New coronavirus cases in the US have exceeded 100,000 daily for 13 days in a row, and currently nearly 70,000 people are being hospitalized for the infection across the country.
With 69,455 people hospitalized on Sunday, U.S. facilities are treating 17 percent more people for COVID-19 than the previous high of 599,499 hospitalizations in April.
In total, more than 11 million people have been infected and 246,854 have died from COVID-19.
On Sunday, the U.S. recorded 133,045 new coronavirus cases and 616 deaths. The average daily death toll hit its highest point since May on Saturday and again on Sunday, according to DailyMail.com analysis of Johns Hopkins University data – but the daily death toll is well below half of its high of more than 2,500 deaths 22 . April.
However, top pandemic modellers at the University of Washington noted last week that the likelihood of a patient dying from coronavirus is decreasing. This trend is attributed to doctors learning how to better care for people with COVID-19.
In the absence of federal action, at least a dozen states and cities – including North Dakota, Washington, Oregon, New Jersey, Chicago, and Philadelphia – have newly introduced tougher restrictions to slow the “accelerated” spread of the coronavirus, as outlined by enforcing documents sent to states.
Rural counties are currently seeing the highest rate of daily infections, according to Axios, with those whose population is below 10,000 seeing more than 60 new cases per 100,000 people per day.
Across the country, the number of people tested is reaching new heights. More than 1.65 million Americans will be tested on Sunday.
But infections continue to rise, pandemic “fatigue” is widespread, and with colder temperatures and holidays, public health experts are concerned that the crisis will only get worse. An expert from the University of North Carolina, Dr. Ralph Baric, predicted deaths will double over winter.
Some parts of the country have already seen an alarming surge in deaths, including Texas, the state with the second highest death toll in the country. More than 20,000 people have now died there – including 225 in the small border region of El Paso, which relies on mobile morgues and inmate vans to handle the surge in COVID-19 deaths – according to Johns Hopkins University.
Moderna announced early Monday morning that its vaccine could prevent up to 95 percent of infections, according to preliminary data from its large studies.
This second vaccine breakthrough in a week is a ray of hope on the horizon as U.S. officials prepare to take shots of Moderna and Pfizer (who announced their vaccine was 90 percent better than a placebo last week) immediately after the vaccine FDA (Food and Drug Administration) emergency approval for everyone.
Vaccines could finally slow the relentless virus starting as early as next month, but shots will likely not be available to the general public until spring, meaning much of the US is likely to be in a long winter with partial or total lockdowns in many areas becomes .
Daily coronavirus cases topped 100,000 for the 13th consecutive time on Sunday, according to John Hopkins University. More than 11 million Americans are now infected and nearly 70,000 are being hospitalized
Although the death toll approaches 250,000, daily coronavirus deaths remain relatively stable, with 616 deaths on Sunday
Nationwide hospital stays, with 69,455 Americans in hospitals as of Sunday, exceeded the high from April earlier (blue graph). Daily deaths have increased slightly on average (gray), but the overall death rate remains stable at less than one percent
Some of the states that have been the most reluctant to impose restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus are already forced to change course.
North Dakota has been the top hotspot for coronavirus cases per capita for weeks. On Saturday, 935 new infections were reported in the state, where nearly 20 percent of all people tested for COVID-19 get positive results on average.
More than 730 people have died of COVID-19 in the state.
Governor Doug Burgum, a Republican, has firmly refused to place restrictions on the movement of its residents or the operating capacity of businesses, despite North Dakota having the strongest increase in coronavirus cases in the country.
On Friday, he finally changed course and issued a nationwide mask mandate requiring all citizens to wear masks both in public facilities and outdoors where social distancing is not possible.
Governor Burgum has so far emphasized the need for “light touch” with the government and has insisted that it is up to individuals to protect themselves and others.
But on Friday he admitted in a video announcement that our situation has changed and that we have to change with it.
The change was motivated by the massive influx of coronavirus patients who threatened to overwhelm North Dakota hospitals and their staff.
Huge rows of cars waited for coronavirus tests over the weekend in Miami, Florida
Hundreds of people lined up in Queens, New York Monday morning to be tested for COVID-19 (left). More than 5,000 people were tested for coronavirus in Washington, DC, on Sunday, and thousands more were waiting to be swabbed on Monday (right).
Only 10 percent of occupied hospital beds in the state are currently available, according to the health department.
In a press release announcing the restrictions, which will remain in place through December 13, Governor Berman said the state’s doctors and nurses “need our help, and they need it now.”
In neighboring South Dakota, ER nurse Jodi Doering told the story CNN Many of their patients still deny the pandemic.
They “don’t want to believe that Covid is real,” she told the network.
“Your last dying words are,” This can’t happen. It’s not real. “And when they … confront their families, they are full of anger and hatred.”
South Dakota Governor Christi Noem, a Republican, has never asked companies to cut their capacities and has not given any mask mandates in her state.
1,298 new cases were reported in South Dakota on Friday. Another 1,100 were recorded on Saturday. So far 644 people have died there and 533 are currently in hospital. More than 18 percent of those tested in South Dakota on Saturday were positive for the virus.
1,298 new cases were reported in South Dakota on Friday. Another 1,100 were recorded on Saturday. So far 644 people have died there and 533 are currently in hospital.
More than 4,000 new cases were identified in Iowa on Sunday for the ninth consecutive year. Nearly 1,300 people across the country are being hospitalized for coronavirus
Officials in nearby states like Iowa and Nebraska have been watching closely as the Dakotas pandemic unfolds as a potential signal of what could happen in their states.
So far, Iowa has also been resistant to muscle tension to slow the spread of the virus.
Last week, Governor Kim Reynolds issued a new requirement that masks be worn at indoor events with more than 25 people or at outdoor gatherings with 100 or more people. However, ordering comes with many restrictions: schools are completely exempt, as are bars and restaurants, as long as they can socially distance customers.
It can be too late. Ventilator use hit a record high on Sunday with 115 COVID-19 patients on the respirators as more than 4,000 new cases were identified in Iowa for the ninth straight day.
Nearly 1,300 people across the country are being hospitalized for coronavirus.
The pattern repeats itself in nearly every state in the Midwest: cases and then hospitalizations increase, while lawmakers and leaders disagree on whether to prioritize slowing the spread or keep business open.
Wisconsin currently has an average of more new coronavirus cases per day than New York City when it was the global epicenter of the pandemic this spring.
More than 312,000 people in the state are now infected with coronavirus and over 6,000 tested positive for the virus on Saturday alone.
On Monday, the state reported that its hospitals are 90 percent full.
Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, has been at odds with conservative lawmakers in his state for months. He issued a mask mandate in July after his stay at home order was dismissed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in May.
El Paso County, Texas has been forced to set up mobile morgues and enlist the help of inmates to move the bodies of COVID-19 victims to these cold stores
El Paso County detainees help move bodies in refrigerated trailers outside the medical examiner’s office, located next to an El Paso, Texas cemetery on Saturday amid a spate of COVID-19 deaths
With another 89 deaths on Sunday, Texas now has the second highest COVID-19 death toll of any state (after New York).
The same court hears arguments about the mask mandate on Monday, as local lawmakers claim Evers’ order is an unconstitutional transgression of power.
A similar political drama about masks and other restrictions is unfolding further south in El Paso, Texas.
The border district only has 839,238 residents and reported 1,550 new coronavirus cases yesterday alone.
There are at least 33,935 active cases – an all-time high – and 1,111 are being hospitalized. A little less than a third of these patients are in intensive care units.
In total, nearly 75,000 people in El Paso County are infected, which is about nine percent of the total population.
Several mobile morgues and at least 60 Air Force medics had to be dispatched to El Paso, and a nurse, Lawanna Rivers, said in a tearful Facebook live video that the university hospital had sent some of the sickest patients to a room it is called “The Pit” designated to die because they had so little chance of survival and the hospital was understaffed.
Inmates from local prisons have also been recruited to bring corpses of COVID-19 patients to morgues.
Wyoming hospital stays hit a record high of 202 on Sunday as the sparsely populated state continues to see soaring infection rates
District Judge Ricardo Samaniego attempted to close non-essential stores on October 29, but the order was again thrown out by a state appeals court on Friday.
Overall, Texas is the first state in the United States to have more than a million coronavirus cases.
Other parts of the country – especially those that were previously burned – are trying to jump into the winter tide by stepping up testing and introducing new restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus or reintroducing previous measures.
Long lines of cars meandered around coronavirus test sites in Miami over the weekend.
New York City is about to close schools again, and both New York State and New Jersey have imposed curfews at 10 p.m.
Cities like Denver, Chicago and Philadelphia have taken tighter measures than their states of Colorado, Illinois and Pennsylvania to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which is fastest in densely populated urban areas.
Philadelphia will close all museums, gyms and restaurants from Friday until January 1, 2021.
On Friday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced a two-week “freeze” that will allow only take-out restaurants and bars and close gyms, zoos and museums where businesses whose employees can work from home will be closed to be prompted. It also limits church services to 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors, and limits grocery and retail store capacity to 75 percent.
Washington also reinstated restrictions on businesses and gatherings on Sunday. Governor Jay Inslee warned, “This spike puts us in a more dangerous position than we did in March.”
The state recorded more than 200 cases a day over the weekend and saw the average daily infections double in the past two weeks.
California is pulling the “emergency brake” on its reopening plan, Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Monday after the average daily new cases there rose 89.7 percent compared to the daily infections that had occurred two weeks earlier.
The state has taken a “tiered” approach to reopening and now reclosing. Last week, approximately 22 percent of California’s counties were in the strictest purple category.
This week, more than 70 percent of counties moved into the most at risk category, meaning 94 percent of Californians live in areas with positive coronavirus test positivity rates above eight percent.
Starting Tuesday, most non-essential indoor businesses will have to close.
Although coronavirus can spread fastest in populous areas such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, it has become an especially severe burden for rural America.
According to an Axios analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University, counties with fewer than 10,000 residents have the highest rate of new daily coronavirus infections per capita in any county of any size.
These rural counties, designated “non-core areas” by the National Center for Health Statistics and the US Census Bureau, have an average of 60.4 new cases per 100,000 population, while 35.4 per 100,000 people living in large central metropolitan areas are diagnosed in a day .
As a result, the national infection rate appeared to be increasing more slowly, but hospital systems are now more at risk than they were during the US pandemic’s first spring summit.
Rural areas have fewer beds to begin with, which means they can quickly become overwhelmed, like El Paso, Texas did. This means that even if the absolute number of new cases and hospital admissions remains small, facilities may run out of space and staff to treat patients and people may die faster than space and can be recovered in small local morgues.
“PATIENTS COME IN AND COME OUT ONLY IN A BODY POCKET”: EL PASO NURSE DESCRIBES “THE PIT” WHERE COVID PATIENTS ARE SENT TO DIE WHEN TEXAS INMATES SIGNS UP TO MOVE BODY AT 2 USD AN HOUR TOMORROW
A nurse in El Paso, Texas, reported on the “dire” conditions in the city’s hospitals as the state grapples with one of the worst coronavirus spikes in the United States and inmates are brought in to bring the dead in morgues.
Registered nurse Lawanna Rivers went on Facebook to describe her time at the University Hospital in El Paso, where she claims patients were taken to a room called The Pit and only received three rounds of CPR before they were pronounced dead.
In a video posted on Facebook on November 7th, she said, “On my first day of orientation, I was told that all patients who go into the pit come out only in a body bag. I saw a lot of people die who I thought shouldn’t have died.
“The policy of this hospital was that they only got three rounds of CPR, which took only six minutes. Of all the codes we had, there wasn’t a single patient who made it.”
Her shocking testimony came when pictures taken Saturday showed criminals in PPE equipment helping the El Paso County’s medical examiner’s office move the dead to refrigerated trucks as the death toll that threatened to overwhelm the state rose .
A spokesman for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to The Texas Tribune that up to eight inmates have volunteered to do the work for $ 2 an hour. Inmates are usually not paid for their community work, but reportedly “refused to work unless they were compensated,” the spokesman confirmed.
Rivers added, “The morgue was so full of bodies that they ran out of space. As soon as the doors to the pit opened, they rolled into a corpse that was already in a pocket.
‘[They] lined up with the rest of our living patients because they had to keep the body there because the morgue ran out of space. They had to bring freezer trucks because there are so many bodies.
“The facility I am in has surpassed that in New York. I have never experienced and have no words for what I just experienced in El Paso, Texas. ‘
Scroll down for video
Pictures taken on Saturday show criminals in PPE gear helping the El Paso County medical examiner’s office move the dead to refrigerated trucks as the death toll rises and threatens to overwhelm the state
Last week officials in El Paso announced plans to add four additional morgue tags, bringing the total there to 10
The virus, which is on the rise in the US, has been relentless across Texas, where the latest figures show that more than a million people have tested positive for the virus. 19,559 have died across the state.
In El Paso, data released by the city on Sunday confirms six more people have died from the virus, bringing the death toll to 762. There have been 981 new COVID-19 cases, which totaled more than 73,000 people who tested positive.
In the US, more than 11 million people have tested positive. 246,236 Americans have died.
In Houston, hospital stays for the virus nearly doubled this week compared to last month. A total of 2,351 people have died from the virus in Harris County. More than 174,000 people have tested positive.
And in Dallas, health officials reported 1,458 additional cases and one more death on Sunday, bringing the total number of people infected there to more than 100,000 cases and 1,142 confirmed deaths.
Even so, many Texans are said to suffer from quarantine fatigue.
Dr. Erin Carlson, Associate Clinical Professor in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at the University of Texas at Arlington, told the LA Times: “People suffer from quarantine fatigue. You are fed up with it. They want to go to their boyfriend’s house and have a poker night like they used to.
“Pretty much every contact tracer you speak to sees small gatherings and that drives prices up. They are tired and want to see their families, so they go to the birthday parties. ‘
The virus, which is on the rise in the US, has been relentless across Texas, where the latest figures show that more than a million people have tested positive for the virus. 19,559 have died across the state. El Paso is pictured on Saturday
In El Paso, data released by the city on Sunday confirms six more people have died from the virus, bringing the death toll to 762. There have been 981 new COVID-19 cases, which totaled more than 73,000 people who tested positive. El Paso is pictured on Saturday
Despite the astonishing numbers, many Texans are said to suffer from “quarantine fatigue”. El Paso is pictured on Saturday
Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, added, “The country is in free fall. It’s in disaster mode. It’s really scary about the swings in the intensive care units, the exhaustion of the hospital staff and you know the mortality is only going to increase. These are lives that don’t have to be lost. ‘
Using inmates to carry bodies is a temporary measure until the National Guard can take over, reports WWJ.
Inmates are part of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office “escrow program” and are low-level felons.
Judge Ricardo Samaniego said using prisoners to move the bodies was a last resort.
“If there is no staff, no one to help, and there are volunteers, even if they are inmates, then we have that,” he told KFOX14.
“It was just a temporary focus and we’re waiting for the Texas National Guard to help us with that.”
Last week officials in El Paso announced plans to add four additional morgue tags, bringing the total there to 10 as of Wednesday.
Registered nurse Lawanna Rivers went on Facebook to describe her time at the University Hospital in El Paso, where she claims patients were taken to a room called The Pit and only received three rounds of CPR before they were pronounced dead
For Sister Rivers, who described how she left patients in the pit, she said, “To know that these patients only came out of this pit in a body bag, she felt emotionally ill.”
She also claims that certain patients were given preferential treatment, adding, “The nurse who directed me had a patient, she was called a VIP patient, she was the wife of a doctor.
“They pulled out all the stops for this woman – there was nothing they didn’t do for this woman. And guess what? She was the only patient who made it out of this intensive care unit alive. ‘
A spokesman for the university hospital told KVIA: “After watching the video, we may not be able to fully review the events being voiced, but we can empathize with the difficult physical and emotional strain this pandemic is putting on thousands of healthcare workers here and here across our land calls for land.
“This particular travel nurse was briefly at UMC to help El Paso deal with the surge in Covid-19 patients.”
On Friday, the Eighth Court of Appeals in El Paso ruled against an order to close non-essential businesses, including gyms and salons, and sent the case back to a district judge who upheld it with orders to stop the closings.
Attorney General Ken Paxton sued to overturn District Judge Ricardo Samaniego’s October order, despite a surge that overwhelmed hospitals and funeral homes in the border town of El Paso.
Samaniego said he was unhappy with a state appeals court ruling that overturned his order to close non-essential deals to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but he would not appeal.
He said he will work with business leaders and health officials to develop ways to protect public health and the economy. A previous contract that restricted non-essential stores to 50% capacity and closed bars and restaurants at 9 p.m. The limitation of social gatherings to no more than 10 people and a mask mandate will remain in place, he said.
Datum, das von der Stadt El Paso veröffentlicht wurde, als sich texanische Beamte mit einem der schlimmsten Anstieg des Coronavirus in den Vereinigten Staaten auseinandersetzen
COVID-19-Krankenhausaufenthaltsraten für El Paso, Texas, laut Daten, die von der Stadt veröffentlicht wurden
COVID-19-Krankenhausaufenthaltsraten für die Bundesstaaten Texas insgesamt
COVID-19 positive Fallraten für die Bundesstaaten Texas insgesamt
COVID-19-Todesopfer für die gesamten Bundesstaaten von Texas
Laut Reuters-Analyse haben Texas und Kalifornien die höchste Anzahl an COVID-19-Infektionen in den USA gemeldet, die zusammen etwa 2,1 Millionen Fälle oder etwa 19 Prozent aller Fälle seit Beginn der Pandemie ausmachen.
Laut Statistiken der Johns Hopkins University hat Texas am Sonntag mehr als 9.100 neue Fälle des Coronavirus registriert, das COVID-19 verursacht.
Die 9.113 neuen Fälle haben die Zahl der Fälle in Texas seit der Pandemie im März auf mehr als 1,052 Millionen erhöht, berichtete die Universität.
Am Freitag überschritt der Staat zum ersten Mal seit Anfang August 7.000 Krankenhauspatienten, nur wenige Tage nachdem er Amerikas erster Staat war, der 1 Million bestätigte Fälle des Coronavirus überschritt.
Das Gesundheitsministerium von Texas gab an, dass im Bundesstaat 7.083 Menschen mit COVID-19 ins Krankenhaus eingeliefert wurden, da die Fälle weiter zunehmen.
Am Mittwoch wurde Texas mit mehr als 1 Million bestätigten COVID-19-Fällen auch Amerikas erster Bundesstaat.
MODERNA’S COVID-19-IMPFSTOFF IST 94,5% WIRKSAM – BESSER ALS PFIZER – FRÜHE DATEN EMPFIEHLT, WÄHREND TRUMP DEN SCHUSS EINE “GROSSE ENTDECKUNG” HÄLT, DIE “AUF MEINER UHR” PLATZIERT.
Präsident Donald Trump reagierte auf die Nachricht, dass Modernas COVID-19-Impfstoff zu 94,5 Prozent wirksam sei, mit der Aussage, dass die „große Entdeckung auf meiner Uhr stattgefunden habe“, als Joe Biden warnte, dass die Amerikaner immer noch Masken und soziale Distanz tragen müssten, da die Verteilung der Dosen immer noch weit verbreitet sei Monate entfernt.
Der US-amerikanische Arzneimittelhersteller gab heute Morgen bekannt, dass sein Impfstoff aufgrund vorläufiger Daten aus seiner laufenden Studie zu 94,5 Prozent wirksam ist. Damit ist er das zweite US-Unternehmen in einer Woche, das Ergebnisse meldet, die die Erwartungen weit übertreffen. Die US-Regierung hat bereits 100 Millionen Dosen Modernas Impfstoff gekauft, was ausreicht, um 50 Millionen Amerikaner zu impfen, wenn die Menschen zwei Schüsse benötigen.
‘Ein weiterer Impfstoff wurde gerade angekündigt. Diesmal von Moderna, 95% wirksam. Bitte denken Sie für diese großen “Historiker” daran, dass diese großartigen Entdeckungen, die die China-Pest beenden werden, alle auf meiner Uhr stattfanden! Trump twitterte.
Joe Biden warnte, dass die Amerikaner immer noch Masken und soziale Distanz tragen müssten, da die weit verbreitete Verbreitung des Impfstoffs noch Monate entfernt sei
In der Zwischenzeit schrieb Biden auf Twitter: „Die heutigen Nachrichten über einen zweiten Impfstoff sind ein weiterer Grund zur Hoffnung. Was beim ersten Impfstoff der Fall war, gilt auch beim zweiten: Wir sind noch Monate entfernt. Bis dahin müssen die Amerikaner weiterhin soziale Distanzierung und Maskentragen üben, um das Virus unter Kontrolle zu bringen.
„Ich gratuliere noch einmal den brillanten Frauen und Männern, die diesen Durchbruch geschafft haben und uns der Bekämpfung dieses Virus einen Schritt näher gebracht haben. Ich bin auch dankbar für die Mitarbeiter an vorderster Front, die immer noch rund um die Uhr mit dem Virus konfrontiert sind. ‘
Pfizer gab vor einer Woche bekannt, dass sein eigener COVID-19-Impfstoff zu 90 Prozent wirksam ist – eine Nachricht, die beide Unternehmen auf den richtigen Weg bringt, innerhalb weniger Wochen die FDA-Zulassung für den Notfall in den USA zu erhalten. Trump schlug letzte Woche vor, das Timing von Pfizers Impfstoff-Update sei verdächtig, da er die FDA beschuldigte, es absichtlich bis nach der Wahl zu verschieben.
Moderna, Teil des Operation Warp Speed-Programms der Trump-Administration, das die Verteilung des Impfstoffs an Staaten regelt, erwartet, dass in der nächsten Woche genügend Sicherheitsdaten für die Zulassung erforderlich sind, und wird in den kommenden Wochen eine Genehmigung für den Notfall beantragen.
It means the US could have as many as 60 million doses of vaccine available by the year’s end if Moderna and Pfizer are both granted authorization. Moderna expects to produce around 20 million doses of the vaccine for the US this year, millions of which the company has already made, and is ready to ship if it receives authorization.
Next year, the government could have access to more than 1 billion doses just from Moderna and Pfizer alone, which is more than needed for the country’s 330 million residents.
Moderna’s vaccine is cheaper than the one offered by Pfizer and can be stored in standard refrigeration temperatures. Pfizer’s vaccine requires ultra cold temperatures of minus 94F.
The US government has already bought 100 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine. The drugmaker announced on Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine is 94.5 percent effective based on preliminary data from its ongoing trial
Trump (right playing golf in Virginia on Sunday) reacted to news of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine being 94.5 percent effective by saying the ‘great discovery took place on my watch’ as Biden (left in Delaware on Monday) warned that Americans still needed to wear masks and social distance because widespread distribution of the doses is still months away
‘Assuming we get an emergency use authorization, we’ll be ready to ship through Warp Speed almost in hours,’ Moderna’s president, Dr Stephen Hoge, said.
‘So it could start being distributed instantly.’
Shares in Moderna rose 15 percent on Monday following the promising news before dropping slightly to 6 percent in mid-morning trading. US stocks also surged with the S&P 500 adding more to its record high and the Dow Jones Industrial Average on track to erase the last of its pandemic losses.
