Note that some links may require registration or subscription.
The CDC expanded its definition of infected persons’ “close contacts” to include those within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes over 24 hours, not just a solid 15-minute period.
AstraZeneca’s Brazilian vaccine trial will go on despite a participant’s death, as sources say the person didn’t receive the active vaccine. (Reuters)
As of 8:00 a.m. Thursday, the unofficial U.S. tally stood at 8,338,413 cases and 222,220 deaths — up 63,320 and 1,137, respectively, in the past 24 hours. It’s the first daily death toll over 1,000 in a month.
In an unusual move, FDA’s vaccine advisory committee meeting on Thursday will be streamed live on YouTube, in part to increase public confidence in vaccines.
Meanwhile, sources tell Politico that HHS Secretary Alex Azar wants to dump FDA chief Stephen Hahn.
Pfizer is laying the logistical groundwork for the “biggest ever” vaccination campaign, with hundreds of thousands of doses already in warehouses in the U.S. and Europe. (Wall Street Journal)
Meanwhile, thievery is a concern motivating the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine candidates under tight security. (Wall Street Journal)
Patients are complaining that doctors in Georgia and other states are not wearing face masks during their appointments. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Preventive cancer screenings plummeted during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, with colon and breast cancer screenings down 75% and 85%, respectively, and remained depressed through the summer, a study in JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics found.
Boston’s public schools are going back to remote learning starting Thursday due to a rising COVID positivity rate in the city. (Boston Globe)
Risk of COVID transmission is low on planes — as long as everyone wears masks. (NPR)
The digital health pass CommonPass is being rolled out for travelers wishing to share their COVID-19 test status at international borders.
An ethical path to herd immunity? Vaccination is the only way, one expert said. (Nature)
Coronavirus challenge trials, like the one planned in Britain, will likely have “limited” relevance in the real world. (Ars Technica)
Germany’s health minister tested positive and is now in home quarantine; and Belgium’s foreign minister is critically ill with COVID-19. (Reuters)
In other news:
- FDA continues to allow Brazilian Blowout and other hair-straightening keratin treatments on the market despite scientists’ warnings that they contain a formaldehyde precursor. (New York Times)
- A high-tryptophan diet may help control symptoms and improve intestinal healing for people with celiac disease, according to a study in Science Translational Medicine.
- One report suggests that more people working from home during the winter will mean more air pollution from gas boilers. (BBC News)