• February 8, 2023

New York City, Texas vaccine shipments; 490K US deaths

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said doses expected this week were delayed by winter weather in other parts of the country, forcing the city to postpone 30,000 to 35,000 vaccination appointments. The city has fewer than 30,000 first doses left and could run out of COVID-19 vaccine Thursday, he said in a daily update

A public health expert said the delays were unacceptable.

“If vaccine centers take snow days, it will help things more than before,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, Senior Scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “The virus doesn’t need snow days.”

The southeastern US, surrounded by power outages and freezing conditions, faces the same problems. Some vaccination centers have canceled appointments and vaccine deliveries continue to be delayed, said Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 response coordinator.

Samantha Bequer, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Emergency Management, said 200,000 doses of Moderna vaccine, expected to arrive Tuesday, are expected Thursday.

And in Texas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention postponed supplies last Friday in preparation for the winter storm. State officials do not expect deliveries until later this week at the earliest.

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:

► The White House has postponed President Joe Biden’s planned trip to Michigan. Delayed his tour of a Pfizer facility in Portage Thursday through Friday according to sources familiar with the visit. Although details of the delay were not available, Washingtoners were slammed with ice and snow on Thursday.

►New York is suing Amazon, claiming the company failed to provide a safe environment for workers in two camps as COVID-19 infections increased nationwide.

►If the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine seems messy and incomprehensible, with numbers that don’t add up and assignments that don’t make sense, you’re not alone.

►North Korea attempted to hack into the servers of US drug maker Pfizer to steal information about coronavirus vaccines, South Korean intelligence officials reported Tuesday The Washington Post.

►In Remarks US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged “all countries” to provide all data from the earliest days of their outbreak on Wednesday before the United Nations Security Council. The comments come days after reports that China refused to provide raw data on early COVID-19 cases to a World Health Organization team Exploring the origins of the pandemic.

📈 Today’s numbers: The US has more than 27.8 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 490,400 deaths. according to the Johns Hopkins University. The global total: more than 109.87 million cases and 2.42 million deaths. In the United States, more than 72.4 million vaccine doses have been distributed and about 56.2 million administered. according to CDC.

📘 What we read: Do you want a carefree fourth of July? COVID-19 vaccinations need to be accelerated – and fast. Read more here.

Cuomo needs more heat for deaths in nursing homes

The Justice Department has investigated New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus task force try to determine whether the state has deliberately tampered with data Regarding nursing home deaths, two people familiar with the matter reported to The Associated Press. Cuomo, once a national leader in the fight against the virus, faces calls for an investigation after his top adviser Melissa DeRosa told lawmakers last week that the state was releasing certain COVID-19 data on nursing homes to the state Legislators have “paused”. Cuomo and DeRosa said they delayed the release of the data because they were focused on a similar Justice Department investigation.

“No excuses,” Cuomo said this week. “We should have done better at providing information, we should have cut the disinformation better. I take responsibility for it. I am responsible.”

– Jon Campbell

The pandemic is seriously affecting the life expectancy of the black population

Life expectancy in the United States fell to its lowest level in 15 yearsand even lower for black Americans and Latinos during the first half of the coronavirus pandemic, a study published Thursday found. Data through June 2020 shows that life expectancy at birth for the entire US population fell by one year from 2019 to 77.8 years, its lowest level since 2006, according to researchers from the Centers for the Control and Prevention of National Health Statistics Diseases. The life expectancy of the black population decreased the most from 2019 – by 2.7 years to 72 years.

“It was disturbing to see that the gains being made for the black community and the narrowing of the life expectancy gap between African Americans and (white) Americans had stalled over the past six years,” said Dr. Leon McDougle, president of the National Medical Association.

– Adrianna Rodriguez

According to a new report, the Pfizer vaccine is weaker than the South African variant

The neutralizing antibody response of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine was reduced by two thirds compared to the coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa. However, it is not known how this could affect the level of protection of the vaccine. This emerges from a preliminary report released on Wednesday in New England Journal of Medicine.

The South African variant known as B.1.351 has only been detected in around 20 COVID-19 cases in the US, but was a cause for concern as it could potentially resist vaccines. Pfizer and BioNTech said there was “no clinical evidence yet” that the vaccine against this variant was not effective, but are still working on an update or a booster shot.

“It is unclear what effect a reduction in neutralization by about two thirds would have on the (vaccine)-induced protection against Covid-19 caused by the B.1.351 line of SARS-CoV-2,” it says in the research-authored report from Pfizer, BioNTech, and the University of Texas Medical Department.

The researchers found no reduction in effectiveness compared to the British variant.

2 Louisiana residents are charged with attempting to bribe the Hawaiian airport screener

Two Louisiana residents were arrested for attempting to bribe the Hawaii airport screeners so they could bypass the state’s mandatory Safe Travels rules. Johntrell White, 29, and Nadia Bailey, 28, arrived in Hawaii on February 12th with no “valid COVID-19 exemptions or pre-tests” Press release. They told an airport screener that they would give her $ 3,000 to let them both pass without quarantine.

“The screener alerted the deputy sheriffs, who both arrested them for bribery. White and Bailey were booked and released and immediately flew back to the mainland,” the release said.

Hawaii’s current travel restrictions allow visitors to submit a negative test prior to arrival or undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine.

Mexico arrested 6 for trafficking fake coronavirus vaccines

Police in Mexico on Wednesday arrested six people in the northern border state of Nuevo León for alleged trafficking in counterfeit coronavirus vaccines. Deputy Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell later said the fakes were presented as Pfizer vaccines, which are only available in Mexico through government vaccination teams. He said the suspects put the vaccines on sale for the equivalent of around $ 2,000 per dose.

“You are not messing around with health and at these moments of the pandemic no one should benefit from it,” said Public Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodríguez.

Contributor: The Associated Press

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