Coronavirus News Update – March 10: Even For Those Who Have Been Vaccinated, Travel Still Unadvisable, CDC Says

By Jesse Sokolow on 10 March 2021
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A hall in the Grand Kremlin Palace

As of Wednesday morning, the coronavirus has infected over 118.2 million people worldwide. The death toll from the virus is above 2.6 million, according to Worldometer, which tracks the data.

Meanwhile, since the start of vaccinations at the end of 2020, the world has administered more than 316.6 million doses, the equivalent of 4.1 doses for every 100 people. Around 61 million people in the United States have received at least one dose, including approximately 32 million who have received both doses. Nearly 24% of the population in the United States over the age of 18 has received at least one dose and 12.6% have received both doses.

Those numbers could soon begin to increase at a faster arte, as Governor Mike Dunleavy of Alaska announced on Tuesday that every resident of the state aged 16 and older would now be eligible to receive a vaccination. The state, which has already inoculated 16% of its population, is the first in the U.S. to allow such widespread vaccinations.

In Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan announced that he would lift capacity limits and restrictions in gyms, stores, and places of worship beginning Friday at 5 p.m. Meanwhile, restaurants and bars will be allowed to be open for seated service only, specifically excluding having patrons standing at the bar.

Although the Centers for Disease Control announced on Monday that individuals who have been fully vaccinated could safely have small indoor gatherings, its director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, warned that those who have been vaccinated should still avoid travel if possible. “We know that after mass travel, after vacations, after holidays, we tend to see a surge in cases,” Walensky said. “And so, we really want to make sure –  again with just 10% of people vaccinated –  that we are limiting travel.”

On Tuesday, Walgreens’ online booking system for making vaccine appointments crashed for a number of hours. During this time, people were unable to book appointments, nor were they able to get through for help with online chat or by phone. Walgreens recently announced it will be expanding its inoculation program to administer the vaccines in 43 U.S. states and jurisdictions. It had previously only provided the vaccine in 27. The pharmacy chain has currently administered approximately 8% of total vaccinations in the United States

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York said that beginning Wednesday, people there aged 60 and older can sign up for Covid-19 vaccines. Previously, only those who were 65 and older as well as those with comorbidities and in certain occupations were eligible for the vaccine. In addition, the state will be expanding vaccine eligibility on March 17 to include more essential workers whose jobs require them to frequently interact with the public.

A new lab analysis showed that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine successfully combats and neutralizes stronger, more contagious variants of the coronavirus, including the strain from Brazil. The vaccine had a similar success rate with the strain from the U.K., although its effectiveness against the South African strain was lower.

The Kremlin in Moscow announced a deal with Italy to begin production of its Sputnik V vaccine there, marking the first time the Russian vaccine will be produced in the European Union. Swiss-based pharmaceutical company Adienne will manufacture the vaccine in the Milan region of the country beginning this July.

Anna Breuer Contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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