Biden to hit goal of 100 million vaccinations, as US prepares to send shots to Canada and Mexico #Breaking112
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said the US was planning to share 2.5 million doses of the vaccines with Mexico and 1.5 million with Canada.
Tens of millions of doses of the vaccine have been stockpiled at US manufacturing sites. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use in dozens of countries, including Mexico and Canada, but the shot has not yet been authorized by American drug regulators. Psaki said the doses to be sent to the two countries would be a loan, with the US receiving vaccines in return in future.
The agreement could be finalized as soon as Friday, CNN has learned. On Tuesday, Mexico’s foreign minister said an announcement could come by the end of the week.
The Biden administration has committed to having enough vaccines for all Americans before sharing doses, and if this agreement comes together it would be the first time the US has shared vaccines directly with another country. It would also likely give a major boost to vaccination efforts in Canada and Mexico, which are struggling with their vaccine roll-outs in comparison to the US.
Commenting on the pace of the rollout on Thursday, Biden said Americans still needed to be vigilant to prevent the spread of the virus — cases are still on the rise in several states.
“This is a time for optimism but it’s not a time for relaxation,” Biden cautioned. “I need all of you to do your part. Wash your hands, stay socially distanced, keep masking up as recommended by the CDC and get vaccinated when it’s your turn.”
More than 115 million Americans have been vaccinated since the first Covid-19 shot was authorized in December, according to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.
Q: When can Americans return to normal life?
A: States are pushing ahead with expanding Covid-19 vaccine access and rolling back restrictions on businesses and large gatherings as America seeks a return to normality.
“We’re neglecting the huge number of people in the middle who need, who want to get the vaccine but may have some concerns or just don’t have time to take time off of work or find child care,” emergency physician Dr. Leana Wen told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday. “We need to make vaccination easy for those individuals and also really clearly demonstrate what is the benefit of vaccination, make clear the messaging that vaccines are the pathway back to pre-pandemic life.”
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
AstraZeneca vaccine is ‘safe and effective’
Much of Western Europe is now in the throes of a third wave of the virus. France on Thursday announced a limited Covid-19 lockdown for Paris and several other regions to combat surging cases. And the pandemic is “moving eastwards,” Dr. Kluge said, with infection rates and deaths in Central Europe, the Balkans and Baltic states among the highest in the world.
As Covid-19 deaths soar in Brazil, Bolsonaro says there’s a ‘war’ against him
“Here it became a war against the President. It seems that people only die of Covid,” Bolsonaro, who wasn’t wearing a mask, told supporters outside the presidential palace on Thursday. “The hospitals are 90% occupied. But we need to find out how many are from Covid and how many are from other illnesses,” he said.
In the coastal city of Rio de Janeiro, intensive care units are 95% full. Fifteen other state capitals are similarly verging on collapse, with ICU occupancy over 90% — a deluge of hospitalizations that has accompanied a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the country. While Covid-19 cases are beginning to plateau or decline in many nations, Brazil is reporting record daily numbers. More than 45,000 people have been killed in Brazil in the last month alone, and the country recorded 90,303 new cases in a single day on Wednesday.
Cubans embark on treacherous sea journeys as economic crisis worsens
When Beatriz Jimenez closes her eyes, she sees her daughter Lisbethy and two young grandchildren — and they are alive. Jimenez’s family left the small seaside town of Cabarién, on Cuba’s north coast, on March 4, aboard a packed smuggler’s boat.
Jimenez said her daughter Lisbethy took the trip because she had been apart from her husband in Florida for more than a year, after the pandemic forced Cuba to cut most international flights. Lisbethy had been afraid to leave her daughter Kenna Mariana, 6 years old, and Luis Nesto, 4, behind in Cuba and risk a lengthy separation. Their boat capsized in Bahamian waters, according to the Cuban foreign ministry. Some 12 survivors and one dead body were found by a Royal Bahamian Defence ship, but Lisbethy and her children were not among them.
ON OUR RADAR
- Transplant surgeons at Northwestern Medicine in Illinois say they have successfully performed one of the first known double lung transplants on a Covid-19 patient using organs from a donor who had previously tested positive for the virus.
- Researchers working to show when and how the virus first emerged in China calculate that it probably did not infect the first human being until October 2019 at the earliest. And their models showed something else: It almost didn’t make it as a pandemic virus.
- The coronavirus spread on an international flight, in a hotel corridor and then to household contacts despite efforts to isolate and quarantine patients, New Zealand researchers reported Thursday.
- Covid-19 restrictions at the first Super Nintendo World in Japan include temperature checks, mandatory mask-wearing, hand sanitizer everywhere, social distancing in line, and signs in front of roller coasters asking riders to refrain from screaming.
- Officials in the South Korean capital Seoul have reversed course on controversial plans to require all foreign workers to undergo Covid-19 testing after facing a torrent of criticism from diplomatic missions and international businesses.
Are you having more nightmares? You might be ‘quaradreaming’
The phenomenon started to be noted by physicians about a year ago, not long after lockdowns began around the world. Frontline workers were hard hit — a June 2020 study of 100 Chinese nurses found 45% experienced nightmares, along with varying degrees of anxiety and depression. But nightmares have continued as quarantines and lockdowns stretched on, experts say. One reason: an increase in “night owls.”
“There is even evidence that social isolation and loneliness influences your susceptibility to viruses and the ability to respond to a vaccine.” — Julianne Holt-Lunstad, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah