COVID-19 Vaccine

AP News | |

Marking a year of loss and disruption, President Joe Biden on Thursday will declare the “next phase” of the nation’s fight against the coronavirus as he signs into law a $1.9 trillion relief package that he says will help the U.S. defeat the virus and nurse the economy back to health.

The signing will come hours before Biden delivers his first prime-time address since taking office. He’s aiming to steer the nation toward a hungered-for sentiment — hope — as he marks one year since the onset of the pandemic that has killed more than 529,000 Americans.

Reuters | |

It’s a life-threatening problem that’s been long predicted - but that few in the government or private sectors have yet done much to solve. Now the consequences are hitting some of America’s most vulnerable communities.

America’s COVID-19 vaccine drive is failing to reach Black and Hispanic communities, despite pervasive warnings about their lack of healthcare access and heightened vaccine hesitancy, rooted in distrust of the government and historical episodes of medical exploitation.

Kimberly Redmond | |

Even as nationwide vaccination efforts are underway, White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has warned COVID-19 cases in the US may plateau again at “an unacceptably high level” and give the virus more opportunity to mutate.

During an online event Tuesday hosted by the US Center for Strategic and International Studies, Fauci spoke on the challenges of containing more infectious variants that have emerged.

AP News | |

Fully-vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing, according to long-awaited guidance from federal health officials.

The recommendations also say that vaccinated people can come together in the same way with people considered at low-risk for severe disease, such as in the case of vaccinated grandparents visiting healthy children and grandchildren.

AP News | |

California will begin setting aside 40% of all vaccine doses for the state’s most vulnerable neighborhoods in an effort to inoculate people most at risk from the coronavirus and get the state’s economy open more quickly.

Two officials in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration shared details Wednesday on condition of anonymity.

The doses will be spread out among 400 ZIP codes with about 8 million people eligible for shots. Many of the neighborhoods are concentrated in Los Angeles County and the Central Valley. The areas are considered most vulnerable based on metrics such as household income, education level, housing status and access to transportation.

Reuters | |

The United States will have enough COVID-19 vaccine for every American adult by the end of May, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday after Merck & Co agreed to make rival Johnson & Johnson’s inoculation.

The partnership between drug makers, as well as other steps the government is taking to assist J&J, will allow the company to accelerate delivery of 100 million vaccine doses by around a month, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Kimberly Redmond | |

Tyson Foods, one of the biggest meat companies in the US, announced plans Monday to provide free, onsite COVID-19 vaccinations to the thousands of employees at its seven food processing plants in Iowa.

In a press release, Tyson said it expects many of the 13,000 workers will opt to participate in vaccination clinics this week at or near its facilities in Columbus Junction, Council Bluffs, Independence, Perry, Sioux City, Storm Lake and Waterloo.

Edward Kim | |

Merck & Co Inc will help make rival Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine in a partnership set to be announced on Tuesday by U.S. President Joe Biden, a White House official said.

J&J’s vaccine production has been slower than promised. Under its contract, the company was supposed to deliver 12 million doses by the end of February, but had less than 4 million ready to ship when the vaccine was authorized on Saturday.

Kimberly Redmond | |

After being granted emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration on Saturday, nearly 4 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine are being shipped out across the country. 

During a White House COVID-19 press briefing Monday morning, officials said a rapid rollout of the vaccine stockpile is underway, and Americans ages 18 and older should be able to start getting the single-dose shot within the next 24 to 48 hours. By the end of...

AP News | |

In an industrial neighborhood on the outskirts of Bangladesh’s largest city lies a factory with gleaming new equipment imported from Germany, its immaculate hallways lined with hermetically sealed rooms. It is operating at just a quarter of its capacity.

It is one of three factories that The Associated Press found on three continents whose owners say they could start producing hundreds of millions of COVID-19 vaccines on short notice if only they had the blueprints and technical know-how. But that knowledge belongs to the large pharmaceutical companies who have produced the first three vaccines authorized by countries including Britain, the European Union and the U.S. — Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca. The factories are all still awaiting responses.