Covid-19 and Vaccine Information: Stay Updates

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Prime Minister Jean Castex of France mentioned on Thursday that a number of areas, together with the Paris space, would once more impose strict measures to include the coronavirus.Credit scoreCredit score…Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Instances

France’s well being regulators mentioned on Friday that the nation would resume AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccinations as quickly as potential — however that it really useful them just for individuals age 55 and older. A really small variety of circumstances of blood clotting have occurred in individuals youthful than that.

Well being Minister Olivier Véran welcomed the transfer. “Thanks to all of our medical doctors and pharmacists who as of immediately are going to mobilize to proceed the vaccination marketing campaign,” he said in a tweet.

The information got here as a number of areas in France, together with the realm that features Paris, started a brand new lockdown on Friday that can final for a minimum of a month.

“The scenario is worsening,” Primer Minister Jean Castex mentioned on Thursday at a information convention in regards to the restrictions, which is able to have an effect on a couple of third of the French inhabitants. “Our accountability now’s that it not get uncontrolled.”

The restrictions have an effect on the Paris area, the nation’s northern tip and the realm surrounding the southern metropolis of Good.

Companies thought-about nonessential are compelled to shut, outside actions are restricted to inside a six-mile radius of an individual’s residence, and journey to different areas is banned. Faculties will stay open, Mr. Castex mentioned.

On Thursday, France reported 35,000 new coronavirus circumstances, in keeping with a New York Instances database — one of many highest numbers since November, when a second wave of an infection compelled your entire nation into lockdown. The nation’s gradual inoculation marketing campaign, additional set again by a brief suspension of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, has not helped.

Coronavirus infections in France rose 24 % from the earlier week. The variant first recognized in Britain now represents three-quarters of recent circumstances.

The Paris area has borne the brunt of it. Final week, well being officers in Paris ordered hospitals to cancel lots of their procedures to make room for Covid-19 sufferers. And this week some sufferers had been transferred to different areas to ease the stress on hospitals.

France has been underneath a nighttime curfew since mid-January, with eating places, cafes and museums remaining closed. Making a calculated gamble, the federal government tried to tighten restrictions simply sufficient to stave off a 3rd wave of infections with out taking extra extreme steps that may damage the economic system.

However as infections began to extend in late February, the federal government imposed new lockdowns on weekends within the French Riviera, the famed strip alongside the Mediterranean coast, and within the space surrounding the northern port of Dunkirk. Officers made clear that extra lockdowns may comply with in different areas.

The brand new restrictions will have an effect on a couple of third of the inhabitants, although they don’t go so far as these imposed a yr in the past, firstly of the epidemic.

Major faculties and secondary faculties will stay open, and the principles for prime faculties and universities will stay a lot the identical, with attendance restricted to stop infections. Folks may also be allowed to take walks and train with no time restrict.

Although nonessential outlets will shut, the definition of important has been expanded to incorporate bookshops and music outlets.

Bruno Riou, the pinnacle of the disaster middle for Paris public hospitals, mentioned a lockdown was the one remaining choice to stop extra deaths, on condition that lower than 9 % of the inhabitants has acquired a minimum of a primary vaccination dose.

“I hear lots of people saying {that a} week with out a lockdown is per week that’s gained,” Mr. Riou mentioned. “For me, it’s per week that’s misplaced.”


United States › United StatesOn March 18 14-day change
New circumstances 60,782 –13%
New deaths 1,549 –29%

World › WorldOn March 18 14-day change
New cases 507,132 +21%
New deaths 9,561 Flat

U.S. vaccinations ›

Where states are reporting vaccines given

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Biden: U.S. on Track for 100 Million Vaccinations Since Jan. 20

President Biden said Thursday the U.S. would on Friday reach his Covid-19 vaccine goal of 100 million shots in 100 days, though he had earlier conceded they should aim higher.

