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The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) changed course on tocilizumab (Actemra), and now conditionally recommends the IL-6 blocker on top of standard care for hospitalized patients with worsening severe or critical COVID-19.
President Biden ordered flags to be flown at half-mast until Friday to mark the half-million lives lost to COVID-19; the grim marker comes a little over a year since the first known death from COVID-19. (Reuters)
As of 8 a.m. ET on Tuesday, the unofficial COVID-19 toll in the U.S. included 28,191,010 cases and 500,441 deaths, up 56,207 and 1,540, respectively, since this time a day ago.
Cases are plummeting worldwide and just six nations — the U.S., U.K., South Africa, Brazil, Germany, Colombia — make up the bulk of the decline. (New York Times)
But not out of the woods: France, which recorded its highest number of ICU patients in nearly 3 months, and Greece, where doctors are striking to protest “suffocating conditions” on the COVID-19 front lines. (Reuters)
A total of 44.1 million people in the U.S. have received at least one dose of the vaccine, including second doses in 19.4 million, according to the latest CDC numbers.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley apologized after it turned away two people eligible for the shot for not showing proof of residency, which is not required per state guidance. (NPR)
Johnson & Johnson says it will provide 20 million doses of its one-shot coronavirus vaccine by the end of March, pending FDA emergency authorization. (Politico)
And Sanofi announced it would offer manufacturing support for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.
Online misinformation is giving some women of childbearing age pause over getting a COVID-19 vaccination. (Washington Post)
As schools reopen in full, watch for spikes in the common cold. (STAT)
In other news: