Amid intensifying requires rich nations to share their COVID vaccine surplus with the remaining of the world, the U.S. is poised to step up huge time.
President Joe Biden will announce the U.S. has bought 500 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to donate to 92 low-income nations and the African Union, an individual aware of the plan advised USA TODAY.
Biden is about to announce the donation Thursday in remarks on the Group of Seven summit in Britain. The doses might be distributed by the worldwide vaccine alliance often called COVAX, with 200 million to be shared this yr and the remaining 300 million to be donated by the primary half of 2022, in accordance to the individual, who confirmed the report on situation of anonymity.
The U.S. has been beneath mounting stress to step up efforts to share vaccines as want throughout the nation begins to wane and extra Americans are vaccinated. The administration had beforehand stated it will give away 80 million vaccine doses by the tip of this month, however this new dedication represents a six-fold improve.
The first allotment of these 80 million doses – a 25 million tranche – will go principally to countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia and Africa.
Vaccine inequality has turn into an more and more urgent concern, and the World Health Organization has warned of a “two-track pandemic” as wealthy nations inoculate large portions of their populations and developing countries are left exposed to the coronavirus’ ravages.
In a June 3 report, Oxfam International said that of the 1.77 billion doses administered worldwide to that point, 28% had gone to people in G7 nations and only 0.3% to low-income countries. Such disparity could prolong the pandemic and allow for dangerous variants to emerge as the virus continues to spread.
— Courtney Subramanian
Also in the news:
►Several dozen staffers at Houston Methodist Hospital, which grew to become the primary main well being care system within the U.S. to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations, were suspended without pay this week for not complying with the hospital’s full vaccination requirement. The staffers signify lower than 1% of the hospital’s roughly 26,000 worker workforce.
►Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is pushing to accelerate the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program ahead of the Summer Olympics, says he is aiming to have everyone in the country vaccinated by November.
►An uptick in cases has prompted authorities in Moscow to increase enforcement measures for wearing masks and gloves. The Russian coronavirus task force on Wednesday reported 4,124 new cases in the capital city, a 40% increase from Sunday.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more than 33.4 million confirmed coronavirus cases and at least 598,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: Over 174 million cases and over 3.75 million deaths. Nearly 140.4 million Americans have been fully vaccinated – 42.3% of the population, according to the CDC.
📘 What we’re studying: Summer trip season is underway with no key aspect this yr: packed flights between the United States and London because of COVID travel restrictions.
- Americans missed millions of vaccine doses for other diseases in 2020
- Fauci: US needs to avoid Delta variant problems now dogging UK
- Largest summer school program in history faces major task
- Wisconsin pharmacist who tried to ruin 500 vaccine doses gets three years in prison
- Ohio reports 20,000th death and fewest hospitalizations to date
- CDC: Vaccinated Americans can visit Canada, Mexico, 60 other nations
- Fake COVID-19 vaccination cards are circulating on the Internet
It’s not only the COVID vaccine a large segment of the U.S. population has failed to get.
A new report says teens and adults may have missed more than 26 million doses of recommended vaccines in 2020, split into 8.8 million for adolescents and 17.2 million for adults. Vaccine claims were close to 35% lower for teens last year compared with 2019, and claims for adults were up to 40% lower.
“As life returns to normal, we must prioritize getting individuals caught up on their missed vaccines,” said Dr. Leonard Friedland, vice president and director of scientific affairs and public health at GSK Vaccines.
Though the U.S. has inoculated more than half its population against the coronavirus, polls show millions of Americans have no intention to get the vaccine.
— Adrianna Rodriguez
The Delta variant is fueling a spike in coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom, and the top American infectious-diseases expert says the U.S. needs to be wary because the mutation has already arrived in its shores.
The U.K. recorded 7,540 new infections Wednesday, the biggest daily increase since Feb. 26, according to government figures. Cases have been rising over the past few weeks with the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant first identified in India, leading to concerns that the surge may stress the health system once again.
Health experts hope the rapid rollout of vaccines will break the link between new cases and deaths. A large proportion of the new infections are among the younger age groups, many of whom have yet to receive a first dose.
