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California area has 0.0% out there ICU capability; US experiences 16 millionth case; vaccinations to start Monday

The USA on Saturday reported its 16 millionth COVID-19 case, whilst a newly licensed vaccine is already being distributed and vaccinations are anticipated to start Monday, in response to federal officers.

How a brand new sort of vaccine known as mRNA is altering the sport to stop COVID-19

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It took three months for the U.S. to report its first million instances. Nevertheless it’s been simply 4 days between the 15th and 16th million case milestones — yet one more signal the virus is spreading at an alarming and lethal tempo. However the nation’s first licensed vaccine guarantees to assist sluggish the pandemic in coming months, because the federal authorities races to shortly distribute it.



a group of people riding on the back of a truck: An Olympic Ambulance crew unloads a patient from Harrison at the Ridgetop Entrance of St. Michael Medical Center in Silverdale on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020.


© MEEGAN M. REID / KITSAP SUN
An Olympic Ambulance crew unloads a affected person from Harrison on the Ridgetop Entrance of St. Michael Medical Middle in Silverdale on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020.

“As I converse right this moment, proper now, vaccines are being packaged,” Gen. Gustave Perna, co-leader of Operation Warp Velocity accountable for logistics, stated Saturday. “Tomorrow morning, vaccines will begin rolling from manufacturing to distribution hubs. By Monday, vaccines shall be obtained.”

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Vaccinations will start Monday, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the Nationwide Middle for Immunization and Respiratory Illnesses on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, stated throughout a gathering Saturday.

Well being care employees and nursing dwelling residents are first in line. Sufferers and caregivers will obtain reality sheets describing the dangers and advantages, she stated.

Earlier Saturday, Meals and Drug Administration officers reassured the American public that the company didn’t lower corners in its evaluation and urged folks to get vaccinated. The USA is on the cusp of shedding 300,000 folks to COVID-19.

Maintain refreshing this web page for the newest updates. For headlines in your inbox, join our e-newsletter, Coronavirus Watch.

Listed here are right this moment’s prime headlines:

  • An advisory committee to the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention voted Saturday to advocate the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for folks 16 and older. Now it goes to the director of the CDC for his signature.
  • The Meals and Drug Administration late Friday granted emergency authorization to Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine that analysis reveals is very efficient at stopping a illness.
  • The promising information is not going to instantly finish the pandemic, which is raging uncontrolled. Dr. Ugur Sahin, CEO of BioNTech, estimated it could be March or April earlier than the vaccine might influence the virus’ unfold — underscoring the necessity for measures like mask-wearing and social distancing within the meantime. 
  • About 1 in Eight U.S. hospitals had few or no intensive care unit beds out there final week, in response to new federal information. Consultants say the variety of hospitals struggling to accommodate the nation’s sickest sufferers doubtless will improve following one other week of report COVID-19 instances.
  • Two Florida males are dealing with federal fees that allege they stole almost 200 ventilators the US shipped to El Salvador to assist the Central American nation deal with coronavirus sufferers.

📈 One other day of report deaths within the US: On Friday, 3,309 folks within the U.S. died from the coronavirus, in response to Johns Hopkins College information. The earlier report was set Wednesday at 3,124, the primary time the day by day dying toll surpassed 3,000. As of Saturday, about 297,000 folks within the U.S. have died, with greater than 16 million confirmed instances. The worldwide totals: 71.6 million instances and 1.6 million deaths. 

📰 What we’re studying: We’re answering your questions concerning the vaccine, like: What are the uncomfortable side effects? Can you continue to get sick? Is it secure throughout being pregnant? Learn extra right here.

New York’s 21 Membership closes indefinitely attributable to pandemic

The storied 21 Membership in midtown Manhattan, a favourite of celebrities and the facility elite for 9 many years, is closing indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic, however the house owners are optimistic about reopening in some unspecified time in the future.

