Press "Enter" to skip to content

No Holding Back Vax, Biden Says; ‘U.S. Variant’ Debunked; Medicaid Block Grant

Note that some links may require registration or subscription.

The incoming Biden administration plans to release nearly every available dose of the coronavirus vaccine rather than holding some back for second doses. (CNN)

The unofficial U.S. COVID-19 toll rose to 22,410,249 cases an 374,341 deaths as of 8:00 a.m. ET Monday — averaging more than 250,000 new cases and 3,250 deaths daily over the past 7 days. Both figures are new records.

Reports Friday of a new extra-contagious coronavirus variant originating in the United States stemmed from speculation by White House task force member Deborah Birx, MD, and don’t appear to be backed up by surveillance data. (CNBC, NBC News)

WHO advisors approved delays of up to 6 weeks between doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine. (The Hill)

Britain approved Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, as well as IL-6 inhibitors tocilizumab (Actemra) and sarilumab (Kevzara) for treating critically ill COVID-19 patients. (The Hill, Washington Post)

Some syringes distributed by Operation Warp Speed aren’t efficient enough to extract a sixth dose from Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine vials. (Politico)

Asymptomatic transmission accounts for 59% of coronavirus cases, according to a CDC model in JAMA Network Open.

House lawmakers may have been exposed to the coronavirus as they hid from rioters on Wednesday; Congress’ attending physician said they should all be tested this week. (NBC News)

Two mass vaccination locations opened in New York City on Sunday, as New York state opened up inoculation to people aged 75 and over starting on Monday. (Reuters)

California is aiming for 1 million vaccinations in 10 days. (Cal Matters)

Elite academic centers have given coronavirus vaccine doses to administrators and others who don’t qualify by state and federal guidelines. (New York Times)

HHS extended the COVID-19 public health emergency until April, which prolongs waivers for telehealth and other regulations. (FierceHealthcare)

A company was ordered to stop selling vitamin D products as a cure or treatment for COVID-19. (Fox Business)

In other news:

  • A terminal cancer patient seeking pain relief was charged with attempted murder after firing multiple shots at police at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. (New York Daily News)
  • The Trump administration granted Tennessee’s request to become the first to be allowed to receive Medicaid funding through a block grant, an authority some worry will lead to cuts. (Kaiser Health News)
  • Pharma contributions to charities should be be publicly disclosed to avoid kickback problems, two Senators argue. (FiercePharma)