strain of the coronavirus..
  • According to a press release from the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, there been an increase in virus samples with the E484Q and L452R mutations..
  • “Tackling the COVID-19 pandemic requires both prevention via vaccine and targeted treatment for those who contract the virus,”.
  • According to a University of Michigan press release, the study reviewed medical charts for more than 27,000 patients and also found that no one included in the data tested positive for both viruses at the same time..
  • “It particularly relevant for vaccine hesitance, and maybe taking the flu shot this year can ease some angst about the new COVID-19 vaccine,”.
  • While the vaccines are partly effective against symptomatic cases in trials they have been fully protective against severe COVID-19 that resulted in hospitalization or death..
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), current vaccines are between 66 and 95 percent effective..
  • Doctors say the vaccine doesn’t prevent infection, but it does lower the risk of hospitalization and severe symptoms..
  • Dr. Melinda Ashton, chief quality officer with Hawaii Pacific Health, told KITV4 that this is an example of why traveling may increase infection risk..
  • Dr. Julius Pham, chair of the COVID-19 committee at Queen Medical Center, told KITV4 that he believes falling COVID-19 hospitalization numbers are a clear sign that vaccines protect against hospitalization..
  • Ohio, West Virginia will permit people 16 years and older to be vaccinated COVID-19 vaccine providers who have trouble filling appointments this week can open time slots to Ohioans ages 16 and older, Gov..
  • “While there are many places where there is a great demand for the vaccine, we do have some providers who are having a hard time filling appointments,”.
  • “If a local health department or hospital is not filling all their slots this week, they may book with anyone 16 and older.”.
  • Ohio is scheduled to open vaccinations to all residents ages 16 and older on March 29, but those providers who are not filling appointments can open registration immediately to younger Ohioans..
  • AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine provided strong protection against sickness and eliminated COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths across all age groups, according to a late-stage study in the United States, the company announced today, reported the Associated Press (AP)..
  • “These results are great news as they show the remarkable efficacy of the vaccine in a new population and are consistent with the results from Oxford-led trials,”.
  • Andrew Pollard, PhD, professor of pediatric infection and immunity, and lead investigator of the Oxford University trial of the vaccine, said in a statement..
  • “We can expect strong impact against COVID-19 across all ages and for people of all different backgrounds from widespread us of the vaccine,”.
  • In the United States, more than 82 million people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with that number rising every day..
  • President Joe Biden announced that 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the United States in his first 58 days in office..
  • During the transition period Biden had pledged that 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses would be given in his first 100 days..
  • baby born with coronavirus antibodies When 36 weeks pregnant, a South Florida healthcare worker was given her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine..
  • Most people who have had an infection with the new coronavirus are protected against reinfection for at least 6 months, but that immunity can diminish significantly with age, finds a new study published in The Lancet medical journal..
  • “The quality, quantity, and durability of protective immunity elicited by natural infection with SARS-CoV-2 are poor relative to the much higher levels of virus-neutralizing antibodies and T cells induced by the vaccines currently being administered globally,”.
  • New COVID-19 surge could be on its way, expert says Health officials have repeatedly warned about this surge as states’ leaders have eased restrictions, with several lifting mask mandates, reported CNN..
  • Moderna vaccine may be approved for children ages 12-18 by fall There is no evidence that it unsafe for children to receive Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the company president said Wednesday, reported NBC News..
  • “We certainly have not seen anything concerning in any of our prior work that would suggest we can’t use the vaccine in children,”.
  • According to NBC, Moderna is also testing its vaccine in adolescents 12 to 18 years old in a separate study that began in December..
  • Moderna is beginning vaccine trials that include children Moderna pharmaceutical company has begun vaccine trials on children between the ages of 6 months to 12 years..
  • The trial is based in the United States and Canada and will evaluate how well the COVID-19 vaccines work in children..
  • Worldwide distribution of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine remains unaffected by the jab suspension in much of Europe following reports of blood clots in some people shortly after vaccination, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, reported The Washington Post..
  • “We are aware of some further European countries pausing the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to reports of blood clots in people who have been vaccinated,”.
  • “While the European Medicines Agency is investigating these events, it has reinforced its view that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is successful in protecting against COVID-19 and should continue to be used in the rollout,”.
  • According to the Post, WHO continues to caution against suspending access to vaccines and has also noted that no evidence links these events to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine..
  • Pregnancy, birth, and life with a newborn baby in the middle of the pandemic have brought on high anxiety, ever-shifting hospital protocols, and intense isolation for millions of women who have done it worldwide, reported the Associated Press (AP)..
