U.S. Will Have Enough Vaccine for 130 Million People by End of March


The U.S. vaccine supply for next month just got bigger. 

​On Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson said it will be ready next month to ship 20 million doses of its one-shot vaccine. That adds to a coming surge in vaccine availability, according to a Bloomberg analysis of drugmaker promises.

Along with vaccines from Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc., which both require two doses, the delivery targets through next month will be enough to fully vaccinate 130 million Americans.

Bloomberg’s analysis is based on company statements, data on the number of shots already delivered and conversations with people familiar with the efforts who spoke on condition of anonymity. The analysis assumes J&J’s shot, which hasn’t been approved yet, is cleared for use and that drugmakers meet their new delivery targets — not a guarantee.

The vaccine makers are appearing before Congress Tuesday to give an overview of the rollout so far. J&J will be ready to hand over 4 million doses upon approval and a total of 20 million doses in March, Richard Nettles, J&J’s vice president of U.S. medical affairs for infectious diseases and vaccines, told Congress Tuesday. That new promise updates an analysis Bloomberg published last week that had assumed J&J would deliver fewer shots early on.  

“We are confident in our plans to deliver 100 million single-dose vaccines to the United States during the first half of 2021, and we are continuing to partner with the U.S. government to explore all options to accelerate delivery,” Nettles said. The company should be able to produce a billion doses globally by the end of the year, he said.

Single vaccine jab linked to 85% and 94% drop in risk of coronavirus hospital admissions in Scotland, study shows


The COVID-19 vaccines being used in the UK could reduce a person’s risk of being admitted to hospital by as much as 94% four weeks after the first dose, new data suggests.

Experts examined coronavirus hospital admissions in Scotland among people who have had their first jab and compared them to those who had not yet received a vaccine.

Scientists from the Universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde, Aberdeen, Glasgow and St Andrews and Public Health Scotland (PHS) looked at data on people who had received either the Pfizer/BioNTech jab or the one developed by scientists at the University of Oxford with AstraZeneca.

Four weeks after receiving the initial dose, the Oxford jab appeared to reduce a person’s risk of hospital admission by 94%.

Those who received the Pfizer jab had a reduction in risk of 85% between 28 and 34 days after the first dose.

UK’s R number falls slightly to between 0.6 and 0.9


The UK’s coronavirus reproduction number – or R number – now stands at between 0.6 and 0.9.

It represents a slight fall from last week’s estimate of 0.7-0.9, when it dropped below one for the first time since July.

The 0.6 figure is also the lowest seen since the government first started publishing the figures in May 2020.

The R refers to the average number of people an infected person will pass COVID-19 on to.

Anything above one means the coronavirus outbreak is growing exponentially.

The figures for R and the growth rate are provided by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

The Covid vaccines data that can pave way to freedom


Vaccines appear to cut Covid transmissions and infections by two-thirds according to the first “real world data” examining their impact, The Telegraph can disclose.

Key data being handed to Boris Johnson as he finalises a roadmap out of lockdown shows that just one dose of either the Oxford or Pfizer vaccines has such an effect on all age groups.

Mr Johnson and his scientific advisers are expected to examine key findings showing the impact of the jabs on transmission, infection, hospitalisations and deaths.

Whitehall sources said the studies would be a crucial part of deliberations over Britain’s route out of lockdown and that all the findings so far were “very encouraging”.

Separate data shows that Covid cases are falling most rapidly among the oldest, with care home outbreaks almost halving in a week.

The statistics appear to vindicate Britain’s strategy of vaccinating by age order, with cases among those over the age of 80 falling by 38 per cent in seven days.

California’s positivity rate drops sharply, a promising indicator for reopening


California’s coronavirus numbers continue to show signs of improvement.

The percentage of coronavirus tests that came back positive over the past seven days — a closely watched indicator for reopening the economy — has dropped to 3.5%. That’s down from over 11% a month ago.

Hospitalizations for coronavirus patients have dropped 38% over 14 days, and the rate of infection in the state has fallen to 0.65 — meaning each infected person infects fewer than one other person.