The restaurant’s house owners filed discover concerning the closing with town on Wednesday, saying all 148 staff shall be terminated on March 9. The information comes as indoor eating at New York Metropolis eating places shall be banned once more beginning Monday in an effort to halt a resurgence of the virus, however takeout and outside eating will nonetheless be allowed.

The restaurant has been closed since final March throughout the first wave of the pandemic, as indoor eating was prohibited.

The 21 Membership was a favourite eating place of presidents since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s day. Shortly after the 2016 election, then-President-elect Donald Trump broke protocol by leaving his Trump Tower residence with out taking alongside his press contingent to eat on the restaurant. John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway and Frank Sinatra had favourite tables at 21, and Humphrey Bogart proposed to Lauren Bacall there. It appeared in movies starting from the 1950 Bette Davis traditional “All About Eve” to 1987’s “Wall Avenue.”

— Related Press

12-county California area has 0.0% out there ICU capability

In San Joaquin County, a part of California’s huge Central Valley that produces a lot of the nation’s vegetables and fruit, the coronavirus is spreading like a weed and the hospitals are operating out of beds for the sickest sufferers.

San Joaquin is a part of a 12-county area that on Saturday, in response to the California Division of Public Well being, had 100% of its intensive care unit beds crammed, the best price wherever in California. And with instances persevering with at an unprecedented price, the dying toll inevitably will develop, too.

A brand new stay-at-home order was imposed this week however it’s unknown whether or not it’s going to have the supposed consequence of lastly altering sufficient folks’s habits to sluggish infections as a vaccine is extensively rolled out.

— The Related Press

UPS Worldport hub in Louisville to quickly ship vaccine

The primary shipments of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine will transfer via UPS’ Worldport international air hub on the Louisville, Kentucky, airport Sunday, an organization spokesman advised The Courier Journal, a part of the USA TODAY Community.

UPS stated the vaccine will originate from storage websites in Michigan and Wisconsin.

“The vaccines shall be transported to UPS Worldport services in Louisville, the place they are going to be expedited Subsequent Day Air to pick out locations, together with hospitals, clinics and different medical services, to inoculate healthcare employees,” the corporate stated in a information launch.

The shipments will arrive on the hub to be sorted and shall be shipped out — all on Sunday, UPS spokesman Jim Mayer stated. He stated he didn’t know what number of doses shall be transferring via. Mayer beforehand stated that UPS will ship to states within the japanese half of the US. FedEx will ship to the western half of the U.S.

– Ben Tobin, Louisville Courier Journal

‘We aren’t taking a victory lap,’ Operation Warp Velocity official says

The chief working officer of Operation Warp Velocity, the White Home effort to fund, produce and distribute a vaccine, cheered the emergency authorization of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine however warned of a troublesome street forward.

“Whereas this second is extraordinary … we have now a whole lot of work to do. We aren’t taking a victory lap,” Perna stated Saturday.

He stated it would not have made a distinction to Operation Warp Velocity if the FDA had licensed the vaccine Saturday as an alternative of Friday. “Our final objective was to get it there no later than Monday morning,” he stated.

Perna reiterated that Operation Warp Velocity would not distribute the second vaccine dose or a portion held in reserve till it has “final confidence” that there are sufficient doses and the fragile distribution system works. That would change in January or February.

“We would like no vaccines on a shelf,” Perna stated. “Doesn’t matter how efficient a vaccine is that if it is on a shelf.”

Perna stated vaccine doses had been not positioned prematurely as a result of the operation “didn’t need to presume” emergency use authorization. “In no way did we need to get forward of the good FDA and their determination making,” he stated.

FDA: No corners lower in reviewing Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

Amid issues about how shortly the FDA issued an emergency authorization for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, company leaders  burdened Saturday that they performed an intensive, clear evaluation.

“Science and information guided the FDA’s determination. We labored shortly due to the urgency of this pandemic, not due to some other exterior strain,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn stated. “I’ll completely take this COVID-19 vaccine.”

