President Joe Biden toured a Pfizer manufacturing facility in Michigan on Friday and emphasized the safety of vaccines. He said Americans should get vaccinated “when it is your turn and available”.
He asked the Americans to get vaccinated when he wanted to highlight his government’s strong commitment to advancing the production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
The President’s news came amid reports Delays in shipping vaccines due to winter storms across the country. Andy Slavitt, White House senior advisor on the COVID-19 response, said federal partners had planned to make Saturday deliveries and that leftover cans could be expected to be delivered. “within the next week. ”
“I cannot give you a date when this crisis will end. But I can tell you that we are doing everything we can to ensure that that day comes sooner rather than later,” said Biden after touring the Pfizer facility.
USA TODAY is tracking COVID-19 news. Please keep updating this page for the latest updates. Want more? Sign up for our Coronavirus Watch newsletter for updates in your inbox and Join our Facebook group.
In the headlines:
►For the earliest confusion, most hospitals, clinics, and vaccination centers have protocols and systems in place to ensure that every last dose of vaccine is used.
►The US plans to open five more community vaccination centers, including one in Philadelphia and four in Florida, in Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville and Tampa, Salvitt said on Friday.
► The FDA is reviewing data from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine study and plans to consult with the agency’s independent advisory committee on February 26. “We should hear from you soon,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci on Friday.
►Pfizer announced on Friday that it would apply for approval to store its vaccine in regular pharmaceutical freezers rather than the extremely cold temperatures currently required.
►California plans to provide 10% of the first vaccine doses For educators, school staff and childcare workers from March to bring children back to the classrooms, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Friday.
► Experts say the United States could quickly expand the country’s limited testing offering and improve the speed by approving paper-based rapid antigen tests. The downside: Rapid tests are less accurate when compared to lab tests, which take longer to complete and cost $ 100 or more.
📈 Today’s numbers: The US has more than 28.0 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 495,000 deaths. according to the Johns Hopkins University. The global total: more than 110.8 million cases and 2.45 million deaths. In the United States, more than 78.1 million vaccine doses have been distributed and about 59.5 million administered. according to CDC.
📘 What we read: “He shouldn’t be dead”: One year after her father died of COVID-19, The family is about to be lost.
The president and three members of a California school board resigned after mocking parents in a livestream meeting about reopening the school, which they believed was private.
Greg Hetrick, superintendent of Oakley Union Elementary School District in Costa County, announced that board members had submitted their resignation in a letter to the school community on Friday, calling it an “unfortunate situation.”
The video of Wednesday night’s meeting was shared on social media and appears to capture board members mocking parents who wrote letters to petition the board to reopen schools amid the coronavirus pandemic. “They want to choose us because they want their babysitters back,” said CEO Lisa Brizendine.
The board members also use explosives and laugh at parents who use medical marijuana. Towards the end of the recording, the board members seem shocked to receive a message indicating that the livestream is public. In a statement, the board members expressed their “sincere apologies” and said they “deeply regret the comments made at the meeting”.
Growing evidence suggests that a smartwatch or wearable like a Fitbit could help warn carriers of possible COVID-19 infection before a positive test result.
Wearables like the Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch, Fitbit and other devices can record heart and oxygen data as well as sleep and activity values. Researchers are investigating whether a body’s health data could point to an impending COVID-19 infection.
COVID-19 infection may not be imminent for a person whose heart or activity data suggests a possible infection. However, the increased likelihood – and the ability to alert the patient to testing and possibly quarantine – could be an important tool in preventing and tracking the spread of the disease, researchers say.
If demonstrated, such results can lead to remote medical alerts for other possible viruses, flu, and undue stress.
– Mike Snider
The Argentine health minister resigns in the vaccination scandal
President Alberto Fernández ousted Argentina’s health minister on Friday after a well-known local journalist said he had preferred to get a coronavirus vaccination after requesting one from the minister.
The president “instructed his chief of staff to request the health minister’s resignation,” said Ginés González García, who is in charge of the government’s COVID-19 strategy, a government official who was not empowered to post the information, and spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The sacking follows reports in recent days that mayors, lawmakers, activists and people close to political power have received vaccination shots despite not being a priority group of doctors, health workers and the authorized elderly.
Two-dose Pfizer vaccine stays here despite new study
A new study from Israel restarted the public debate on Friday over the gap between the two cans of COVID-19 vaccine, but the US government is not moving in its commitment to the original schedule.
The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine could be just as effective if the interval between doses is greater than the recommended 21 days, according to the new study from Israel. If the doses could be given further apart, more people could be protected faster. Vaccine supplies, which are currently quite limited, are expected to increase in late spring.
However, government officials want to stick to the dosage schedule, which has been scientifically proven to be effective, and warn that a change could weaken the vaccine’s effectiveness against variants or even spur the creation of new variants that evade this protection.
The current schedule provides “an optimal response when dealing with variations,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease doctor, in a news conference on Friday.
– Karen Weintraub
Africa Reaches 100,000 Known COVID-19 Deaths
Africa has exceeded 100,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 as the continent has been praised for its early response to the pandemic and is now facing a dangerous resurgence and medical oxygen is often very scarce.
There are hardly any large-scale COVID-19 vaccines available on the 54-nation continent with around 1.3 billion inhabitants, but a variant of the virus that dominates South Africa already poses a challenge to vaccination efforts. However, if doses are available, the continent should be able to vaccinate 35% to 40% of its population by the end of 2021 and 60% by the end of 2022, said John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Health officials who breathed a sigh of relief last year when African countries did not see many deaths from COVID-19 are now reporting an increase in deaths. The Africa CDC said Friday that the total death toll stands at 100,294.
– The Associated Press
Featuring: Courtney Subramanian, USA TODAY; The Associated Press