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Coronavirus live news: New York pleads for more Covid vaccine as global daily deaths pass 17,000 for first time

The Guardian - Thu Jan 14 00:36

19:54

US state leaders are increasingly pushing for schools to reopen this winter — pressuring them, even — as teachers begin to gain access to the vaccine against the raging pandemic, AP reports.

Ohio’s governor offered to give vaccinations to teachers at the start of February, provided their school districts agree to resume at least some in-person instruction by 1 March.

In Arizona, where teachers began receiving shots this week, the governor warned schools that he expects students back in the classroom despite objections from top education officials and the highest Covid-19 diagnosis rate in the nation over the past week.

“We will not be funding empty seats or allowing schools to remain in a perpetual state of closure,” said Republican Governor Doug Ducey. “Children still need to learn, even in a pandemic.”

Leaders of Arizona’s major hospitals disagreed with the governor’s position, noting at a news conference Wednesday that the state is teetering on the brink of having to ration life-saving care.

“We understand that learning and bringing our children together is very important,” said Dr. Michael White of Valleywise Health. “But at this time with uncontrolled spread of the virus, we need to do things that we know will reduce the chance that the virus will spread and that is not gathering with people we don’t live with.”

19:36

Vivian Ho

California leaders are facing mounting pressure to speed up distribution of the new coronavirus vaccine, announcing major steps this week to makes doses available to more people.

On Wednesday the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, said that all residents 65 and older will be able to get a vaccine. The move follows the announcement of new mass-vaccination sites at locations such as Disneyland and Dodger Stadium.

Despite high hopes, the state’s vaccine rollout program has been painfully slow. California has received the most doses of any state in the country, but currently ranks in the bottom 10 states for doses administered per 100,000 people.Here’s what you need to know about who is getting the Covid-19 vaccine in California, and when:

19:20

Nationwide in the US, slightly more than one-third of the 29.4 million doses distributed to states have been administered, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorised the vaccine from Pfizer and partner BioNTech SE and a second vaccine from Moderna Inc for emergency use. Both vaccines require two doses spaced a few weeks apart.

The chief science officer of Johnson & Johnson said the company is on track to roll out its single-shot coronavirus vaccine in March, and it plans to have clear data on how effective it is by the end of this month or early February.

In an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, Dr. Paul Stoffels also said J&J expected to meet its stated target of delivering 1bn doses of its vaccine by the end of this year as the company ramps up production.

19:03

New York pleads for more Covid vaccine

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday said the city would fall short of its inoculation goals unless it could get more vaccine, Reuters reports.

The mayor said short supplies were hampering New York City’s efforts to increase its immunisation campaign. His appeal comes as the country as a whole struggles to meet an overall goal, with vaccinations now running far behind a target of 20 million people by now.

“We need the federal government, the state government and the manufacturers to step up and get us more supply immediately,* de Blasio said at a briefing.

The country’s most populous city is adding vaccination sites across its five boroughs, including its two Major League Baseball parks, and has succeeded in loosening restrictions on who is eligible for vaccination, de Blasio said.

Both New York and California have opened inoculations to healthy people as young as 65.

New York is on track to inoculate 1 million of its more than 8 million residents by the end of the month, but only if it gets enough vaccine, he said.

“I confirmed with our healthcare team yesterday that even with normal supplies that we expect to have delivered next week, we will run out of vaccine at some point next week, unless we get a major new resupply,” he added.

At the Javits Center in Manhattan which was pressed into service as a temporary hospital in April, health officials said they were prepared to vaccinate 10,000 people in 12 hours, with the ability to ramp up to 25,000 in a 24-hour period.

*We consider this a wartime mobilization, and that lives are on the line every minute of every day,” state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker told reporters.

18:50

Summary

Hello and welcome to our rolling live coverage of the global coronavirus pandemic.

My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the latest from around the world for the next few hours.

You can get in touch with me on Twitter @helenrsullivan.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has warned the city will fall short of its inoculation goals unless it can get more vaccine.

The mayor said short supplies were hampering New York City’s efforts to increase its immunisation campaign. His appeal comes as the country as a whole struggles to meet an overall goal, with vaccinations now running far behind a target of 20 million people by now.

Meanwhile the world has for the first time recorded more than 17,000 deaths in one day, according to Johns Hopkins University, as the global total nears 2 million.

Here are the key developments from the last few hours:

  • New Covid-19 lockdown in Portugal to come into force from Friday. A new lockdown to bring a worrying rise in coronavirus cases under control will come into force in Portugal from Friday, prime minister António Costa announced, urging people to stay indoors and protect themselves.
  • New York pleads for more Covid-19 vaccine as daily US death toll hits record. As the United States recorded its highest single-day death toll since the coronavirus pandemic began, New York mayor Bill de Blasio on said the city would fall short of its inoculation goals unless it could get more vaccine.
  • UK passes 100,000 deaths involving coronavirus. More than 100,000 deaths involving coronavirus have occurred in the UK since the disease first appeared in the country almost a year ago. Public health experts have said it is a sign of “phenomenal failure of policy and practice”.
  • African Union secures 270m Covid-19 vaccine doses from manufacturers. The African Union has secured a provisional 270m Covid-19 vaccine doses from manufacturers for member states to supplement the Covax programme, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa said.
  • Cuba suspends schools and public transport as it grapples with coronavirus surge. The Cuban government is once more shutting down schools, public transport and cultural activities across swathes of the Caribbean island during its worst outbreak of the coronavirus since the pandemic began.
  • Spain reports 38,869 new cases, its highest single-day rise in infections. The country also recorded 195 further deaths, while the number of cases per 100,000 people rose from 452 to 493.
  • Unilever workers will never return to desks full-time, says boss. The boss of Unilever, one of the UK’s biggest companies, has said his office workers will never return to their desks five days a week, in the latest indication that coronavirus will transform modern working life.
  • Switzerland brings in tough measures to head off threat of third wave. Switzerland announced tough new restrictions Wednesday in a pre-emptive strike against a feared third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic caused by quicker-spreading variants of the virus.