Coronavirus News Update – April 24: U.S. Lifts Pause on J&J Vaccine But Adds Safety Warning

Apple to Offer Vaccinations to Employees, A First in Silicon Valley

By Anna Breuer on 24 April 2021
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The main staircase in Apple’s store in New York City, which reopened in lat 2019

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said that the use of the Johnson & Johnson Jannsen one-shot coronavirus vaccine could resume as soon as Saturday after the two lifted their recommended pause on its use. The FDA said however, that the vaccine’s label will now carry an update to warn of the possibility of blood clots.  The move came on the heels of a vote by the CDC’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices, which recommended lifting the pause.

As of Saturday morning, the world has recorded over 146.7 million Covid-19 cases and has seen over 3.1 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, over 124.4 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year, the world has administered more than 966 million doses, the equivalent of approximately 12.22 doses for every 100 people as of Saturday morning, a .18 increase over Friday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Saturday, over 137.2 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.  Approximately 52.6% of the population over the age of 18 – some 135.7 million people – has received at least a first inoculation, including 90.8 million people, or 35.2% of the same population, over a third of all adults in the country, who have received both doses. Overall, 27.5% of the population, or 91.2 million people, has been fully vaccinated against the virus, a 0.6 percentage point increase over Friday.

Apple said it will offer coronavirus vaccinations to its employees in various offices, and is working with Walgreens Boots Alliance, the owner of both Walgreens and Boots, to distribute the shots. The company will roll out a website for members of its staff to sign up for appointments. The move makes it one of the first Silicon Valley companies to do so.

The number of colleges and universities that will require students be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus has increased dramatically.  Over 30 schools, most recently California State University and the University of California, two schools representing over one million students, staff, and members of faculty, as well as Georgetown University, Yale University, Stanford University, Wesleyan University, Grinnell College, Bowdoin College, Emory University, American University, George Washington University, and Vassar College have enacted similar policies for the fall semester.

In Canada, officials in British Columbia are restricting non-essential travel between three regional zones within the province. The government is planning strict enforcement but will allow travel to work and school, the transport of goods, and travel for child or health care. The move comes at a time where  “record levels of hospitalizations“ are placing “a growing strain on the front-line health workers,” said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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