With the majority of states having already lifted vaccine restrictions for all adults in recent weeks, the United States is moving ever closer to President Joe Biden’s two vaccine targets.
Three more will join them this week: First, Illinois will open vaccine eligibility for people 16 and older on Monday, and closely follow Washington state and California on Thursday.
All of this comes nearly a week ahead of Biden’s goal for states to make all adults in the United States eligible for coronavirus vaccines, which is Monday, April 19. The remaining six states after this week will open on or before that date.
But vaccine reluctance is becoming a pervasive problem: The number of U.S. counties with unfilled vaccine appointments at Walmart, CVS, and Rite Aid distribution chains has increased by about 60% over the past year. last week. Public health experts have warned of the hard work ahead to vaccinate enough Americans to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, states will see a sharp drop in shipments of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine this week as the company struggles to meet its manufacturing schedule.
Also in the news:
►Travel is on the rise all over the United States: The country averaged more than 1.5 million travelers on Thursday and Friday and nearly 1.4 million travelers on Saturday, like Easter weekend figures, according to data from the Transportation Security Administration.
► Nearly 40% of US Marines who have been offered the COVID-19 vaccine have declined it, according to the Pentagon. Of the 123,500 Marines who have had access to the vaccine, 75,500 are either fully vaccinated or have received a dose, while about 48,000 have refused it, communications and communications strategy officer USA TODAY told USA. operations, Captain Andrew Woods.
► As Michigan grapples with the highest rate of new coronavirus infections in the country, a surge that is straining hospitals and prompted a pause in some elective procedures, Governor Gretchen Whitmer continues to do so. pressure on the White House to change its vaccine distribution plan.
►The Wonder Wheel began to spin and the cyclone kicked in as Coney Island’s illustrious amusement parks reopened on Friday after the coronavirus pandemic closed New York’s iconic summer playground all year round last. After 529 days of closure, “it’s a very moving day. We wanted to spread the positivity, ”said Alessandro Zamperla, president of the company that owns Luna Park – the home of the cyclone – during an opening ceremony.
📈 Today’s numbers: The United States has more than 31.19 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 562,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: 135.85 million cases and 2.93 million deaths. More than 237.79 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed in the United States and 187 million have been administered, according to the CDC.
📘 What we read: The Federal Emergency Management Agency is paying a maximum of $ 9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $ 35,500 per request, in a program that will launch on Monday, April 12. Here is what you need to know.
USA TODAY follows COVID-19 news. Keep refreshing this page for the latest updates. Want more? Sign up for our Coronavirus Watch newsletter for updates to your inbox and join our Facebook group.
The doctors said they had done all they could. Then his wife spoke
On the same day, Debbie Lloyd’s father succumbed to COVID-19, doctors told him there was not much for her husband to do. Kevin Lloyd’s lungs had been scarred with the virus, and only high-flow oxygen was keeping him alive. His doctors saw little long-term hope for him, given the damaged condition of his lungs. Debbie Lloyd determined that she could not lose her father and her husband on the same day to the same illness. So Debbie, an elementary school secretary, took a photo in the dark.
What about a lung transplant? she asked. Today Debbie and Kevin Lloyd breathe easier. Read their story here.
– Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis star
Florida Reports Single-Digit Increase in COVID-19 Deaths
For the first time in nearly seven months, the state of Florida has only reported a single-digit increase in new reported deaths linked to the coronavirus pandemic. The state’s health department said on Sunday that seven other Floridians and two other non-residents had died from COVID-19. Over the past two weeks, reported daily COVID deaths in the state have ranged between 22 and 98, and reported week-to-week deaths have slowly declined since January. Only five new coronavirus deaths in Florida were reported on September 28.
The state continues to dominate the country in the number of UK variants of the coronavirus, with 3,510 cases identified, as well as 126 cases of variants in Brazil and 27 cases with the variant first identified in South Africa.
—Hannah Morse, Palm Beach Post
United States pledges to be the leader in global vaccinations
China’s inability to share information and provide access to international public health experts in the early stages of the pandemic fueled the global crisis, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday. “I think China knows that in the early stages of COVID, it didn’t do what it needed to do,” Blinken said on NBC’s “Meet the Press”. “And one of the results of that failure is that the (virus) got out of hand faster and with, I think, much more glaring results than it otherwise could.”
The secretary pledged that the United States will be “the world leader in helping to ensure that the whole world is immunized.”
Blinken said the pandemic has exposed the need for a “stronger global health security system to ensure this doesn’t happen again” and to ensure the world can mitigate public health crises. Blinken said the World Health Organization needs to be strengthened and reformed, and “China needs to play a role.”
Contribute: The Associated Press