The U.S. drop in demand is leading some states to turn down vaccine shipments, and the federal government will soon start sharing more of its surplus with the rest of the world.
Up to 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine could be exported in the coming months, according to reports.
Louisiana has stopped asking the federal government for its full allotment of COVID-19 vaccine. In Mississippi, officials asked the federal government to ship vials in smaller packages so they don’t go to waste. About half of Iowa’s counties have stopped asking for new doses from the state.
And even as Kansas remains far from reaching the coveted public health standard of herd immunity against COVID-19 – essentially starving off the virus because it runs out of vulnerable bodies – more than 60 counties turned down their weekly allotment of vaccine doses.
“Herd immunity is great and 80% sounds wonderful,” said Karen Winkelman, a nurse and the Barton County health director in Kansas. Barton County has given at least one dose of the vaccine to about 30% of its adults compared with 36.4% across the state.
“But I don’t think we would ever reach that," she added.
Some are urging federal officials to send more vaccines to places where there is demand – rather than allocate them based on population – including in Massachusetts, where Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday that the state could administer two to three times more doses per day if it had more supply.
– Abigail Censky, Topeka Capital-Journal
Also in the news:
►American tourists could soon be visiting continental Europe again, more than a year after the European Union restricted travel to the 27-nation bloc to a bare minimum to contain the coronavirus.
►New Jersey will increase capacity for indoor weddings, proms and other catered events beginning May 10, along with outdoor capacities at large venues, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.
►British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday denied a press report that quoted him as allegedly saying he would rather see “bodies pile high in their thousands” than impose a third national lockdown on the country.
►More than a year into the coronavirus pandemic, some of the worst fears are coming true in the crowded Gaza Strip: A sudden surge in infections and deaths is threatening to overwhelm hospitals weakened by years of conflict and border closures.
►Iran on Monday registered its highest single-day death toll from COVID-19, state TV reported, bringing the total number of fatalities to over 70,000 in the country hardest hit by the coronavirus in the region.
►A suburban Minneapolis nursing home has paid Minnesota's largest fine – $27,100 – for a coronavirus violation. David Kolleh died last May at Sholom Community Alliance, which was cited for failing to provide an adequate respiratory program for workers.
►Three out of every five Coloradans hospitalized for COVID-19 since mid-March were younger than 60, indicating to some a flipping of the virus surge as the vaccine protects seniors, reported the Denver Post.
📈 Today's numbers: The U.S. has more than 32 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 572,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: More than 147 million cases and 3.1 million deaths. More than 290.6 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S. and 228.6 million have been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
📘 What we're reading: Have a loved one who doesn't want to get the COVID-19 vaccine? Here's how to talk to them.
US to share up to 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine
The U.S. will begin sharing its entire pipeline of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, up to 60 million doses, once they clear federal safety reviews, possibly in the next several weeks, the White House told The Associated Press on Monday.
The move greatly expands on the Biden administration’s action last month to share about 4 million doses of the vaccine with Mexico and Canada. The AstraZeneca vaccine is widely in use around the world but not yet authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
With the restart of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine last weekend, the White House feels more confident about the supply for domestic use.
“Given the strong portfolio of vaccines that the U.S. already has and that have been authorized by the FDA, and given that the AstraZeneca vaccine is not authorized for use in the U.S., we do not need to use the AstraZeneca vaccine here during the next several months,” White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said.
First known case of male developing clot after J&J vaccine reported
The University of California-San Francisco has reported the first known case of a male in the United States developing a blood clot after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. More than a dozen previous cases involved women under 50. The UCSF case was a Bay Area resident in his early 30s who got a clot in his leg and was hospitalized, officials told the San Francisco Chronicle. The patient, who was improving and scheduled to leave the hospital in a few days, received his Johnson & Johnson shot on April 8 and began to experience escalating pain in the lower back and leg on April 16, UCSF said.
More than a dozen states have once again begun administering the J&J vaccine, which had been paused for almost two weeks while the clotting cases were investigated.
Navajo Nation set to ease restrictions, open restaurants
The Navajo Department of Health on Monday was expected to loosen some virus-driven restrictions and transition to “yellow status.” Restaurants will be allowed to have in-door dining at 25% capacity and outdoor dining at 50% capacity. Parks will be permitted to open at 25% capacity but only for residents and employees. Navajo casinos will be able to open at 50% capacity but only for residents and staff as well.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says more than half of the reservation’s adult population has been vaccinated.
Summer destinations may draw big crowds, few workers
As vaccinated Americans start to get comfortable traveling again, popular summer destinations are anticipating a busy season. But hotel, restaurant and retail store owners warn that staffing shortages exacerbated by the pandemic could force them to limit occupancy, curtail hours and services or shut down facilities entirely just as they’re starting to bounce back from a grim year.
“It’s the ‘Hunger Games’ for these employers, fighting for getting these guest workers into the country while also trying everything they can to recruit domestically,” said Brian Crawford, an executive vice president for the American Hotel and Lodging Association. “It’s really frustrating. They’re trying to regain their footing after this disastrous pandemic but they just can’t catch a break.”
World seeing record surge in cases, driven by India
India reported about 353,000 new coronavirus cases Sunday, a pace of more than 4 cases every second. The country's surge is helping drive a record number of cases in the world: Nearly 5.8 million cases reported in the week ending Sunday, a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. Globally, about 9.6 coronavirus cases are being reported every second. About nine deaths are reported every minute.
In the week ending Sunday, Brazil reported the world's worst death toll of 17,462. India's was second-worst at 16,354. But Brazil's death toll has been falling and India's has been skyrocketing as cases spike.
The U.S. will send vaccine supplies and experts to India in coming days, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday. President Joe Biden said he is "determined to hep India in its time of need."
– Mike Stucka
Can bar patronage encourage vaccination?
The owner of an iconic Washington, D.C., blues bar says allowing him to reopen Madame's Organ might save his business – and persuade fence-sitters to get vaccinated. Bill Duggan told WJLA-TV he has asked the city to allow him to reopen after more than a year with an all-vaccinated staff and patrons who can prove vaccination. Besides getting people back to work, Duggan says this could also serve as an incentive for some to get the shot.
"If you're a strict anti-vaxxer we’re not going to convince you, but if you’re on the fence, then, yes, there’s an incentive to do it, and it’s a fun incentive, and it costs the government nothing," he said.
More than 5 million Americans have skipped second vaccine dose
The latest data from the CDC highlights the importance of getting the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine back in circulation despite the tiny chance it could lead to blood clots in some women. More than 5 million Americans who were inoculated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, both of which require two shots weeks apart, have failed to get the second one within the recommended interval. That's almost 8% of the first-dose recipients, and the numbers are growing.
The New York Times reports that the reasons for skipping the second shot include fear of side effects, lack of supply and feeling that one dose provides enough protection.
Although the U.S. ranks among the leading countries in the world with 42% of the population receiving at least one dose, only 28.5% of the country's 330 million people are fully vaccinated.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID-19: US to share AstraZeneca vaccine; blood clots; J&J vaccine