Health authorities are persevering with to supply incentives for residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine as U.S. vaccination rates slow, requiring companies to work more durable to get pictures in arms.
The newest efforts are lotteries in New York and Maryland for vaccinated residents, following an identical program in Ohio the place vaccinated residents are eligible for $1 million prizes and school scholarships.
On Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched the $5 million “Vax and Scratch” program, which gives lottery scratch tickets to anybody who will get a COVID-19 vaccine at choose state-run vaccination websites subsequent week.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also announced a “$2 million Vax Cash promotion”. Every Marylander 18 and over who will get vaccinated might be entered right into a every day drawing to win $40,000 from the Maryland State Lottery — culminating in a $400,000 drawing on July 4.
“If you’ve not been vaccinated yet, the sooner you do so, the sooner you get your shot, the more lottery drawings you will be eligible for,” the governor stated.
Meanwhile, the University of Virginia is becoming a member of a rising checklist of universities requiring vaccinations. At least 389 faculties throughout that nation have required vaccinations for not less than some college students or school, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Students might be required to offer proof of vaccination by July 1 however can request medical or spiritual exemption to the requirement, according to a Thursday statement.
Vaccination for workers is “strongly encouraged” however not but required, the assertion stated. University leaders stated they may monitor worker vaccination charges and seek the advice of with public well being specialists as they take into account whether or not to require workers to get vaccinated at a later date.
Also in the information:
►For the primary time since March 2020, the 7-day common for deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. has fallen under 500, White House coronavirus response senior adviser Andy Slavitt tweeted Friday.
►Two Republican lawmakers in the Nevada statehouse had been punished Thursday for not complying with restrictions in place to forestall the unfold of coronavirus.
►Pennsylvania marked a milestone on Thursday, with 50% of adults statewide now thought of absolutely vaccinated towards COVID-19.
►Actress Salma Hayek revealed to Variety that she battled a near-fatal case of COVID-19. “My doctor begged me to go to the hospital because it was so bad,” stated Hayek, 54. “I said, ‘No, thank you. I’d rather die at home.’”
►There is not any proof to help that the COVID-19 vaccines trigger non permanent listening to loss, in response to a study published Thursday.
►The Department of Homeland Security says the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico will stay restricted via not less than June 21, with only trade and essential travel allowed until then. The restrictions had been set to run out Friday.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has greater than 33 million confirmed coronavirus circumstances and 588,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The world totals: More than 165.6 million circumstances and three.43 million deaths. Nearly 352 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S. and 279.4 million have been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 126.6 million Americans have been absolutely vaccinated — 38.1% of the inhabitants.
📘 What we’re studying: To defend Americans and assist the world, the U.S. wants to begin giving extra COVID-19 vaccine away extra shortly, experts say.
- Tinder, Bumble, different relationship apps to supply enhance to vaccinated singles
- COVAX strikes deal to buy 200 million Johnson & Johnson doses
- Europe records 60% drop in infections
- Roughly 60,000 vaccine doses spoiled since December in Texas
- Northeast leads in vaccination rates, South trails
- India tops US daily death mark as countries head in opposite directions
Dating apps are making it simpler for singles to search out others who’ve been vaccinated towards COVID-19, the Biden administration announced Friday in what could be the first time the White House promoted digital matchmaking.
The administration says new options — together with badges and different premium options — launching over the following a number of weeks by Tinder, Hinge, Match, OkCupid, Bumble, BLK and different relationship websites will assist President Joe Biden attain his purpose of getting not less than one shot in the arm of 70% of adults by July 4. More than 60% of U.S. adults have had not less than one shot, in response to the federal government.
Beginning May 24, daters can add an “I’m Vaccinated” profile badge and be featured inside OkCupid’s “Vaccinated Stacks,” a brand new matching system that lets customers search by vaccination standing. Vaccinated individuals may also obtain a free “Boost” to maneuver their profile to the entrance of a dater’s stack.
On Tinder, vaccinated customers get elevated to premium content material comparable to a “Super Like” choice to assist them stand out amongst potential matches. Members may add “I’m Vaccinated” or “Vaccines Save Lives” stickers to their profile.
