December 7, 2021: Researchers in South Africa, where the Omicron COVID-19 variant is spreading quickly, say it may cause less serious COVID cases than other forms of the virus, but it is unclear whether that will hold true. (NY Times)
December 1, 2021: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Omicron COVID-19 variant has now been identified in at least 24 countries, including the United States with the first reported case being identified in California. (NPR, New York Times)
November 29, 2021: The World Health Organization is warning that the new omicron variant of the coronavirus poses a "very high" global risk because of the possibility that it spreads more easily and might resist vaccines and immunity in people who were infected with previous strains. (NPR)
November 19, 2021: FDA has authorized COVID booster shots for all fully vaccinated Americans who are age 18 and older for both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. CDC will make the final determination on Friday.
November 5, 2021: Pfizer antiviral pill reduced risk of covid hospitalization and death by 89 percent in high-risk people, company study shows. The protective effect was so convincing that an independent panel monitoring a trial of the drug advised it be stopped early. (Washington Post)
November 3, 2021: CDC has officially recommended the pediatric dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, opening the door for 28 million US kids to be vaccinated. This decision follows "robust" antibody response and "favorable" safety outcomes in kids who received the two-dose regimen in clinical trials. (CDC, NPR)
October 29, 2021: FDA has emergency use authorized (EUA) the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children 5 to 11 for. Experts said the shot could bring relief to parents anxious about their children getting sick, though some worry that those most at risk may slip through the cracks. (NY Times)
October 26, 2021: FDA advisory panel has unanimously recommended Pfizer’s low-dose COVID vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11. The endorsement was a critical step in getting more kids in the U.S. protected against the virus. The agency doesn’t always follow the advice of its independent committee, but it often does. (CNBC)
October 21, 2021: For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months ago, the following groups are eligible for a COVID booster shot: (1) 65 years and older, (2) Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings, (3) Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions, and (4) Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings. For people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18+ and who were vaccinated two or more months ago. (CDC)
October 15, 2021: U.S. FDA advisers vote to recommend Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine booster for people 18 and older at least 2 months after first dose. (Reuters)
October 14, 2021: FDA vaccine advisers recommend emergency use authorization for booster dose of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine to people 65 and older and to those 18 to 64 with risk factors for severe illness. (CNN)
October 7, 2021: Starting Oct. 30, the Canadian government will require all air travelers and passengers on interprovincial trains to be vaccinated against COVID-19. (USA Today)
October 7, 2021: Pfizer asked the U.S. government Thursday to allow use of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11, formally filing its application with the FDA. If regulators agree, shots could begin within a matter of weeks. (AP)
October 6, 2021: In a study of 3.4 million people at Kaiser Permanente Southern California between Dec 14, 2020 and Aug 8, 2021 it has been found that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine remains highly protective against hospitalization and death. SARS-CoV-2 infection protection of fully vaccinated individuals was found to be 73%, and COVID-19-induced hospitalization protection was 90%. The effectiveness against infections dropped from 88% during the first month following full vaccination to 47% after 5 months. (news-medical.net)
October 1, 2021: About a third of parents say they want to vaccinate their 5-to-11-year-old children “right away” once a coronavirus vaccine is available for that age group, according to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Washington Post)
September 28, 2021: Pfizer submits data to FDA, seeking emergency use authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 These younger kids could be vaccinated by Halloween, Pfizer CEO says. (NBC News)
September 27, 2021: Tens of thousands of health care workers in New York appeared to be risking their jobs by defying the state mandate to receive a dose of a coronavirus vaccine by Monday, setting up an early test for similar employer mandates across the United States. (New York Times)
September 27, 2021: The COVID pandemic has become the deadliest outbreak in American history. According to data from Johns Hopkins University 681,253 individuals in the U.S. have died from COVID-19, with an estimated 675,000 people during the 1918 flu pandemic. (Smithsonian)
September 24, 2021: The CDC has announced recommendations for booster shots and who should receive them:
(1) People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,(2) People aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,(3) People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks, and(4) People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.
September 23, 2021: The FDA has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for a booster dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in people 65 and older, people at high risk of severe disease, and people whose jobs put them at risk of infection. (CNN)
September 20, 2021: Pfizer reports a low dose of their COVID vaccine is safe and effective in children ages 5 to 11 and are seeking emergency use authorization as they continue to accumulate data to support an application for full approval in children. (Washington Post)
September 14, 2021: Top U.S. health officials believe that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine could be authorized for children aged 5-11 years old by the end of October (Reuters)
September 13, 2021: According to the CDC, it is safe and effective to get both a COVID booster and a flu shot at the same time. (Washington Post)
September 9, 2021: President Biden and the U.S. Department of Labor will issue a rule requiring businesses with more than 100 employees to have their workers vaccinated or tested weekly, officials said on Thursday.
September 9, 2021: Authorities are expecting an active flu season this year, threatening hospitals already struggling to keep up with COVID-19 strains. There is hope that COVID and flu vaccines will keep case counts low this winter. (Wall Street Journal)
September 7, 2021: World Health Organization (WHO): COVID-19 is likely “here to stay” as the virus continues to mutate similarly to the influenza (flu) pandemic viruses. (CNBC)
August 23, 2021: U.S. FDA has officially granted full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
August 18, 2021: CDC: COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines “may now be administered without regard to timing.” This includes receiving COVID-19 and flu vaccines on the same day, as well as co-administration within 14 days. (CDC)
August 17, 2021: The flu vaccine may lower the risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Researchers studied nearly 75,000 COVID-19 patients, half of whom had received the most recently available flu shot.
August 15, 2021: CDC reports that COVID-19 has caused more pediatric deaths than the flu since the pandemic began.
August 13, 2021: Pediatric hospitals are seeing a spike in RSV cases as COVID-19 Delta variant continues, flu season approaches.
August 4, 2021: The Delta variant now accounts for about 93% of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
August 3, 2021: The seven-day average of daily COVID cases in the U.S. surpassed the peak seen last summer when the nation didn’t have an authorized vaccine, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. Friday July 30 saw 72,790 new COVID cases nationwide.
July 27, 2021: CDC is now recommending vaccinated people wear masks indoors as number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
July 9, 2021: CDC says no COVID booster doses needed right now: "Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time," read a joint statement sent Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.
July 9, 2021: Pfizer to seek U.S. authorization for COVID booster shot. Based on evidence of increased risk of reinfection six months after inoculation and the propagation of the extremely contagious Delta variant, Pfizer plans to petition US authorities to approve a booster dosage of its COVID-19 vaccine within the next month, the drugmaker's chief scientist said on Thursday.
July 9, 2021: A top state official stated Tuesday that every person who died from COVID-19 in Maryland last month was unvaccinated, inline with recent evidence that the vaccine has made nearly all coronavirus-related deaths nationwide avoidable.
May 17, 2021: 54.3% of New Mexico residents have received their first vaccine dose. 44.2% of residents have completed vaccination.
May 14, 2021: Target, Home Depot, CVS and Harris Teeter are among the chains that will continue to require masks in store, though they are reviewing new CDC guidance and reevaluating store policies.
May 14, 2021: Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, says fully vaccinated employees and customers will not need to wear a mask inside stores beginning on Tuesday, based on the latest guidance from the CDC.
May 13, 2021: CDC: If you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, incl. local business and workplace guidance.
May 10, 2021: The FDA has authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in adolescents 12 and older. This announcement came after Pfizer’s recent trial of the vaccine in adolescents which demonstrated that the vaccine is at least as effective as it is in adults.