  • The Netherlands and Ireland have joined several other countries in temporarily suspending use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after reports of abnormal blood clotting in several people, reported NPR..
  • The Dutch government said on March 14 that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine would not be used in the country until at least March 28, and officials in Ireland said earlier that day that they had temporarily suspended the shot as a precautionary measure, reported NPR..
  • About 117,000 doses have been administered in Ireland, most doses given to frontline healthcare workers, reported NPR..
  • Some with ‘long COVID’ say vaccines help their symptoms Some former patients still experiencing long-term health issues due to COVID-19 have reported that their symptoms were temporarily eased after receiving the coronavirus vaccine, according to a UK report, reported the New York Post..
  • He mixed hard numbers on vaccine distribution with appeals of unity and his belief in the power of the United States to overcome any challenge..
  • This does not mean they will be able to get the vaccine by then, just that they will be eligible for an appointment..
  • to partner with India, Australia, and Japan to increase vaccine supply To help stop the pandemic, the Biden administration has announced that it will partner with other countries to increase vaccine supply globally, according to The New York Times..
  • The United States will partner with India, Australia, and Japan in an effort to provide vaccine doses to other developing countries..
  • Russia and China have already started to ship out or donate their COVID-19 vaccines to other developing countries..
  • Don’t be fooled by low numbers, warns health expert COVID-19 numbers may be on the decline in the United States, but with tens of thousands of deaths expected over the coming months, experts are warning people not to drop their guard yet, reported CNN..
  • said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children Hospital of Philadelphia, CNN reported..
  • He will deliver his first prime-time address Thursday night to recognize 1 year since pandemic-related shutdowns swept across the United States, and to ask Americans for help with “what comes next,”.
  • The United States is recording at least 56,200 new COVID-19 cases and at least 1,430 virus-related deaths each day, based on a 7-day average calculated by CNBC using Johns Hopkins University data, reported CNBC..
  • clears one-shot vaccine for authorization as global deaths top 2.5 million The European Union drug regulator has recommended approval of Johnson &.
  • Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, potentially adding another weapon in the fight against this disease, reported CNBC..
  • According to CNBC, if approved by the EU and once supplies are delivered, the vaccine could significantly help Europe struggling immunization program..
  • According to current data from Johns Hopkins University, these are the numbers for the United States and worldwide:.
  • However, the nation top public health experts warn against loosening restrictions like mask mandates as new virus variants spread across the country, and with spring break on the horizon..
  • “With the medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs, Texas now has the tools to protect Texans from the virus,”.
  • COVID-19 drug combo cuts risk of hospitalization, death by 87%, study finds A combination of two Eli Lilly antibody drugs cuts the risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization and death by 87 percent, the drugmaker announced today in a press release..
  • Dr. Daniel Skovronsky, Eli Lilly chief scientific officer and president of Lilly Research Laboratories, said in the company statement..
  • Biden administration announces plan to buy another 100 million J&J vaccine doses President Joe Biden has announced that his administration will buy another 100 million Johnson &.
  • These additional doses will ensure that there are more than enough vaccine doses for every adult in the United States..
  • Findings from a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective against a virus variant first detected in Brazil, raising hopes that continuing vaccination efforts will help curb COVID-19..
  • Public health experts warn that these more transmissible variants could drive another surge in COVID-19 cases, especially as state officials lift restrictions across the United States..
  • may achieve vaccine surplus within 2 months Two months from now, the United States may have enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to fill a 55,000-gallon swimming pool..
  • Crucial that people maintain COVID-19 precautions, expert says With a safer future just a few months away, it crucial that people in the United States keep practicing COVID-19 safety precautions and following health officials’ advice, Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the CDC, told CNN..
  • Dr. Chris Murray, the director of University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), told CNN that his team projections show “things will slowly but steadily get better..
  • Now every time public health experts talk about the trajectory of the pandemic, they focus on these virus variants, a factor that could reverse progress made against COVID-19..
  • “We do have to come to terms with the fact that I’m pretty confident that SARS-CoV-2 is going to be more like influenza, which is with us all the time because the virus is changing, and we have to worry about keeping our vaccines updated,”.
  • Now health experts warn that pandemic fatigue in the United States might jeopardize hard-won progress against COVID-19..
  • These announcements come as health experts warn the spread of more-transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants could produce a new surge in cases..
  • “I understand the need to want to get back to normality, but you’re only going to set yourself back if you just completely push aside the public health guidelines, particularly when we’re dealing with anywhere from 55 (thousand) to 70,000 infections per day in the United States,”.
