Johnson & Johnson vaccine authorization expected


Grace hauck

| USA TODAY

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The United States is expected to authorize a third COVID-19 vaccine as early as Saturday.

An advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously on Friday to recommend authorization of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine candidate for use in adults, paving the way for an expected authorization.

President Joe Biden called the single-dose injection a “safe and effective third vaccine” in a speech Friday. But as the United States continues to increase vaccines, Biden urged Americans not to lower their guard and continue to practice mitigation measures.

“This is not the time to relax,” Biden said. He added: “And for the love of God, wear your mask.”

Meanwhile, the House approved Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package early Saturday, a key step in a measure that would provide millions of Americans with stimulus payments of $ 1,400, increase vaccine distribution and would extend unemployment assistance during the summer. The measure now heads to the Senate, where it faces a stony road in the evenly divided chamber.

Also in the news:

►The federal government has agreed to purchase 100,000 doses of a COVID-19 treatment from Eli Lilly, the company announced Friday. The drug, bamlanivimab, is a monoclonal antibody, which means that it mimics one of the natural antibodies that the immune system uses to fight the virus. The FDA authorized the drug at the end of last year.

►The federal government has supported 441 community vaccination centers in the US, including 171 that have been staffed with federal personnel, said Andy Slavitt, senior adviser to the White House for the response to COVID-19. Two new federal vaccination sites were also announced Friday, in Chicago and Greensboro, North Carolina.

►Costa d’Ivoire has become the second country in the world to receive a shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from the global COVAX initiative. The first shipment was sent to Ghana on Wednesday.

📈 Today’s numbers: The United States has more than 28.4 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 510,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. World totals: more than 113.5 million cases and 2.5 million deaths. More than 94.3 million doses of vaccines have been distributed in the US and about 70.4 million have been administered, according to the CDC.

📘 What are we reading: They met on Bumble. She claims that he abused her and killed her dogs. She is now speaking out to help other survivors of domestic violence who feel isolated amid COVID-19.

USA TODAY is tracking the news of COVID-19. Keep updating this page for the latest updates. They want more? Sign up for our Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates in your inbox and join our Facebook group.

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United Center will be Chicago’s mass vaccination site

The United Center, home to the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks, will be used as a mass vaccination site capable of vaccinating up to 6,000 people a day. Vaccinations will take place in the arena parking lot. (26 of February)

AP

Six recent studies suggest that people who have already contracted COVID-19 may not need to receive a second dose of vaccine.

The federal government hasn’t changed its recommendation for a second dose, but studies looking at immune response show that while a first injection gives people who have recovered from COVID-19 a big boost, the second injection does little difference.

“I think it makes a lot of sense,” said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Center for Vaccine Education at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. For someone who had COVID-19, the first injection is like a person without COVID-19 receiving a booster; it even has the side effects of someone getting a second dose of the vaccine, he said. Read more.

– Karen Weintraub

Vaccine Waste and Theft Reports Investigated in Tennessee

Further research findings from the state of Tennessee revealed on Friday that the COVID-19 vaccine may have been stolen in Shelby County, children are believed to have been inappropriately vaccinated and more doses of COVID-19 were wasted than previously known. thought previously.

The state learned of the children’s vaccines and the alleged theft weeks after the incidents occurred, State Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said at a broad news conference Friday afternoon detailing numerous cases to reporters. vaccine mismanagement and called Shelby County Health. Department a “low responsibility organization”.

Piercey also described Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris and county health officials as slow to report problems to authorities and lacking in candor in conversations with state officials.

The revelations were the latest in a series of vaccine management issues in Shelby County that were made public last week.

– Corinne S. Kennedy and Samuel Hardiman, Memphis Business Appeal

Nursing home cases drop 89%

The new federal data offers a glimmer of hope in what has been the darkest and deadliest corner of the pandemic. The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in America’s nursing homes has dropped significantly since December, as millions of vaccine doses have been shot into the arms of residents and staff.

The weekly rate of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes plunged 89% from the beginning of December to the second week of February. By comparison, the nationwide case rate fell 58% and is still higher than the figures reported before the end of October.

The dramatic drop in nursing home cases, where nearly 130,000 residents and staff have died since the virus emerged in the US, raises optimism for brighter days in nursing homes and in communities in overall as more Americans get vaccinated, experts say.

– Ken Alltucker and Jayme Fraser

CDC Director Warns of Increasing Cases ‘Worrying’

After a multi-week decline in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky warned Friday of a “worrisome” increase in cases. in the last days.

The most recent seven-day average of new cases per day was more than 66,000 and higher than Wednesday’s average, Walensky said, citing CDC data.

The peak in early January was the highest seen in the pandemic, and while current averages are lower, they remain high, Walensky said. “Things are weak. Now is not the time to relax restrictions,” he said, pointing to the spread of new variants of the coronavirus.

“Now we can be seeing the initial effects of these variants in the most recent data,” he added.

– Ryan Miller

New York City Chancellor of Schools, who lost 11 family members to COVID-19, resigns

Richard Carranza, New York City Chancellor of Schools, said on Friday he would resign from his position, citing the need for time to mourn his 11 close family and friends who died from COVID-19.

“I feel like I can take that time now because of where we are and the work we’ve done together,” he said.

The city’s schools have been largely heralded for reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Carranza said the system reopened safely for the children of essential workers, distributed more than half a million electronic devices for the remote learning and delivered 80 million meals to its students.

“We have stabilized the system in a way that nobody thought was possible,” he added. “The light, my fellow New Yorkers, is really at the end of the tunnel.”

Carranza will be replaced by Bronx Executive Superintendent Meisha Ross Porter, who will become the first black woman to lead the nation’s largest school district.

– Ryan Miller

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