The European medicines regulator today decided that a warning about unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be added to Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine product information – but concluded that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed on the risk.
The European Medicines Agency has found a “possible link” between the single-dose vaccine and eight reports of blood clots, including one death. Over 7 million doses have been administered. The United States Food and Drug Administration last week asked states to temporarily suspend use of J & J’s vaccine “out of caution.”
The move comes as world leaders and public health experts struggle to curb vaccine reluctance and convince the public that the pandemic is far from over. Globally, weekly infections are setting records. In the United States, while cases and hospitalizations have declined since January, the United States still reports more than 400,000 cases per week.
“While we make extraordinary progress in the number of people vaccinated, we still have an extraordinary amount of disease,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at a press conference at the White House Monday.
About 1 in 4 Americans say they might refuse to get the vaccine. Among them was rocker, gun rights activist and staunch conservative Ted Nugent, who rejected the vaccines while announcing on Facebook that he tested positive on Monday after suffering from flu-like symptoms for 10 days.
“I thought I was dying,” the singer said. “I could barely crawl out of bed the last few days, but I did, I crawled.
Also in the news:
►The Food and Drug Administration has ordered production of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to stop at a Baltimore plant, raising questions about the company’s ability to deliver the 100 million doses it pledged to the US government by the end of June. .
►Rahul Gandhi, an Indian opposition leader and descendant of the Nehru-Gandhi family of India, says he tested positive for COVID-19 after experiencing mild symptoms. India’s outbreak continues unabated, with now more than 1.6 million cases reported in the week ending Monday. India’s outbreak helped propel the world to another record high of more than 5.4 million reported cases in the week ending Monday.
►Consumers will be able to buy rapid coronavirus tests without a prescription this week from three national retail chains, an expansion that comes as the country’s vaccination effort accelerates and states relax distancing requirements and mask warrants .
►New York became the fourth state to report its 2,000,000th coronavirus case, after California, Florida and Texas. California has more than 3.7 million reported cases, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from Johns Hopkins.
📈 The numbers of the day: The United States has more than 31.7 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 567,600 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: over 142 million cases and 3 million deaths.
📘 What we read: COVID-19 vaccines are available to all Americans over 16 who want to get vaccinated on Monday, but a panel of experts convened by USA TODAY remains deeply concerned about people who say vaccines are not needed. Learn more here.
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Collective immunity is probably not achievable because many Americans refuse the vaccine
For nearly a year, Americans have been eagerly awaiting herd immunity, when enough people are protected by vaccination or a previous infection to stop the spread of COVID-19. But with about a quarter of Americans saying they might not want to be vaccinated, herd immunity just isn’t an achievable goal, some experts say. The split has become political. About 79% of self-identified Democrats say they have been vaccinated or intend to do so soon, compared to 46% of Republicans.
Collective immunity is “theoretically possible, but we as a society have rejected it,” said Dr Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic’s vaccine research group. “There is no eradication at this stage, it is irrelevant. The only thing we can talk about is control.
– Elizabeth weise
Do not travel list: State Department raises alert level for most countries
The State Department said on Monday it was raising the level of travel alert for a significant number of countries this week, as it was incorporating the CDC’s COVID data more heavily into its rating system.
As travelers face ongoing risks from the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Department will begin updating its travel advisories this week to better reflect the Centers for Scientific Travel Health Advisories. Disease Control and Prevention which describe current issues affecting travelers’ health “Our reviews also take into account logistical factors, including the availability of testing in the country and current travel restrictions for US citizens.”
The agency said about 80% of countries will now carry the “do not travel” label, a level 4.
Today, only 34 out of 209 countries, or about 16%, have rated a level 4. Almost 150 countries, or about 70%, fall in level 3.
The State Department said the pandemic continued to pose “unprecedented risks” to travelers.
“In light of these risks, the State Department urges US citizens to reconsider all overseas travel. ”
– Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY
Coronavirus spreads at record rate around the world despite vaccines
Even as the United States and other countries continue their COVID-19 vaccination programs, infections are increasing globally faster than ever.
A record 5,363,616 new cases were reported during the week ending Saturday, according to USA TODAY analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. At this rate, nearly nine cases are being reported every second. Growth in the number of cases is being driven by a breathtaking peak in India. The United States, which opened immunization eligibility for all adults on Monday, Brazil and Turkey are the other countries reporting more than 400,000 cases per week. These five countries account for the most new cases globally, according to USA TODAY analysis.
Deaths from COVID-19 are still below the peak of more than 100,000 per week. About 83,000 weekly deaths are currently reported, a rate of around eight people dying every minute.
– Mike stucka
Contribute: The Associated Press