Hahn stated experiences Friday that the White Home had threatened to fireside him if the company didn’t authorize the vaccine had been “inaccurate.”

Hahn stated the company was “very involved about vaccine hesitancy” and made the method as clear as potential by posting trial information and paperwork on-line.

“Effectivity doesn’t imply any reducing of corners,” Hahn stated. The FDA “discovered methods to chop the crimson tape,” however “essential security checks remained in place,” he stated.

Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Middle for Biologics Analysis and Analysis, stated the FDA requires vaccine builders to monitor for “any vital opposed occasions” as they search commonplace approval. The FDA and the CDC are monitoring as properly, he stated.

Officers supplied extra details about whether or not sure teams of individuals ought to get the vaccine. People who find themselves pregnant or immunocompromised, who weren’t included in security trials, ought to talk about the vaccine with their suppliers “on a person foundation,” Marks stated.

Vaccination websites shall be outfitted to deal with allergic reactions, official says

Websites the place the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are administered shall be in a position to deal with allergic reactions, Marks stated. About 1.6% of the inhabitants has had a extreme allergic response to meals or one thing within the setting however are eligible to obtain the vaccine, Marks stated. Solely individuals who have had a extreme allergic response to a earlier dose of the vaccine or one in every of its parts shouldn’t obtain the vaccine.

Consultants say the substances within the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine look typical: an energetic ingredient (on this case, messenger RNA), fat, salt and sugars.

Dr. Matthew Heinz, a hospitalist based mostly in Tucson, Arizona, stated if any a part of the vaccine had been to set off an allergic response, it may very well be one of many parts of the fats molecule. However that is uncommon. “We’re speaking about a lot of comparatively delicate reactions that you may rely on one hand,” out of tens of 1000’s of individuals within the examine, he stated.

Two British folks with extreme allergic reactions apparently had reactions to Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine this week. Allergic reactions weren’t a big downside within the U.S. trial, during which greater than 20,000 folks obtained two doses of the vaccine. The U.S. trials stored out topics who’ve had extreme allergic reactions.

— Adrianna Rodriguez

Friday set one other report for COVID-19 instances, deaths

On the identical day that the FDA accredited the primary vaccine for emergency use in the US, the nation reached one other milestone in COVID-19 instances and deaths.

The nation recorded 3,309 coronavirus deaths Friday, in response to Johns Hopkins College information, surpassing Wednesday’s report when 3,124 folks died. Friday additionally noticed the best variety of day by day instances up to now within the U.S.: 231,775.

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine will get FDA authorization

In what’s hoped to be the start of the top of America’s COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA on Friday night licensed the primary vaccine to stop folks from getting sick. 

What this implies: The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine obtained emergency use authorization, which isn’t full approval. Though it has obtained all the usual short-term security and effectiveness opinions, the vaccine has not been examined for the 2 years typical of an accredited vaccine. So it’s not but clear how lengthy safety will final.  

When will you get it? Frontline well being care employees and nursing dwelling residents are anticipated to get the vaccine first. Extra doses shall be rolled out within the weeks and months to come back, with Pfizer and Moderna every anticipated to ship 100 million doses of their vaccines by the center of subsequent yr. 

What about different vaccines? Subsequent week, an analogous COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Massachusetts-based Moderna will undergo the identical evaluation course of, and will swiftly be cleared to be used.

– Karen Weintraub

In America’s hardest-hit county, COVID deaths claimed dad and mom, mates

Simply over a month in the past, the coronavirus pandemic tore via Quinter, Kansas, a rural city of 1,000, killing 20 residents. Right here, the place most everybody is aware of most everybody else, the pandemic has killed farmers and their wives. The city’s unofficial historian. The beloved grandmother whose bitter cream chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting was all the time the discuss of the occasion. The mother whose piano-playing nonetheless echoes within the heads of her mates.

And it has drained the hearts of the survivors. Those that really feel responsible about recovering. The ambulance employees battling to deal with their personal kin. The exhausted physician who watched almost half his sufferers die. 