  • According to Yahoo News, vaccines remain broadly effective against SARS-CoV-2, including B.1.526, but the emergence of new virus variants will require constant vigilance from virologists..
  • The risk of death from COVID-19 is roughly 10 times higher in countries where most of the population is overweight, according to a report released by the World Obesity Forum..
  • Tim Lobstein, PhD, study author and senior policy adviser to the World Obesity Federation, told the Independent..
  • Chan School of Public Health in Massachusetts, told the newspaper that “what they do in Texas matters to everybody else in the country.”.
  • Johan Bratt, the acting health and medical care director for the Stockholm region, said at a press briefing on March 3, Bloomberg reported..
  • Over 200,000 people sign up for health insurance after ACA marketplaces reopen In just 2 weeks, more than 200,000 people have signed up for healthcare coverage on the reopened healthcare marketplaces, according to the Associated Press..
  • President Joe Biden directed that the marketplaces be reopened last month in order to help people get healthcare coverage during the pandemic..
  • This happened despite the pleas from health officials not to let their guard down — yet, reported the Associated Press..
  • Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, as his administration pushes to get the shot distributed to the public, reported The Wall Street Journal..
  • Johnson, will help speed production following the one-shot vaccine authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Feb..
  • Johnson Vice President Richard Nettles told lawmakers on Capitol Hill last week that the drugmaker had faced “significant challenges”.
  • The AP also reported that the Biden administration now expects to have enough supply of the three approved vaccines to inoculate all eligible U.S..
  • Experts worry as states reopen, Texas stops mask mandate CNN reported that in California, Los Angeles County health officials announced the daily test positivity rate is the lowest it ever been..
  • Dr. Zeke Emanuel, who was a health adviser for the Obama White House and a member of the Biden Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, told CNN..
  • WHO says hydroxychloroquine should not be used as COVID-19 treatment In a paper published today, the World Health Organization strongly advises medical providers not to use hydroxychloroquine to treat people with COVID-19..
  • It had been touted by former President Donald Trump as a way to treat COVID-19 last year, but subsequent tests found the drug to be ineffective as a treatment for COVID-19..
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this weekend added a third vaccine to the nation arsenal against COVID-19 — the Johnson &.
  • “The emergency use authorization of a third vaccine against COVID-19 in the United States today, just over a year since the virus was identified, demonstrates extraordinary scientific commitment and progress,”.
  • “The availability of another safe and effective vaccine that requires only one dose and that can be stored with only basic refrigeration opens new opportunities for delivery and expanded access for millions of people,”.
  • Johnson vaccine, the FDA director signed off on that recommendation almost immediately, clearing the final hurdle before the drug can be distributed..
  • “Because there are new viral variants coming out right now, with some chance that some of them could eventually become somewhat resistant to the protection provided by vaccines, it really important to get it out there fast.”.
  • Downtrend in COVID infections stalls The steady decline in new COVID-19 cases across the nation appears to have stalled, according to public health officials..
  • According to the Post, the number of new infections remains critically high, with more than 125,000 cases reported over the weekend, even as COVID-related hospitalizations continue to go down..
  • USA Today also reported that the House approved President Joe Biden $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package early Feb..
  • This is a key step that would provide millions of Americans $1,400 stimulus payments, ramp up vaccine distribution, and extend unemployment aid through the summer..
  • The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory CommitteeTrusted Source voted unanimously 22-0 in favor of the emergency use authorization (EUA)..
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 94 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the United States, with only about 70 million administered so far..
  • While the numbers may seem daunting, The Harvard Gazette reported that current vaccines seem effective enough to end the pandemic..
  • Galit Alter, PhD, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a group leader at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard, told The Gazette that while the U.K..
  • variant seems able to evade some vaccine protection, and the South African variant appears able to skirt even more, none have completely escaped the body post-vaccination immune responses..
  • “What that means is that we actually have very important backup mechanisms built into our vaccines that will continue to provide protection against these newly emerging variants.”.
  • COVID cases may be falling – but don’t underestimate virus, experts say Across the United States, and the world, COVID-19 seems to be losing its grip — cases, hospitalizations, and deaths rapidly and steeply plunging, reported the New York Times..
  • Dr. Nathan Mick, head of the emergency department at Maine Medical Center in Portland, the state largest hospital, told the Associated Press (AP), “I have seen zero documented flu cases this winter.”.
  • Pfizer studying third booster shot against COVID-19 Even with the Pfizer vaccine 95 percent effectiveness at preventing coronavirus infection after two doses, the drugmaker is looking at the effectiveness of a third dose, reported NBC News…

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