It comes at time when COVID-19 cases are hitting new records across the US with virus cases topping 11 million over the weekend – 1 million of them recorded in just the past week. Hospitalizations have also been surging to record highs with nearly 70,000 Americans currently being treated. There has been an uptick in deaths this month with the average number of fatalities now at more than 1,000.
Dr Hoge welcomed the ‘really important milestone’ and said having similar results from two different companies is what’s most reassuring.
‘That should give us all hope that actually a vaccine is going to be able to stop this pandemic and hopefully get us back to our lives,’ Hoge said.
‘It won’t be Moderna alone that solves this problem. It’s going to require many vaccines.’
It is not yet clear how long-term a COVID-19 vaccine will be and whether it will need to be administered annually.
A key advantage of Moderna’s vaccine is that it does not need ultra-cold storage like Pfizer’s, making it easier to distribute.
Moderna expects it to be stable at standard refrigerator temperatures of 36 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 days and it can be stored for up to 6 months at -4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pfizer’s vaccine must be shipped and stored at minus 94F, the sort of temperature typical of an Antarctic winter. At standard refrigerator temperatures, it can be stored for up to five days.
In other COVID-19 developments today:
- The number of coronavirus cases in the United States crossed the 11-million mark on Sunday reaching yet another grim milestone
- One million of those cases were recorded in just the last week
- The Midwest remains the hardest-hit region based on the most cases per capita with North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska the top five worst-affected states
- Illinois, which has emerged as the pandemic’s new epicenter in the region as well as across the country, reported a record 15,433 new cases on Friday, the most of any state in a 24-hour period, surpassing the previous all-time high of 15,300 set by Florida in July
- Several states this week reimposed restrictions to curb the spread of the virus across the nation and North Dakota became the latest state to require that face coverings be worn in public
Shares in Moderna rose 15 percent in pre-market trading on Monday following the promising news
WHAT DO MODERNA’S TRIAL RESULTS MEAN?
Moderna’s clinical trial is a phase three trial being carried out on approximately 30,000 people.
This means it is a final stage clinical trial designed to test how well the vaccine works and to look more closely at the safety of it – the huge number of people involved mean the results can be more specific and the tests done on wide-ranging groups of people.
Half of the group have been given two doses of the real vaccine, named mRNA-1273, while the other half received two doses of a placebo (a fake vaccine).
So far, 95 people in the group have tested positive for COVID.
Five of them – 5.2% – were in the group who received the real vaccine. 90 of them – 94.7% – were in the group who received the placebo. Rounded down, this suggests the vaccine is 94.5% effective.
If it was 0% effective you would expect there to be 90 people testing positive in both groups, and if it was 100 per cent effective there would be 90 in the placebo group and none in the vaccine group.
There were also 11 instances of severe disease in the placebo group but none in the vaccine group, suggesting it protects against severe COVID.
However, the numbers remain relatively small and longer term follow-up will be required to hone the estimates and prove the effectiveness of the jab.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told ABC’s Good Morning America that between the Moderna vaccine and Pfizer’s, there would be enough to vaccinate 20 million Americans by the end of December.
He said it would be facilitated by the vaccines going directly from the federal government to private practices and pharmacies without intervention from the states.
‘This is really a historic day. We hope that because of Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines that we’ve already been producing to have enough by the end of December to vaccinate 20million of our most vulnerable citizens,’ he said.
Azar said the CDC will determine who will get the vaccines first.
‘We’re going to follow the guidance of CDC, they’ll look at is it senior citizens and nursing homes, first responders and healthcare workers – wherever it adds the most value,’ he said.
Dr Anthony Fauci said that it is likely there will be even more vaccines soon for Americans to choose from and that Pfizer and Moderna’s are ‘very similar’.
Earlier this year, Fauci said he would be happy with a COVID-19 vaccine that was 60 percent effective.
‘The data are striking they are really quite impressive. 94.5 percent effective… that is really quite impressive and really is something that foretells an impact on this outbreak. Now we have two vaccines that are really quite effective,’ he said.
‘This is a really strong step forward to where we want to be.
‘It’s going to be all hands on deck everybody is going to do it correctly but quickly. We project that by the end of December, there will be doses of vaccines available for higher risk individuals from both companies.
‘Even though the platforms are different – Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines are very similar… (and) others are using spike proteins. Virtually all of the other vaccines rely on that spike protein. That gives me hope that more than these two will also be effective.’
He told CNN that Moderna’s results were ‘truly outstanding’ and ‘as good as it gets’.
Moderna’s interim analysis was based on 95 infections among trial participants who received either a placebo or the vaccine. Of those, only five infections occurred in those who received the vaccine, which is administered in two shots 28 days apart.
The data from Moderna’s 30,000 participant-strong trial also showed the vaccine prevented cases of severe COVID-19, a question that still remains with the Pfizer vaccine. Of the 95 cases in Moderna’s trial, 11 were severe and all 11 occurred among volunteers who got the placebo.