May 5, 2021: Walgreens will offer same-day COVID vaccination appointments in all retail locations nationwide beginning Wednesday, with walk-in appointments available at select stores as well. Since vaccinations began in December, Walgreens says it has administered more than 15 million vaccine doses. (nbc)
May 4, 2021: The Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for administration to adolescents by early next week, according to a federal health official with knowledge of the agency's plans. The move would allow many American middle- and high-school students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 well before the start of the next school year, using a shot Pfizer claims demonstrated "100% efficacy" in children as young as 12 years old with side effects similar to those that have occurred in young adults. (CBS News)
May 3, 2021: The number of Americans fully vaccinated against COVID tops 100 million. This means 39% of the nation's adult population has been fully vaccinated. (abc)
May 3, 2021: The U.S. announced it will restrict travel from India starting Tuesday, citing the devastating rise in COVID-19 cases in the country and the emergence of potentially dangerous variants of the coronavirus. While the overall number of lives lost to COVID-19 in the U.S. has eclipsed 575,000, deaths have plummeted to an average of about 670 per day from a peak of around 3,400 in mid-January. (abc)
April 29, 2021: People with a history or risk of lymphedema in both arms, who have (or had) breast cancer, and people who need a mammogram within six weeks of their Covid-19 vaccine should consider seeking a vaccine site that will administer the vaccine in their thigh. “I just advise patients to call ahead, let the vaccine clinic know or the pharmacy know that they’re asking for the vaccine in the thigh,” said Cheryl Brunelle, the associate director of the Lymphedema Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “I also counsel patients that if a local facility or practitioner giving the vaccine is not familiar with the thigh as an approved alternate site, the patient can share the C.D.C. Standing Orders document that lists the thigh as an alternative site for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.”
April 28, 2021: The United States is reporting an average of 2.7 million daily COVID-19 vaccinations over the past week, according to data from the CDC, about equivalent to levels one month ago. Daily reported vaccinations peaked at 3.4 million on April 13. More than 40% of Americans have received at least one shot, and that figure is roughly 54% for those age 18 and older. Half of the adults are at least partially vaccinated in a majority of states. (CNBC)
April 27, 2021: The rate of COVID-19 vaccinations in the U.S. continued to slide in recent days, according to CDC data, as the seven-day average of daily shots reported administered fell to 2.7 million on Monday, the lowest level since late March.
April 27, 2021: The CDC on Tuesday eased guidelines on mask-wearing for Americans, noting many outdoor activities are now safe without a mask following significant progress with the COVID-19 vaccine and reductions in new daily cases nationwide.
April 26, 2021: As of Sunday, April 25, Virginia has had 654,210 total cases of COVID-19, including confirmed lab tests and clinical diagnoses, according to the Virginia Department of Health. That total reflects a 884 case increase since Saturday. The Virginia Department of Health reports a 6.1% 7-day positivity rate for total testing encounters, and a 5.5% 7-day positivity rate for PCR tests. 16 additional deaths were reported on Sunday, leaving the death toll at 10,691.
April 23, 2021: A single dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine reduces the risk of infection by 65% in adults of all ages, British researchers have found.
April 23, 2021: A CDC advisory committee called the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is set to meet on Friday to continue its discussion of the rare blood clots seen in a small number of patients who have received Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.
April 23, 2021: CDC: Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration should be resumed immediately with a warning about potential rare blood clots
April 22, 2021: More than 86 million U.S. adults are now fully vaccinated with more than 200 million shots administered, but experts fear that enthusiasm for getting the vaccine could be falling and many Americans may be too eager to take off their masks.
April 21, 2021: 31.2% of Louisiana residents have received their first vaccine dose. 24.1% of residents have completed vaccination.
April 21, 2021: One of the largest reports on COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy boosts evidence that it is safe although the authors say more comprehensive research is needed.The study consisted of 35,000 U.S. women who received either the Moderna or Pfizer shots while pregnant. Their rates of miscarriage, premature births and other complications were comparable to those observed in published reports on pregnant women before the pandemic.
April 19, 2021: According to data compiled by Denver Public Health, Latinos comprise only 13 percent of city residents who have gotten an initial shot, compared to 72 percent of white residents (the race and/or ethnicity of at least 12 percent of people who got their first vaccine is unknown). Meanwhile, Latinos make up 48 percent of COVID-19 cases in the city and 30 percent of the city’s overall population.
April 19, 2021: Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, which currently requires two doses and is said to be over 90 percent effective against the virus, will likely include a third shot made available later this year.
