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Public health officials sounded the alarm for months, complaining that they did not have enough support or money to get COVID-19 vaccines quickly into arms. Now the slower-than-expected start to the largest vaccination effort in U.S. history is proving them right.

As they work to ramp up the shots, state and local public health departments across the U.S. cite a variety of obstacles, most notably a lack of leadership from the federal government. Many officials worry that they are losing precious time at the height of the pandemic, and the delays could cost lives.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Moderna’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccine is likely to offer protection of up to a couple of years, its chief executive said on Thursday, even though more data is still needed to make a definitive assessment.

The U.S. biotech company, which stunned the world last year by coming up with a vaccine against the disease caused by the new coronavirus in just a few weeks, received approval for its shot from the European Commission on Wednesday.

Given vaccines development and pharmacovigilance usually requires years, the protection duration of COVID-19 shots is a lingering question for scientists and regulators.


Reuters | Equities.com |

More Americans were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Wednesday than at any time since the pandemic began, as total coronavirus infections crossed the 21 million mark, deaths soared across much of the United States and a historic vaccination effort lagged.

U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations reached a record 130,834 late on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally of public health data, while 3,684 reported fatalities was the second-highest single-day death toll of the pandemic.

That appalling toll meant that on Tuesday someone died from COVID-19 every 24 seconds in the United States. With total deaths surpassing 357,000, one in every 914 U.S. residents has died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to a Reuters analysis.


Reuters | Equities.com |

More than two-thirds of the 15 million coronavirus vaccines shipped within the United States have so far gone unused, U.S. health officials said on Monday, as the governors of New York and Florida vowed to penalize hospitals that fail to dispense shots quickly enough.

In New York, hospitals must administer vaccines within a week of receiving them or face a fine and a reduction in future supplies, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, hours before announcing the state’s first known case of a new, more infectious coronavirus variant originally detected in Britain.

In New York, hospitals must administer vaccines within a week of receiving them or face a fine and a reduction in future supplies, Governo...


Reuters | Equities.com |

Moderna Inc said on Monday it would produce at least 600 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in 2021, up by 100 million doses from its previous forecast, as the United States continues to roll-out the vaccine.

The company was working to invest and hire in order to deliver up to 1 billion doses this year, the higher end of its production forecast, it said.


Reuters | Equities.com |

December was the deadliest month of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States with nearly 78,000 deaths, and health officials warned that even more people will likely die in January despite the rollout of vaccines.

In the week ended Jan. 3, more than 18,400 people died from COVID-19, bringing the pandemic’s total to over 351,000 deaths, or one in every 930 U.S. residents, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county reports.

The countr...


Reuters | Equities.com |

Only about 2.6 million Americans had received a COVID-19 vaccine going into the last day of December, putting the United States far short of the government’s target to vaccinate 20 million people this month.

About 14 million doses of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines have been distributed to states so far, federal officials told reporters on Wednesday, shy of its goal to ship 20 million doses this month.

As late as early December, officials maintained they would have 40 million doses available this month, enough to vaccinate 20 million Americans with a two-dose regimen.


AP News | Equities.com |

California on Wednesday announced the nation’s second confirmed case of the new and apparently more contagious variant of the coronavirus, offering a strong indication that the infection is spreading more widely in the United States.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the infection found in Southern California during an online conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“I don’t think Californians should think that this is odd. It’s to be expected,” Fauci said.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Britain on Wednesday became the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, hoping that rapid action would help it stem a surge of infections driven by a highly contagious variant of the virus.

Boris Johnson’s government, which has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine, has jumped ahead of other Western countries with its vaccination program.

It was the first to approve a shot developed by Pfizer of the United States and Germany’s BioNTech, with the result that hundreds of thousands of people were vaccinated in Britain before European Union countries and the United States even began administering it this month.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Tuesday initial data from an ongoing study of its experimental antibody cocktail for use in hospitalized COVID-19 patients requiring low-flow oxygen show the therapy was sufficiently effective to warrant continuing the trial.

The drugmaker said in September the cocktail, a combination of two antibodies casirivimab and imdevimab, reduced viral levels and improved symptoms in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Study participants included those who had produced their own antibodies (seropositive) and those who had not (seronegative).