The 95 cases of COVID-19 included several key groups who are at increased risk for severe disease, including 15 cases in adults aged 65 and older and 20 in participants from racially diverse groups.
Most side effects were mild to moderate. A significant proportion of volunteers, however, experienced more severe aches and pains after taking the second dose, including about 10 percent who had fatigue severe enough to interfere with daily activities while another 9 percent had severe body aches. Most of these complaints were generally short-lived, the company said.
Moderna’s vaccine works in the same way as the one developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, by using genetic material called RNA from the coronavirus to trick the body into making the ‘spike’ proteins that the virus uses to latch onto cells inside the body
HOW DO THE MODERNA AND PFIZER VACCINES COMPARE?
Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech have both released interim results of the final stage clinical trials of their vaccines, with both suggesting they are extremely effective.
Here’s how they compare:
mRNA vaccine – Genetic material from coronavirus is injected to trick immune system into making ‘spike’ proteins and learning how to attack them
mRNA vaccine – both Moderna’s and Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccines work in the same way
94.5% effective (90 positive in placebo group, 5 positive in vaccine group)
90% effective (estimated 86 positive in placebo group, 9 positive in vaccine group)
US has secured 100million doses for $1.5billion
US will pay $1.95bn for first 100m doses
What side effects does it cause?
Moderna said the vaccine is ‘generally safe and well tolerated’. Most side effects were mild or moderate but included pain, fatigue and headache, which were ‘generally’ short-lived.
Pfizer and BioNTech did not produce a breakdown of side effects but said the Data Monitoring Committee ‘has not reported any serious safety concerns’.
Moderna’s data provide further validation of the promising but previously unproven mRNA platform, which turns the human body into a vaccine factory by coaxing cells to make certain virus proteins that the immune system sees as a threat and mounts a response against.
The United States has the world’s highest known number of COVID-19 cases and deaths with more than 11 million infections and nearly 250,000 deaths.
The Trump Administration has primarily relied on development of vaccines and treatments as its response to the pandemic.
Moderna has received nearly $1 billion in research and development funding from the US government and has a $1.5 billion deal for 100 million doses. The government also has an option for another 400 million doses.
The company hopes to have between 500 million and 1 billion doses in 2021, split between its US and international manufacturing sites and dependent in part on demand.
The US government has said COVID-19 vaccines will be provided free to Americans, whether they have health insurance, are uninsured or are covered by government health programs such as Medicare.
The strong results from the vaccine candidates so far have been a surprise. Scientists have warned for months that any COVID-19 shot may be only as good as flu vaccines, which are about 50 percent effective.
The roll out of the vaccine has already been described as ‘very complex’ by various state governments.
Massive vaccine campaigns are nothing new but stamping out COVID-19 is a new challenge due to a number of factors: The short time frame for vaccinating a huge number of people, the logistics of shipping out doses to every stretch of the country and the very low temperature (-94F) at which some vaccines must be stored.
The federal government’s effort to distribute the vaccine is being led by the Health Department’s Operation Warp Speed and involves both the CDC and Department of Defense. While distribution is being handled on a federal level, state and local healthcare providers are responsible for storing and administering vaccines once delivered.
State officials have now found themselves scrambling to make preparations after the CDC asked states to have plans in place to start administering a vaccine as early as November 15. Those officials say they’ve had just weeks to prepare large-scale efforts after only learning of specific storage requirements, including the need to store at least one vaccine in ultra-freezing conditions, in mid-October.
Pfizer’s vaccine, which is on track to be the first authorized for use in the US, must be stored at -94F.
Other vaccines currently being developed do not need to be stored as such a low temperature.
Moderna’s vaccine can be stored at -4F, which is the temperature of a normal freezer. Other vaccines, including ones from Johnson & Johnson and Novavax Inc, can be stored at 35F, which is the temperature of a regular refrigerator.
In comparison, the regular flu vaccine can be kept in a normal refrigerator.
Pfizer’s vaccine poses the biggest logistical issues given that even the most sophisticated hospitals in the country don’t have enough ultra-cold freezers to be able to store the doses.
The drugmaker said the company was working closely with the federal government and state officials on how to ship the vaccine from its distribution centers in Michigan and Wisconsin.
Pfizer, in a bid to overcome the freezer issue, has created thermal shipping containers so the vaccines are stored at the correct temperatures.
The vaccines can remain in the thermal container it is shipping in for 10 days. Pfizer says providers can replenish the dry ice up to three times for an additional 15 days, if needed.
Once the packages containing the vaccines are opened, the doses have to be stored in normal refrigeration temperatures of slightly above freezing.
They have to be used within five days of being refrigerated and the doses can’t be refrozen if unused. Pfizer says the packages, however, can onDly be opened twice a day.