As of Thursday, the coronavirus has killed the next proportion of Gove County residents than some other county in the US: one out of each 132 folks. Even right this moment, mask-wearing stays controversial. Friendships are strained as authorities battle to steer their neighbors to comply with primary public well being tips, akin to avoiding giant gatherings.

“We live via historical past proper now, and I fear what the historical past books will say about us,” stated Ericka Nicholson, 47, who helps run the city’s volunteer ambulance service and survived the an infection. Learn extra from Gove County, Kansas.

– Trevor Hughes

You Requested, We Answered: What to know concerning the COVID-19 vaccines

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Relentless coronavirus surge fills 1 in Eight hospital ICU items

About 1 in Eight U.S. hospitals had little or no intensive care unit area out there final week. Consultants say the variety of hospitals struggling to accommodate the nation’s sickest sufferers doubtless will improve after one other week of report COVID-19 instances.

The federal authorities this week launched a sweeping database exhibiting a one-week common of COVID-19 sufferers in hospitals nationwide. It’s the primary time the Division of Well being and Human Providers has supplied such detailed info on almost 5,000 U.S. hospitals for the reason that pandemic started. 

The absence of hospital-level info has been a blind spot within the pandemic, as directors should name neighboring hospitals to switch sufferers once they run out of beds and workers.

“We all know what’s occurring in our system, however I don’t know what’s occurring within the different programs,” stated Dr. Lewis Kaplan, professor of surgical procedure at College of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. “To have a coordinated effort that you must have that type of information so everybody is aware of the place everybody else occurs to be.” Learn extra. 

– Ken Alltucker and Aleszu Bajak

US buys one other 100M doses of Moderna’s vaccine

The Trump administration introduced Friday that it has bought an extra 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine made by Moderna, bringing the federal authorities’s whole order from the corporate to 200 million doses. The extra doses would “present for steady supply via the top of June 2021,” the Division of Well being and Human Providers stated in a press launch.

“Securing one other 100 million doses from Moderna by June 2021 additional expands our provide of doses throughout the Operation Warp Velocity portfolio of vaccines,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar stated in an announcement. “This new federal buy can provide People even larger confidence we could have sufficient provide to vaccinate all People who need it by the second quarter of 2021.”

Moderna turned the second vaccine maker within the U.S. to request authorization from the FDA on the finish of final month. The corporate’s newest findings confirmed that of 196 folks within the medical trial who caught COVID-19, 185 of them had obtained the placebo, whereas solely 11 had obtained the vaccine. That works out to an effectiveness price above 94%.

Wisconsin lady reunites with household after battling virus for almost Three months

After spending over 80 days battling COVID-19 in a Wisconsin hospital, Nancy Van Dyn Hoven on Friday was reunited together with her household and mates — simply in time for the vacations.

“Apart from 2020 being terrible, that is simply the perfect,” Van Dyn Hoven, 60, stated Friday at dwelling, chuckling together with her husband, Dennis, and daughter, Stacy Arnoldussen. “It is all I might ask for.” 

Dr. Anthony Zeimet, an infectious illnesses specialist on the hospital and Nancy’s physician, stated the severity of her sickness was significantly shocking as a result of she was simply 59 years outdated — she turned 60 within the hospital — and had no underlying well being circumstances that will put her at increased danger of extreme sickness.

“The virus type of ravaged her physique,” Zeimet stated. “It simply goes to indicate that, with COVID, we do not know who’s going to do properly or do poorly. Nancy was somebody who, when she was first admitted, we thought she’d do fairly properly. … Sadly, she ended up being right here for 80-plus days.”

Though Nancy’s restoration is much from over and he or she has a protracted street of rehabilitation providers forward, Friday marked the top of a months-long battle with the virus. Learn extra.

— Samantha West, Appleton Put up-Crescent

This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus updates: California area has 0.0% out there ICU capability; US experiences 16 millionth case; vaccinations to start Monday

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