Latest news on coronavirus cases and vaccines


Tyson Foods fights to ensure enough vaccinations for its employees

A Tyson Foods employee dons a second protective mask outside the company’s meat processing plant, which has been affected by an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Waterloo, Iowa, USA.

Jeffrey Becker | USA TODAY NETWORK | REUTERS

Tyson Foods recently began an effort to immunize employees at its plants in Missouri, Illinois and Virginia. The meat-processing company was only able to secure 1,000 doses, according to a report by CNBC’s Bertha Coombs.

The company was able to receive 25 to 50 doses at a time so far this month to immunize its occupational safety and health workers over 65, but Tyson Foods employs 120,000 workers in two dozen states.

“We are not turning down any opportunity to get vaccinated for our team members,” explained Tom Brower, senior vice president of health and safety for Tyson.

More than 12,500 Tyson Foods workers have contracted Covid-19, according to the watchdog group Food Environmental Reporting Network. Tyson has not confirmed those reports and claims that he has kept his workers safe.

Rich mendez

Pfizer asks FDA to approve storage of vaccine doses at higher temperatures

A photograph taken on January 15, 2021 shows a pharmacist holding in gloved hands a vial of undiluted Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for Covid-19, stored at -70 ° in a super freezer at Le Mans hospital in the northwest France as a country carries out a vaccination campaign to fight against the spread of the new coronavirus.

Jean-Francois Monier | AFP | fake images

Pfizer said it is requesting permission from the Food and Drug Administration to store its Covid-19 vaccine for two weeks at temperatures commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers and refrigerators.

The vaccine, which was developed with German drugmaker BioNTech, currently must be stored in ultra-cold freezers that keep it between minus 112 and minus 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Pfizer said it submitted new data to the US agency showing the vaccine is stable at minus 13 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

The vaccine is shipped in a special thermal container that can be used as temporary storage for up to 30 days by filling with dry ice every five days. The move could make it easier to transport the vaccine through the US at a time when the pace of inoculations has been slow.

—Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Former Aetna CEO on How to Speed ​​Up Vaccine Launch in the US

The Biden administration announced plans this week to double the number of vaccines shipped directly to pharmacies from one million to two million doses per week, with a goal of reaching 40,000 pharmacies nationwide. Mark Bertolini, former CEO and president of Aetna, joined CNBC’s “Squawk Box” to discuss.

Pfizer Vaccine Reduces Infection Rates and May Be Effective After First Dose, Studies Find

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

Sergio Pérez | Reuters

In a series of encouraging news, two Israeli studies have shown that the Pfizer vaccine, made in conjunction with Germany’s BioNTech, can have a profound impact on the transmission of the virus, Reuters reports.

A study by Pfizer and the Israeli Ministry of Health found that the Pfizer vaccine reduced infection rates in asymptomatic cases by 89.4% and in symptomatic cases by 93.7%, the wire service reported.

A separate study from Israel’s Sheba Medical Center found that hospital staff who received their first dose in January experienced an 85% reduction in symptomatic Covid-19 within 15 to 28 days, and the overall reduction in infections, including asymptomatic cases, it was 75%.

Terri cullen

Biotech Expert Geoffrey Porges Discusses Vaccine Efficacy Against Variants

After a recent study was published on the impact of variant B.1.351, first found in South Africa, on the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines, Geoffrey Porges, Director of Therapeutic Research and senior biotechnology analyst at SVB Leerink , joined CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange” to discuss the implications.

Average daily new Covid cases in the US is declining in 43 states

The United States is experiencing a decline in new Covid cases, by an average of seven days, in 43 states, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. Only Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming reported an increase in the seven-day average of new cases.

Severe Covid cases have leveled off in Washington, which has a seven-day average of 704 current hospitalizations, 3.9% less than the previous week. Hospitalizations are declining in the other 49 states.

This JHU-provided data is collected from dozens of state and local agencies that have different reporting methodologies and levels of accuracy. Seven-day average comparisons help smooth out inconsistencies in state reporting procedures.

—Melodie Warner

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