If the doses are being stored in an ultra-low temperature freezer at a hospital, for example, the vaccine can last up to six months.
Moderna revealed on Monday that once thawed, its doses can last longer in a refrigerator than initially thought, up to 30 days. D
US government’s plan to effectively distribute the jab to Americans once it’s available: How will it work?
Who will get the vaccine first and when will it be rolled out?
HHS secretary Alex Azar has offered up a timeline regarding who would be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccination if they can start rolling out the jabs next month as planned.
The elderly in nursing homes and assisted living facilities will likely be the first to the vaccinated.
Adults with underlying medical conditions that put them at risk of severe COVID-19 illness and people over 65 years of age could also fall into this initial category, according to according to Operation Warp Speed’s strategy plan.
Inoculations of healthcare workers and first responders will follow, with a goal to complete those shots by the end of January.
Azar said he expects to have enough vaccinations for ‘all Americans’ by the end of March to early April.
Dr Anthony Fauci agreed with this determination, predicting that Americans will likely be vaccinated by April.
A final priority list is still being determined by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices that will based, in part, on vaccine efficacy data from the various trials, including Pfizer and Moderna.
This chart shows Operation Warp Speed’s distribution plan from when a vaccine is approved by the FDA to being given to administration sites
How many shots will you have to get and how much will it cost?
The COVID-19 vaccine will need to be taken in two doses about three weeks apart to be fully effective.
While there could be multiple vaccines available by next year, they are not interchangeable if they have been developed by different companies.
This means the second dose needs to be from the same manufacturer as the first dose.
Operation Warp Speed’s strategy plan details that those providing the vaccine should be giving out vaccine record cards that details the manufacturer. Record cards can also serve as a reminder about getting the second dose.
Congress and President Donald Trump have already enacted legislation that calls for the vaccines to be free to all Americans.
How many will the US have available?
The government already has a $1.95 billion contract for 100 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which is enough to inoculate 50 million people, with an option to acquire 500 million more.
The government will also secure 100 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine after paying $1.5 billion, with an option for another 400 million doses.
Pfizer has already said it will distribute its own vaccine from its facilities straight to administration sites. Other vaccines will be shipped by a government contractor from the manufacturer
Where will Americans be able to get COVID-19 vaccinations?
The government will be allocating vaccine supplies to states which will then be responsible for administering the jabs.
The government is organizing a free distribution of the vaccine to US states and territories, with each jurisdiction to decide how to distribute the doses to hospitals, pharmacies, doctors or even universities.
In the early stages of the roll out, the CDC has recommended that states make vaccines available at large hospitals and health systems, pharmacies, mobile vaccination providers, occupational health settings for large employers, critical access hospitals, rural health clinics, community health centers and other central locations that can provide vaccination services for a broad area.
The CDC says it has existing agreements with CVS and Walgreens to assist with on-site vaccinations at long-term care facilities.
Operation Warp Speed has indicated they want vaccinations to be available at all healthcare professionals who are licensed to administer vaccines, including pharmacies.
The pharmacies that have already signed on to provide vaccinations, according to the CDC, include: Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Rite Aid, Kroger Co., Albertsons and Costco.
Who is in charge of shipping out the vaccinations and how will they be handled?
While US Army general Gus Perna is coordinating the distribution of the vaccine, the military will not be involved in shipping out the vaccine to the locations where the jabs will be administered.
Vaccines made by Moderna and other candidates will be shipped directly from the manufacturer by medical supply company McKesson Corp.
McKesson, who has been contracted by Operation Warp Speed for distribution, was also contracted by the government to distribute H1N1 vaccines during that pandemic in 2009-2010.
Pfizer has already said it will distribute its own vaccine from its facilities in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.
The drugmaker has already created a staging ground at its Michigan facility complete with 350 large freezers to hold the vaccines once they’re created and ready to ship.
Pfizer’s ship-out will include a precise, clockwork-like dance of containers, trucks and planes.
The vaccine needs to be stored at -94 degrees Fahrenheit, so thermal shipping containers will each be filled with dry ice and 975 vials of the vaccine which each contain five doses, for a total of 4,875 doses.
Every day six trucks will take the doses to air carriers such as FedEx, UPS or DHL, which will deliver them across the US in one to two days and across the globe in three. The company expects an average of 20 daily cargo flights worldwide.
FedEx had to obtain special permission from civil aviation authorities to transport so much dry ice, which could pose a danger to the crew should it accidentally undergo ‘sublimation’ and pass from a solid to a gas, the company
Once the boxes have reached their final destination, they can be opened only briefly just two times a day. The vaccines can remain in their boxes for two weeks meaning hospitals will not need a special freezer.
Moderna’s vaccine can be stored at -4 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temperature of a normal freezer.