“That’s the lowest I’ve seen it,” California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Tomás Aragón said at a meeting of a state vaccine advisory committee on Wednesday. “That’s really good news.”

The falling transmission could help more counties move from California’s purple — or most-restrictive — reopening tier to the slightly-less-restrictive red tier, in which indoor dining at 25% capacity and some additional activities are allowed.

Strong decline in coronavirus across England since January, React study shows


There has been a “strong decline” in levels of coronavirus infections in England since January, say scientists tracking the epidemic.

Imperial College London’s React study found infections have dropped by two-thirds across England since lockdown began, with an 80% fall in London.

But virus levels are still high, with one in 200 testing positive between 4 and 13 February.

This is similar to levels seen in late September 2020.

Although these are interim findings, based on more than 85,000 swab tests from randomly selected people, they suggest social distancing and restrictions are having an impact.

Prof Paul Elliott, director of the programme at Imperial, said the drop in infection rates was “really encouraging”.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to receive new data on the effect of vaccines on the spread of coronavirus, ahead of Monday’s publication of a roadmap for easing the lockdown in England.

White House secures deals for 200 million more Covid vaccine doses


President Joe Biden announced Thursday that his administration has secured deals for another 200 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, bringing the U.S. total to 600 million.

“Just this afternoon, we signed the final contracts for 100 million more Moderna and 100 million more Pfizer vaccines,” Biden said Thursday while on a tour at the National Institutes of Health, adding the U.S. will have enough supply for 300 million Americans by the end of July.

The Washington Post first reported the news. Earlier, White House chief of staff Ron Klain appeared to confirm the news, retweeting the Post story from his official White House Twitter account.President Joe Biden announced Thursday that his administration has secured deals for another 200 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, bringing the U.S. total to 600 million.

Because both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s authorized vaccines require two doses given about three to four weeks apart, the total of 600 million doses would be enough to inoculate 300 million people.

Biden is trying to pick up the pace of vaccinations in the U.S. after a slower-than-expected rollout under former President Donald Trump’s administration. Roughly 34.7 million out of some 331 million Americans have received at least their first dose of Covid vaccine, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And 11.2 million of those people have already gotten their second shot.

‘Reason to celebrate’: Early evidence suggests vaccines halting COVID outbreaks in nursing homes


The evidence is anecdotal and less-than-definitive, but experts say the limited amount of COVID-19 vaccination completed in Canada is already having a tangible, positive impact.

Outbreaks in long term care facilities have been stopped or prevented in the wake of residents receiving coronavirus shots, say doctors in British Columbia and Ontario.

In hard-hit Toronto, for instance, the number of new nursing home outbreaks is “way down,” and in homes with existing outbreaks, new cases seem to stop at about 21 days after the residents received their first vaccine dose, said Dr. Allison McGeer, one of Canada’s leading infectious-disease specialists.

Such results are obviously the hoped-for goal of a vaccination campaign, but the apparent success as Canada’s initial supply of vaccine peters out provides at least a glimmer of hope amid the continuing infection and death.

“It certainly looks like the vaccine is doing what it’s supposed to be doing,” said McGeer Monday. “It’s definitely something to celebrate. If this is happening, it’s brilliant.”

Common asthma drug cuts COVID-19 hospitalization risk, recovery time – Oxford study


A commonly used asthma treatment appears to reduce the need for hospitalizations as well as recovery time for COVID-19 patients if given within seven days of symptoms appearing, researchers at the University of Oxford said on Tuesday.

The findings were made following a mid-stage study of the steroid budesonide, sold as Pulmicort by AstraZeneca Plc and also used for treating smoker’s lung.

The 28-day study of 146 patients suggested that inhaled budesonide reduced the risk of urgent care or hospitalization by 90% when compared with usual care, Oxford University said.

Researchers said the trial was inspired by the fact that patients with chronic respiratory disease, who are often prescribed inhaled steroids, were significantly under-represented among hospitalized COVID-19 patients during early days of the pandemic.