The pace of vaccination in India has slowed and regional officials say they have limited quantities of vaccines to administer, even as the country grapples with an increase in coronavirus cases and complaints of oxygen shortages in hospitals.
The second most populous country in the world sets a record rate of infections: just over 403,000 confirmed cases reported on Sunday, including 4,092 deaths.
At the same time, vaccinations per day fell to 1.3 million on average last week. That’s down from 3.5 million a day in April. So far, around 10% of the Indian population have received one dose, while just under 2.5% have received both.
India’s Supreme Court is setting up a national task force to conduct an “oxygen check” to determine whether federal supplies are reaching states. The country’s highest court intervened last week to ensure the federal government was providing more oxygen to New Delhi hospitals.
The European Union on Friday called on the United States to start increasing its vaccine exports to help contain the global crisis. The United States said earlier last week that it would support efforts to remove some intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines to allow more countries to produce more, but officials said that it would not have an immediate impact on global supplies and drug manufacturers. opposed the lifting of patent protections.
Also in the news:
►Washington DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s recent dance ban has received backlash for banning wedding traditions such as cocktail hour and father-daughter dances.
►The pace of vaccinations in the United States has slowed from its April 10 peak of 4.6 million vaccines daily. Public health agencies are working harder to get gunfire, a critical effort that could help President Joe Biden’s new target of 70% of Americans get at least one shot by July 4.
► Pfizer and BioNTech said on Friday they had submitted an application for full FDA approval of their COVID-19 vaccine for people aged 16 and older.
►Pakistan received its first supply of COVID-19 vaccines through the UN-backed COVAX initiative on Saturday, over 1.2 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
►The Republicans-controlled Kansas legislature has canceled efforts to remove Democratic Housekeeper Laura Kelly from final decisions on how federal coronavirus relief funds are spent.
📈 Numbers of the day: The United States has more than 32.6 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 581,500 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: over 157 million cases and 3.2 million deaths. More than 329 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed in the United States and more than 257 million have been administered, according to the CDC. More than 112.6 million Americans have been fully immunized – 33.9% of the population.
📘 What we read: COVID-19 Fear, Anxiety Continues to Keep Americans Fully Immunized. Where does it come from and how can we overcome it?
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CDC Updates Airborne Threat Guidelines
The Centers for Disease Control updated public guidelines on Friday to point out that the coronavirus spreads through the air – in tiny droplets exhaled by others – and can be transmitted at distances greater than 6 feet.
According to previous agency guidelines, the virus is spread “primarily through close person-to-person contact.”
The CDC said the virus can be inhaled, come in contact with the eyes, nose or mouth, and can contaminate surfaces people touch under certain circumstances. The agency said people within six feet are still more likely to be infected, but the advice reflects current knowledge about transmission and has been “reformatted to be more concise.”
“Although the way we understand transmission has changed, the means of preventing infection with this virus have not changed,” the agency said in a statement. “All of the prevention measures recommended by the CDC remain effective for these forms of transmission.”
– Donovan Slack
Trader Joe’s Removes Top Hours At Many Stores
Trader Joe’s has reduced working hours at several of its 515+ stores.
The specialty supermarket, like the majority of large grocery stores nationwide, began designating special shopping hours in March 2020 to help those the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention then considered to be most vulnerable and at risk for COVID-19.
Originally, Trader Joe’s reserved the first hour each day in all stores for those 60 and over and customers with disabilities. Hours were then reduced to twice a week – usually Wednesday and Sunday – in most stores with some variation.
But recently, hundreds of its stores have stopped offering the specified time, the company confirmed to USA TODAY. To find out if your store still offers senior hours, read more here.
– Kelly Tyko