In the last week, we’ve seen increases in the number of cases in several states — scientists have made clear that things may get worse as new variants of this virus spread. Getting vaccinated is the best thing we can do to fight back against these variants. While millions of people are vaccinated, we need millions more to be vaccinated. And I’m proud to announce that tomorrow, 58 days into our administration, we will have met my goal of administering 100 million shots to our fellow Americans. That’s weeks ahead of schedule. Eight weeks ago, only 8 percent of seniors, those most vulnerable to Covid-19, had received a vaccination. Today, 65 percent of people age 65 or older have received at least one shot. And 36 percent are fully vaccinated. This is a time for optimism, but it’s not a time for relaxation. I need all Americans, I need all of you to do your part. Keep the faith, keep wearing the mask, keep washing your hands and keep socially distanced. We’re going to beat this. We’re way ahead of schedule, but we’ve got a long way to go.

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President Biden said Thursday the U.S. would on Friday reach his Covid-19 vaccine goal of 100 million shots in 100 days, though he had earlier conceded they should aim higher.CreditCredit…Jon Cherry for The New York Times

As more states expand eligibility for coronavirus vaccinations, the pace of daily shots administered in the United States has steadily increased to a rate that is now 12 percent higher than it was a week ago.

On Thursday, Illinois joined a growing list of at least 16 other states announcing that they were opening appointments to all residents 16 years and older this month or next.

“The light that we can see at end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter as more people get vaccinated,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at a news conference.

President Biden said on Thursday that the United States was a day away from reaching his goal of administering 100 million vaccine doses in 100 days — with six weeks to spare before his self-imposed deadline.

“We’re way ahead of schedule,” he said in brief remarks from the White House, “but we have a long way to go.”

Mr. Biden maintained that the 100 million-shot goal was ambitious, even though he conceded in January that the government should be aiming higher. And though the new administration has bulked up the vaccine production and distribution campaign, its key elements were in place before Mr. Biden took office.

As of Thursday, the seven-day average was about 2.5 million doses a day, according to a New York Times analysis of data reported from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last week, Mr. Biden set a deadline of May 1 for states to make vaccines available to all adult residents. At least Maine, Virginia, North Carolina and Wisconsin, in addition to Washington, D.C., plan to meet that goal. Others, including Colorado, Connecticut, Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan and Montana, hope to make vaccines available to all of their adult residents even earlier.

Gov. Spencer Cox of Utah said opening up eligibility to all adults in his state would help address vaccine equity and reach rural communities. He also said it would “allow us to take our mobile vaccination clinics into these hard-to-reach areas or populations who may have a little more vaccine hesitancy.”

Other states have also pushed up their eligibility dates: Nevada will make vaccines out there to all adults on April 5; Missouri on April 9; Maryland as of April 27; and Rhode Island beginning April 19.

New York has but to make all adults eligible, however the state just lately expanded to incorporate public-facing authorities workers, nonprofit staff and important constructing service staff. On Thursday, Mayor Invoice de Blasio of New York Metropolis, newly eligible due to the change, acquired the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at a information convention.


Eligible solely in some counties


Eligible solely in some counties


Eligible solely in some counties

Sheikh Mohamed Hamad Mohamed al-Khalifa, center behind brown box, who plans to climb Mount Everest, arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Monday.
Credit score…Nishant S. Gurung/Agence France-Presse — Getty Photos

KATHMANDU, Nepal — A peculiar vaccine drama is unfolding on the worldwide airport in Nepal’s capital. It includes a member of Bahrain’s royal household who arrived with 1000’s of doses of coronavirus vaccines from China for an expedition to Mount Everest.

Earlier than setting out, a workforce of Bahraini climbers led by Sheikh Mohamed Hamad Mohamed al-Khalifa had introduced that they’d be coming with 2,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, which Nepal’s authorities mentioned can be of the AstraZeneca type.

This transfer would fulfill a pledge that the climbers had made to native villagers throughout one other expedition final September — a promise of generosity that led the villagers to call a neighborhood hill “Bahrain Peak.”

However when the climbers arrived within the capital, Kathmandu, on Monday, an inquiry by Nepal’s drug regulators discovered that the vaccines they had been carrying had been truly the one developed by Sinopharm, a Chinese language state-owned vaccine maker.

