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Coronavirus

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Health care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line when the first coronavirus vaccine shots become available, an influential government advisory panel said Tuesday.

The panel voted 13-1 to recommend those groups get priority in the first days of any coming vaccination program, when doses are expected to be very limited. The two groups encompass about 24 million people out of a U.S. population of about 330 million.


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Americans returning from Thanksgiving break faced strict new coronavirus measures around the country Monday as health officials brace for a disastrous worsening of the nationwide surge because of holiday gatherings over the long weekend.

Los Angeles County imposed a stay-at-home order for its 10 million residents, and Santa Clara County, in the heart of Silicon Valley, banned high school, college and professional sports and decreed a quarantine for those who have traveled more than 150 miles outside the county.


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Moderna Inc will apply for U.S. and European emergency authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine on Monday after full results from a late-stage study showed it was 94.1% effective with no serious safety concerns, the company said.

Moderna also reported that its vaccine’s efficacy rate was consistent across age, race, ethnicity and gender demographics as well as having a 100% success rate in preventing severe cases of a disease that has killed nearly 1.5 million people.

The filing sets Moderna’s product up to be the second vaccine likely to receive U.S. emergency use authorization this year following a shot developed by Pfizer and BioNTech which had a 95% efficacy rate.


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The nation’s top infectious disease expert said Sunday that the U.S. may see “surge upon a surge” of the coronavirus in the weeks after Thanksgiving, and he does not expect current recommendations around social distancing to be relaxed before Christmas.

Meanwhile, in a major reversal, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio said the nation’s largest school system will reopen to in-person learning and increase the number of days a week many children attend class. The announcement came just 11 days after the Democratic mayor said schools would shut down because of rising COVID-19 cases.


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Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine producer, sees AstraZeneca Plc’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate as a “very good” option, giving it a major vote of confidence after some experts raised questions around its trial data.

Serum Institute of India (SII), which has partnered with the British drugmaker to conduct trials on its COVISHIELD vaccine in India and produce the vaccine candidate if it secures approval, plans to apply for an emergency use licence for the vaccine in the next two weeks, said SII’s Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla.

“This vaccine is a very good one,” said Poonawalla, via a virtual press briefing following Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to SII’s campus on Saturday.


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Using blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors to treat patients with severe pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus showed little benefit, according to data released on Tuesday from a clinical trial in Argentina.

The therapy know as convalescent plasma, which delivers antibodies from COVID-19 survivors to infected people, did not significantly improve patients’ health status or reduce their risk of dying from the disease any better than a placebo, the study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found.


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U.S. officials said on Tuesday they plan to release 6.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses nationwide in an initial distribution after the first one is cleared by regulators for emergency use.

Officials from the government’s Operation Warp Speed program told reporters that states and other jurisdictions had been informed on Friday of their estimated vaccine allocations in the first shipments so they can begin pl...


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Dr. Drew Miller knew his patient had to be moved.

The vital signs of the 30-year-old COVID-19 victim were crashing, and Kearny County Hospital in rural Lakin, Kansas, just wasn’t equipped to handle the case. Miller, Kearny’s chief medical officer - who doubles as the county health officer - called around to larger hospitals in search of an ICU bed. With coronavirus cases soaring throughout Kansas, he said, he couldn’t find a single one.

By the time a bed opened elsewhere the following day, the young man was near death. For a full 45 minutes, Miller and his staff performed chest compressions in a desperate attempt to save him.


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State and local officials nationwide are imposing new coronavirus restrictions and pleading with the public in an increasingly desperate attempt to stop the explosive spread of the disease as many Americans resist calls to limit gatherings and travel heading into the holidays.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak tightened restrictions on casinos, restaurants and private gatherings beginning Tuesday. In California, where most counties are under a curfew, Los Angeles County officials will prohibit in-person dining for at least three weeks, and a judge on Monday denied a request to temporarily restore indoor service at restaurants and gyms in San Diego County. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts warned that he could impose tighter social-distancing restrictions before Thanksgiving if hospitalizations continue to rise.


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Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals.

The results are based on interim analysis of trials in the U.K. and Brazil of a vaccine developed by Oxford University and manufactured by AstraZeneca. No hospitalizations or severe cases of COVID-19 were reported in those receiving the vaccine.