States turn down vacccines; US to send supplies to India
The U.S. drop in demand is leading some states to turn down vaccine shipments.
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 on Thursday that the state could administer two to three times more doses per day if they had more supply.
– Abigail Censky, Topeka Capital-Journal
Also in the news:
►A suburban Minneapolis nursing home has paid the state’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.
►Alaska Airlines has banned an Alaska state senator from its flights, saying she refused to follow mask requirements. State Sen. Lora Reinbold of Eagle River was recorded last week at Juneau International Airport apparently arguing with airport and Alaska Airlines staff about mask policies.
►At least 16 states have begun administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine after their governors signed off on resuming the use of the one-dose shot.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more than 32 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 572,100 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.
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 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.
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.”
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
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.
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