COVID-19 Vaccine

Reuters | |

The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday that a recent decline in COVID-19 cases may be stalling, a development she described as concerning while urging that restrictions to fight the virus remain in place.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters the CDC was watching the concerning data closely.

The White House on Friday also urged companies to join efforts to help fight the pandemic by requiring mask wearing by employees and educating customers.

Reuters | |

The first big real-world study of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be independently reviewed shows the shot is highly effective at preventing COVID-19, in a potentially landmark moment for countries desperate to end lockdowns and reopen economies.

Up until now, most data on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines has come under controlled conditions in clinical trials, leaving an element of uncertainty over how results would translate into the real world with its unpredictable variables.

Reuters | |

Moderna Inc said on Thursday it expects COVID-19 vaccine sales of $18.4 billion this year, above the $15 billion in sales forecast by Pfizer Inc for the only other vaccine authorized for emergency use in the United States so far.

Both vaccines, developed using a technology based on messenger RNA (mRNA), are being distributed at an unprecedented speed as cases mount in the United States, with deaths from COVID-19 surpassing the dire milestone of 500,000.

AP News | |

Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine protects against COVID-19, according to an analysis by U.S. regulators Wednesday that sets the stage for a final decision on a new and easier-to-use shot to help tame the pandemic.

The Food and Drug Administration’s scientists confirmed that overall the vaccine is about 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19. The agency also said J&J's shot — one that could help speed vaccinations by requiring just one dose instead of two — is safe to use.

AP News | |

A giant vaccination center is opening in Houston to administer 126,000 coronavirus doses in the next three weeks. Nevada health officials are working overtime to distribute delayed shots. And Rhode Island is rescheduling appointments after a vaccine shipment failed to arrive as scheduled earlier in the week.

From coast to coast, states were scrambling Tuesday to catch up on vaccinations a week after winter storms battered a large swath of the U.S. and led to clinic closures, canceled appointments and shipment backlogs nationwide.

Kimberly Redmond | |

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled what he described as England’s “journey back towards normality,” which calls for the lifting of most major COVID-19-related restrictions in June as long as certain conditions are met.

After imposing the strictest lockdown in the western world in January to curb the spread of a more highly contagious strain of the virus, British pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops are closed, schools and offices are off-limits, gatherings are prohibited and foreign vacations are illegal.

Kimberly Redmond | |

Publix Super Markets is the latest major company to offer incentives as a way to encourage its workforce to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

On Friday, the Florida-based supermarket chain said it would give a $125 Publix gift card to each of its current 225,000 employees who submit an internal form and proof of vaccination.

In a press release, Publix’s chief executive officer Todd Jones said, “We care about our associates and customers and believe gett...

Kimberly Redmond | |

The UK will become the first country in the world to deliberately infect healthy volunteers with COVID-19 in what is known as a “human challenge study.”

On Wednesday, the country’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said the $47 million government-funded trial received ethics approval and should begin within the next month.

Reuters | |

President Joe Biden expressed optimism on Tuesday that most U.S. schools would be open by late spring and vowed to continue accelerating the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program, as he sought to elevate his agenda now the drama of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial is over.

In a wide-ranging televised town hall that touched on the pandemic, economic relief, China-U.S. relations and race and policing, Biden also aimed to build public support for his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, which is awaiting congressional action.

Reuters | |

The White House said on Tuesday it is increasing the supply of coronavirus vaccines sent each week to states to 13.5 million doses, and is also doubling the amount shipped to pharmacies to 2 million doses this week.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the boost in distribution to states marked a 57% increase since President Joe Biden was inaugurated on Jan. 20.