White House COVID adviser Anthony Fauci told CNN the U.S. can avoid similar problems by having more people get the vaccine, which appears to be effective against the Delta variant. U.S. health officials say the variant currently makes up 6% of infections in the country.
“We don’t desire to give it the chance to take over as the dominant variant,” Fauci stated, “and we have within our power to do that by getting people vaccinated, because we have very, very good vaccines.”
Millions of children will participate in what’s expected to be the largest summer school program in history, powered by more than $1.2 billion in targeted post-pandemic assistance from the federal American Rescue Plan. But experts worry the students who would most benefit from extra tutoring won’t get it. Studies have shown students most needing help, typically Black or Latino kids from low-income families who were already being left behind academically before the pandemic – often because of socio-economic factors and systemic racism – are least likely to actually participate. And those who sign up often don’t attend consistently.
“The previous many months have been full of trauma and heartbreak and stress,” said Austin Beutner, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. “We know one of the perfect locations for teenagers to heal is faculties, surrounded by assist and their associates and the sense of group that solely a faculty can present.” Read more here.
– Trevor Hughes
A former pharmacist in Wisconsin who admitted making an attempt to sabotage greater than 500 doses of COVID-19 vaccines at a time when demand for the photographs was overwhelming has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Steven Brandenburg, 46, of Grafton admitted after his arrest in December to intentionally removing the doses manufactured by Moderna from a refrigerator for hours at Aurora Medical Center in Grafton. He pleaded guilty in February to two felony counts of attempt to tamper with a consumer product.
His attorney, Jason Baltz, said Brandenburg was skeptical about vaccines in general after one of his daughters was diagnosed with eczema, a skin condition, following an inoculation at a young age.
Aurora destroyed most of the tampered doses, but not before 57 people – mostly Brandenburg’s co-workers – received inoculations from the supply. Those doses are believed to have still been effective, but weeks of uncertainty on that front created a storm of anger, anxiety and anguish among the recipients, according to court documents.
“The group remains to be very troubled,” said Michelle Blakely, president of the Aurora facility. “This has been completely devastating for the group.”
– Elliot Hughes’ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Ohio crossed two COVID-19 milestones Tuesday, surpassing 20,000 deaths but additionally reporting the fewest quantity of folks at present hospitalized statewide.
Only 503 COVID patients were being treated in Ohio hospitals Tuesday, the lowest number seen since the Ohio Hospital Association began collecting data in March 2020. That’s down from a high of 5,308 on Dec. 15, 2020, and 1,058 just one month ago.
After recording a high of 5,520 deaths in December, the state saw a decline in January and February as people in long-term care facilities got vaccinated. As of Tuesday, more than 46% of Ohio’s population had received at least one vaccine shot.
– Jackie Borchardt, Cincinnati Enquirer
Federal authorities are giving their blessing for Americans to visit our neighboring countries to the north and south, as long as travelers are vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised travel health notices for dozens of nations to a lower-risk tier, adjusting travel guidance for vaccinated Americans in the process. Among the 62 destinations that dropped from “COVID-19 very high” Level 4 tier to “COVID-19 high” Level 3 tier are Canada, Mexico, Japan, Italy, France and Germany.
The CDC recommends avoiding countries at Level 4 and says guests to Level 3 nations must be totally vaccinated towards the coronavirus. It discourages nonessential journey to the latter group by those that will not be vaccinated.
– Bailey Schulz
Fake COVID-19 vaccination cards are being sold online across various platforms, from Amazon to Telegram. Amazon has since taken down the vendor, but photos shared on Twitter show what was once live – a 10-pack of blank vaccination cards for $12.99. Some organizations and states created apps and digital passports to prove vaccination, but there is no widespread practice. Scammers are making use of the confusion to profit from the fake vaccination cards. Scammers have also found space on Telegram, the messaging service and app, to sell fake COVID-19 vaccine cards, BuzzFeed News found.
The FBI shared a public service announcement in March saying that it’s unlawful to make or purchase the vaccination playing cards as a result of it’s a misuse of the official authorities company’s seal. The company additionally stated it places others in danger of contracting COVID-19.
Contributing: The Associated Press.