April 18, 2021: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that half of all US adults have received at least one COVID shot. Nearly 130 million people 18 and older, or 50.4% of the total adult population, have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Almost 84 million adults, or about 32.5% of the population, have been fully vaccinated. (CDC)
April 16, 2021: Pfizer CEO announced that recipients of their vaccine will likely need a booster shot within 12 months. He stated that "I think for planning purposes only, we should expect that we may have to boost.” A booster shot may be an important safeguard against new variants of the COVID-19 virus. (nbc)
April 15, 2021: Dr. Fauci says this is a pause and not a cancellation of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine. It will likely last days to weeks to determine next steps. "I doubt very seriously if we're talking about weeks to months," he told CNN on Wednesday.
April 13, 2021: CDC and FDA recommend US pause use of Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine over blood clot concerns; six reported US cases of a "rare and severe" type of blood clot caused the initial concern.
April 9, 2021: Just short of 20 percent of the U.S. population was fully vaccinated, giving some 66 million people a strong measure of protection against a disease that has already killed more than 500,000 Americans. (Washington Post)
April 6, 2021: Vaccination eligibility is opening up throughout the country. However, there are more people eligible for a vaccine right now than there are doses. Securing an appointment continues to be a long, difficult process for many. Here are 10 tips for getting a vaccine sooner →
April 6, 2021: President Joe Biden is expected to announce that states should open COVID-19 vaccine appointments to all U.S. adults by April 19, moving up his original deadline by nearly two weeks, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Tuesday.
April 3, 2021: Pfizer/BioNTech have announced their COVID-19 vaccine affords at least 6 months of protection following the second dose. The vaccine was 91.3% effective against COVID-19 in an analysis of 927 symptomatic people through March 13, as indicated by real-world data compiled since the vaccine was given emergency use authorization. This compares to 95% efficacy reported in the interim results that were announced on Nov. 18, 2020.
April 3, 2021: More than 100 million people in the U.S. have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday. The news comes just two weeks after President Joe Biden announced he reached his 100-day goal of administering 100 million doses and expanded his goal to 200 million. As of Thursday, 157.6 million doses have been administered, according to CDC data. More than 200 million doses have been delivered to states and vaccine providers.
April 3, 2021: The Biden administration on Saturday put Johnson & Johnson in charge of a Baltimore manufacturing plant that ruined 15 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, and stopped the facility from making another vaccine developed by AstraZeneca.
April 3, 2021: More than 4 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine were administered in the past 24 hours, setting a new record and bringing the seven-day average over 3 million a day, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Saturday.
April 2, 2021: Fauci said the United States has enough contracts with other vaccine makers to vaccinate its entire population, and may not need AstraZeneca Covid vaccine even for booster shots in the fall
April 2, 2021: A recent study of 131 women recently conducted by Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and published in The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology shows the COVID vaccines are not only safe and effective for pregnant and breastfeeding women, they may also offer some protection for their babies.
March 31, 2021: Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and 100% effective in preventing the illness in ages 12 to 15 and plans to request emergency use authorization extending vaccine administration to the adolescent age group.
March 31, 2021: Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC: "Vaccinated people do not carry the virus — they don’t get sick.” Walensky was referring to a new CDC study that suggests those fully inoculated with the vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer don’t transmit the virus.
March 30, 2021: Ninety percent of Americans will be eligible for their shots by April 19, President Joe Biden said yesterday as he expanded the number of vaccine sites. More than a dozen states are opening vaccines to all adults this week.
March 25, 2021: Pregnant mothers pass COVID antibodies to their newborns. A large study at Massachusetts General Hospital has determined that mothers pass COVID immunity to their children through the placenta and breastmilk. [harvard.edu]
March 11, 2021: As of March 13, CVS has added 12 more states to its list of pharmacies offering vaccinations. The new states are: Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah and Vermont. After previously expanding to New York and Pennsylvania.
March 1, 2021: The FDA has authorized use of Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine.
February 25, 2021: Pfizer expects to triple its vaccine production by mid-March. An FDA advisory board will meet to determine whether to grant Johnson & Johnson an EAU.