— Maureen Groppe
The GAVI Vaccine Alliance has signed an settlement to buy 200 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses on behalf for the COVAX vaccine-sharing program, in response to a Friday assertion.
The U.N.-backed COVAX program seeks to ship free vaccines to 92 lower-income international locations and assist higher-income international locations with out offers with producers to get entry to vaccines.
GAVI stated the purpose is to provide the Johnson & Johnson doses in 2021. The alliance stated it’s also discussing with Johnson & Johnson on a possible provide of 300 million further doses in 2022.
COVAX additionally has agreements with seven different vaccines and vaccine candidates, together with the AstraZeneca, Pfizer advert Modern vaccines.
Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, stated the one-dose Johnson & Johson vaccine might be helpful for areas with “difficult infrastructure.”
“Since the earliest days of the pandemic, we have been steadfast in our goal to facilitate equitable access to our COVID-19 vaccine,” Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson stated in the assertion. “No one is safe from COVID-19 until everyone is protected, and our partnership with Gavi is the single greatest step we have taken to ensure our single-shot vaccine is accessible to everyone, everywhere.”
Despite a recent drop in coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations, Europeans should remain cautious because the threat of the coronavirus remains present, the World Health Organization said Thursday.
Europe has recorded a 60% drop in new coronavirus cases over the past month, said WHO regional director Dr. Hans Kluge. The news comes as the European Union eased travel restrictions for vaccinated visitors and any traveler from countries where COVID-19 is under control.
“Where vaccination rates in high-risk groups are highest, admissions to hospitals are decreasing and death rates are falling. Vaccines are saving lives, and they will change the course of this pandemic and eventually help end it,” Kluge stated.
The European Union’s executive arm on Thursday finalized a third vaccine contract with Pfizer and BioNTech through 2023 for an additional 1.8 billion doses of their COVID-19 shot to share between the bloc’s countries except for Hungary, which opted out of the deal.
About 60% of the COVID-19 vaccine doses that have spoiled since Texas’ vaccination program began in December were wasted in the past two weeks, according to an analysis of state data.
According to a Houston Chronicle analysis of the roughly 60,000 vaccine doses spoiled since December, about 36,000 had been misplaced in the previous two weeks, indicating plummeting demand for the vaccine in Texas.
The number of wasted doses through spoilage of the highly perishable vaccine was still a minute fraction of the state’s vaccine allotment. The state is currently administering an average of about 144,000 vaccinations daily. Even so, that was less than half of the 290,000-vaccination-a-day peak last month.
Just one in three Texans were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Thursday, mostly with the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, while 42% have received at least one dose.
More than 51,000 people have died of COVID-19 in Texas during the 15-month pandemic out of the more than 3.2 million positive test results reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Five months into the U.S. vaccination campaign against the coronavirus, a clear geographic pattern has developed: the highest inoculation rates are in the Northeast and the lowest in the South.
Experts say the gap reflects several factors, including political leanings, religious beliefs, education, and income levels.
There are eight Northeastern states among the 10 in the nation with at least 54% of its population receiving one vaccine dose or more, leading with Vermont’s 64%. At the opposite end of the scale, eight Southern states are in the bottom 10, all under 40%, with Mississippi last in the country at 32%. The nationwide figure is 48.2%.
“Low vaccination rates will leave room for the virus to circulate, re-emerge and possibly form new variants,” said Tara Kirk Sell, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “High vaccination rates are critical to keeping the disease under control, especially when we get back to the fall and winter.”
The United States has yielded to India a dark statistic of the global pandemic — the country with the highest single-day death toll.
While daily U.S. infections, hospitalizations, and deaths slide, India’s Health Ministry reported 4,529 deaths Wednesday as the coronavirus spreads beyond cities into the vast countryside, where health systems are weaker. The number is considered an undercount by most health experts.
The U.S. held the previous record for daily deaths at 4,475 on Jan. 12, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. But struggles with near-record infections and an increasing death count have India reeling. Hospitals and morgues are overwhelmed. Dozens of bodies are found floating daily in the Ganges River as it flows through poor, rural states.
Contributing: Tamela Baker, the Herald-Mail; The Associated Press