The Nepali authorities now discover themselves in a repair: whether or not to just accept the vaccine doses or refuse.

The doses are being held in chilly storage on the airport, and the climbers have been quarantined at a lodge because the authorities ponder the right way to deal with the scenario.

Nepal has largely relied on the AstraZeneca vaccine for its rollout, which is off to a gradual begin. Counting on a donation of 1 million doses from India, Nepal has vaccinated about 1.7 million individuals in a rustic of about 30 million.

Its efforts have been slowed due to a delay within the supply of two million vaccine doses that it purchased from the Serum Institute of India.

Though Nepal accepted the emergency use of the Sinopharm vaccine after China pledged to provide 500,000 doses to the nation, it has not acquired the Chinese language donation.

In September, the Bahraini climbers arrived in Nepal in a chartered airplane to climb two mountains, Mount Manaslu and Lobuche Peak. The vaccine doses they had been carrying this week had been a present for villagers in Samagaun, a gateway to Mount Manaslu.

The workforce of Bahraini climbers couldn’t be reached for remark. However Mingma Sherpa, the proprietor of Seven Summit Treks, the company that has been organizing the Bahrain workforce’s Everest expedition, mentioned the issues might need resulted from miscommunication between Nepal’s overseas ministry and the well being ministry.

He mentioned the Sinopharm vaccine had additionally been used throughout Bahrain’s vaccination drive.

“It’s as much as the federal government,” Mr. Sherpa mentioned. “In the event that they suppose it’s OK, the vaccines might be administered to villagers. In the event that they suppose it’s dangerous to vaccinate the individuals, the workforce will take the vaccine again to Bahrain.”

Maria Alyokhina, center, a member of Pussy Riot, at a hearing at the Moscow City Court in February.
Credit score…Moscow Metropolis Courtroom Press Service, through Shutterstock

A Russian court docket has confined a few of the nation’s most distinguished opposition figures to deal with arrest on accusations that they violated coronavirus security guidelines, in what seems to be a authorities effort to make use of the restrictions to muzzle its opponents.

The authorized motion, referred to as a “sanitary case,” targets 10 opposition politicians and dissidents, together with the senior management of Aleksei A. Navalny’s group and members of the protest group Pussy Riot. All are accused of inciting others to violate guidelines launched final spring to gradual the unfold of the coronavirus. Their legal professionals have denied that they did.

Prosecutors say their social media posts selling a protest in Moscow in January resulted in attendance by 19 individuals who had been legally required to isolate due to constructive Covid-19 exams, thus placing in danger others who attended.

Protection legal professionals say the authorities are cynically twisting coronavirus guidelines to isolate individuals who pose no an infection danger however are seen by the federal government as posing a political one.

“The ideological intent is to label opposition figures as infectious, as poisonous, as poisoners of the general public,” mentioned Danil Berman, a lawyer for Maria Alyokhina, a member of Pussy Riot who was a type of focused. Isolating key leaders earlier than parliamentary elections scheduled for this yr additionally hobbles the opposition, he mentioned.

Many individuals world wide have complained that coronavirus restrictions have infringed on their freedoms as a byproduct of security measures. However the Russian opposition members argue that the federal government is utilizing the restrictions in opposition to them with the precise goal of curbing their liberty.

On-line posts from the opposition figures selling the protest didn’t particularly encourage individuals who had been sick to attend, as the federal government charged, protection legal professionals say. Lockdowns in Moscow had in any case been largely lifted months earlier.

Additionally, the protection legal professionals say, the principles are selectively enforced to limit opposition exercise whereas permitting pro-government occasions to go forward with few restrictions, although the virus would unfold as readily at both kind of gathering.

Hiking at Zion National Park in Utah in November.
Credit score…Nikki Boliaux for The New York Instances

Final June, as Individuals started to emerge from lockdowns and into a brand new but nonetheless unsure stage of the pandemic, Amy Ryan and her household set sail in a 44-foot catamaran and headed up the Atlantic coast. They haven’t stopped crusing since.

