- US to require COVID tests for all international travelers
- US changes vaccine reporting parameters
- Disneyland joins Dodgers stadium in becoming vaccination site
- US cases decline
- US hospitalizations hit new records led by California
- US plans new vaccination plan
- Ireland now world’s worst-hit country
- Netherlands seeing cautious decline
- Singapore may introduce contact tracing bill
- EU strikes 8th deal to buy vaccine doses
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Update (1340ET): During a Tuesday press briefing about the US vaccination effort, CDC head Robert Redfield issued another warning about COVID-19 transmission, saying many areas in the US are “on the verge of exponential growth”, while also acknowledging that most instances of viral transmission are occurring within households.
That’s not exactly new information, as data has consistently shown the virus mostly spreads among members of the same household. Redfield’s comments even bring to mind research which brings to mind research we shared just the other day. In a blog post, author and statistician William Briggs argued that lockdowns don’t work because they simply force people to congregate in even smaller areas, like their homes: “a lockdown will spread this bug faster than allowing people to remain at liberty,” he said.
As far as the slow pace of COVID-19 vaccinations, Sec Azar says some data had not been reported correctly or fast enough to the CDC’s database, which was one factor causing the delays. He said some states are being too conservative and micromanaging too much. “We have too much vaccine sitting in cold storage in hospitals,” Azar said.
In other news, Washington is expected to require all international airline passengers to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding flights to the US, according to a Dow Jones report citing people familiar with the matter. The CDC is planning to issue its order as soon as Tuesday, following weeks of discussions among federal agencies and the White House coronavirus task force. The order is expected to go into effect Jan. 26, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Finally, California’s Disneyland, which has remained closed since the coronavirus pandemic hit the US in March, is set to become the first mass-vaccination site in Orange County, as the state faces record COVID-19 deaths. It will join Dodgers stadium, which is further south in LA County.
The US is already scrambling to accelerate COVID vaccinations now that even Gov Andrew Cuomo has finally acknowledged that the economy must be reopened soon, or there won’t be an economy left to reopen. After trying out punitive measures with little in the way of progress being made, Cuomo decided to loosen up eligibility criteria. Meanwhile, in LA, Dodgers stadium is being converted from a testing center to what’s expected to be the largest vaccination center in the US.
Now, with the US still lagging way behind its vaccination targets, the Trump Administration is preparing to roll out new vaccination guidelines.
According to Axios, which first reported the news early Tuesday morning, the Trump Administration is preparing to release federal guidelines and will recommend opening up the process to everyone older than 65, and will also aim to move doses out the door rather than holding some back. The new measures will include:
- Recommending that states open the vaccination process to everyone older than 65 and to adults of all ages who have a pre-existing condition that puts them at greater risk for serious infection.
- Expanding the venues where people can get vaccinated to include community health centers and more pharmacies.
- Getting all the available doses out the door now. Both of the authorized vaccines require two shots; the government will no longer hold back doses for the second shot, but will instead try to get today’s doses into people’s arms now, trusting that supplies will increase rapidly enough to provide second shots….