Case numbers trend downward in Germany as UK implements new border policies.
Today, Australia has received its first doses of vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The rollout will begin next week on Monday, with the first 1.4 million recipients being frontline healthcare workers, quarantine and border workers, and aged care and disability staff and residents. The country acquired 142,000 doses of Pfizer’s BNT162b2, with the first shipment of 62,000 being set aside for second doses.
Late last week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave Moderna the okay to increase the amount of vaccine they put in their vials by 40%. This allows the company to up the doses in each vial from 10 to 14, increasing the US stock much faster than anticipated. However, the FDA did state that they would need the company to submit more data showing an immediate 20% increase would not compromise the vials.
Additionally, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced its guidance for the reopening of schools safely. The agency laid out a mitigation strategy involving 5 key steps. The strategies include: required masking, physical distancing, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, and contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the health department.
Data Table per Our World in Data (Feb 14, 2021, 12 AM EST)
The US saw another 64,000 new cases of COVID-19 this past Sunday alone, with 1,084 pandemic-related deaths. This comes as investigators have identified several troubling new variants of the virus that have been spreading across the country.
Data Table per CDC COVID-19 Tracker (Feb 14, 2021, 6 AM EST)
For more information on COVID-19 vaccination research, distribution, and assessment, check out some of these recent Contagion stories:
AstraZeneca Vaccine Preprint Does Not Bode Well for COVID-19 Variant Response
Experimental Antiviral Effective at Treating and Preventing COVID-19
Establishing a Successful Global Immunization Strategy Against COVID-19