Ms. Ryan’s husband, Casey Ryan, 56, was on partly paid go away from his job as an airline pilot. Faculty was distant for his or her daughters, now 7 and 11. Ms. Ryan, an actual property agent, might handle her workforce from wherever.

For 9 months, the Ryans have been hopscotching, first up the coast and later within the Caribbean. “We’re so secluded more often than not, we received’t see any individuals on land for weeks at a time,” Ms. Ryan mentioned. The largest problem is discovering a Covid-19 check earlier than setting sail for a brand new location.

For many individuals, the previous 12 months have been lived in a state of suspended animation, with goals and plans deferred till additional discover amid fear over venturing out for even fundamental excursions. However some individuals, just like the Ryans, took the restrictions — digital college and distant work — as a possibility to select up and go elsewhere. With a superb web connection, a Zoom convention name can occur simply as simply on a ship or behind a camper as it may in a front room.

Many individuals bristle on the concept of anybody taking a visit in any respect, not to mention touring indefinitely at a time of immense struggling. Faculty and workplace closings weren’t meant to make it simpler to see the world; they had been supposed to influence individuals to remain residence and gradual the unfold of a lethal virus. And with many out of labor and struggling to pay payments, or attempting to steadiness parenting with the calls for of distant work, it will have been inconceivable.

However these households insist that their “gradual journey” strategies — permitting for under uncommon encounters with different individuals indoors — are not any extra harmful than staying residence. Spend your time crisscrossing the nation in a camper and staying in state parks, and also you hardly ever encounter anybody outdoors your loved ones, besides to get meals and gasoline.

“This pandemic has been so extremely laborious for everyone, and persons are discovering their methods of managing and getting via it,” mentioned Ashish Ok. Jha, the dean of the Brown College Faculty of Public Well being, including that remoted actions like crusing and tenting are usually not inherently dangerous.

Till the pandemic, the Ryans weren’t sailors, nor had they ever deliberate to be. However they spent the lockdown watching YouTube movies about households that sail. By Could, they’d purchased a ship with no concept how lengthy they’d be on it.

“If it hadn’t been for Covid,” Ms. Ryan mentioned, “there isn’t any approach this is able to have occurred.”

Marge Rohlf receiving a vaccination at the Madrid Home in Iowa in January.
Credit score…Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register, through Related Press

For the primary time in almost a yr, Iowa is reporting that there are not any lively coronavirus outbreaks in any of the state’s long-term care amenities.

For the reason that starting of the pandemic, greater than 2,200 residents of these amenities have died from the virus, in keeping with Iowa’s Covid-19 dashboard. However the fee of outbreaks started a steep decline in January, when the state ramped up vaccinations for residents and employees.

Within the first two weeks of January alone, circumstances declined 70 %, from 410 to 119 by mid-January, in keeping with the Iowa Well being Care Affiliation. Of the state’s 445 expert nursing houses and 258 assisted-living amenities, 146 had been experiencing outbreaks in December.

“It is a huge milestone,” mentioned Nola Aigner Davis, the general public well being communications officer for the Polk County Well being Division in Des Moines. “It actually speaks volumes of how efficient this vaccine is.”

For a lot of the pandemic, residents and workers in nursing houses have been among the many most weak individuals within the nation.

The coronavirus, as of late February, had scythed via greater than 31,000 long-term care amenities and killed a minimum of 172,000 individuals residing and dealing in them. Greater than 1.3 million long-term care residents and staff have been contaminated over the previous yr.

Of Iowa’s 5,673 deaths, almost 60 % had been individuals over age 80.

That has modified, nevertheless, with the arrival of vaccinations.

Amenities for older individuals got early precedence for photographs, and from late December to early February, a New York Instances evaluation discovered, new circumstances amongst nursing residence residents — a subset of long-term care residents — fell greater than 80 %. That was about double the speed of enchancment within the basic inhabitants.

At the same time as fatalities had been peaking within the basic inhabitants, deaths contained in the amenities decreased greater than 65 %.

About 4.8 million residents and workers in long-term care amenities have acquired a minimum of one vaccine dose, in keeping with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. About 2.8 million have been absolutely vaccinated.

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