News

Coronavirus

AP News | Equities.com |

The U.S. added a second COVID-19 vaccine to its arsenal Friday, boosting efforts to beat back an outbreak so dire that the nation is regularly recording more than 3,000 deaths a day.

Much-needed doses are set to arrive Monday after the Food and Drug Administration authorized an emergency rollout of the vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. and the National Institutes of Health.

The move marks the world’s first authorization for Moderna’s shots. The vaccine is very similar to one from Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech that’s now being dispensed to millions of health care workers and nursing home residents as the biggest vaccination drive in U.S. history starts to ramp up.


Reuters | Equities.com |

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will “rapidly” work towards granting emergency approval of Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said on Thursday.

A panel of outside advisers to the FDA — the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee — overwhelmingly endorsed the emergency use of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine on Thursday, virtually assuring a second option for protecting against COVID-19 for a pandemic ravaged nation.

The committee voted 20-0 with one abstention that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed its risks in people aged 18 and older.


Reuters | Equities.com |

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday that extra doses from vials of Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine can be used after reports of vaccine doses being thrown away by pharmacists due to labeling confusion.

Stat News reported earlier that hospital pharmacists found themselves in the position of throwing away one in every six doses of the first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines distributed this week in the United States because of the confusion over labeling.

The Pfizer vials are supposed to hold five doses, according to the labeling, but media reports said pharmacists had found a way for a sixth or even a seventh dose. Without clear approval from the manufacturer, the extra dose had to be discarded.


AP News | Equities.com |

The first COVID-19 vaccinations are underway at U.S. nursing homes, where the virus has killed upwards of 110,000 people, even as the nation struggles to contain a surge so alarming that California is dispensing thousands of body bags and lining up refrigerated morgue trailers.

With the rollout of shots picking up speed Wednesday, lawmakers in Washington closed in on a long-stalled coronavirus relief package that would send direct payments of perhaps $600 to most Americans. Meanwhile, the U.S. appeared to be days away from adding a second vaccine to its arsenal.


Reuters | Equities.com |

British scientists are trying to establish whether the rapid spread in southern England of a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 is linked to key mutations they have detected in the strain, they said on Tuesday.

The mutations include changes to the important “spike” protein that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus uses to infect human cells, a group of scientists tracking the genetics of the virus said, but it is not yet clear whether these are making it more infectious.

"Efforts are under way to confirm whether or not any of these mutations are contributing to increased transmission," the scientists, from the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium, said in a statement


Reuters | Equities.com |

Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine appeared set for regulatory authorization this week after U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff endorsed it as safe and effective in documents released Tuesday.

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 300,000 people in the U.S. and the government is counting on the Moderna shot to help fulfill its promise to inoculate 20 million this month.

An FDA decision on whether to issue a so-called emergency use authorization for the Moderna vaccine will be made after a panel of outside advisers meets Thursday. The FDA typically follows the advice of the panel, but is not required to do so.


AP News | Equities.com |

The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus topped 300,000 Monday just as the country began dispensing COVID-19 shots in a monumental campaign to conquer the outbreak.

The number of dead rivals the population of St. Louis or Pittsburgh. It is equivalent to repeating a tragedy on the scale of Hurricane Katrina every day for 5 1/2 months. It is more than five times the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War. It is equal to a 9/11 attack every day for more than 100 days.

“The numbers are staggering -- the most impactful respiratory pandemic that we have experienced in over 102 years, since the iconic 1918 Spanish flu,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, said days before the milestone.


AP News | Equities.com |

The largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history got underway Monday as health workers in select hospitals rolled up their sleeves for shots to protect them from COVID-19 and start beating back the pandemic — a day of optimism even as the nation’s death toll neared 300,000.

“I feel hopeful today. Relieved,” said critical case nurse Sandra Lindsay after getting a shot in the arm at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York.

Shipments of precious frozen vials of vaccine made by Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech began arriving at hospitals around the country Monday.


AP News | Equities.com |

The first of many freezer-packed COVID-19 vaccine vials made their way to distribution sites across the United States on Sunday, as the nation’s pandemic deaths approached the horrifying new milestone of 300,000.

The rollout of the Pfizer vaccine, the first to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, ushers in the biggest vaccination effort in U.S. history — one that health officials hope the American public will embrace, even as some have voiced initial skepticism or worry.


AP News | Equities.com |

The U.S. gave the final go-ahead Friday to the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine, marking what could be the beginning of the end of an outbreak that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans.

Shots for health workers and nursing home residents are expected to begin in the coming days after the Food and Drug Administration authorized an emergency rollout of what promises to be a strongly protective vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech.

Initial doses are scarce and rationed as the U.S. joins Britain and several other countries in scrambling to vaccinate as many people as possible ahead of a long, grim winter. It will take months of work to tamp down the coronavirus that has surged to catastrophic levels in recent weeks and already claimed 1.5 million lives globally.