A shave and a haircut ... and a COVID shot

Biden launches push to reach 70% vaccination goal by July 4 as more nations record fewer deaths as vaccines roll out. But the vaccines are not reaching every country.

President Biden kicked off a political campaign-style approach to getting the remaining 37% of unvaccinated Americans to get their COVID-19 shots. In addition to door-to-door outreach, the plan includes free child care and incentives to encourage individuals who have not yet put COVID-19 vaccination at the top of their priority lists.

  • Uber and Lyft have provided 60,000 free rides to-from vaccination sites since their free rides program started about 10 days ago.

  • Among the groups targeted for participation: black-owned barber shops and beauty parlors.

  • One major beer company pledged to “buy America’s next round of beer” if the nation reaches Biden’s goal of at least 70% of Americans getting at least one shot by July 4.

  • As of today, 41% of Americans are “fully” vaccinated and 63% have gotten at least one shot, according to the CDC.

The USA is far ahead of every other nation except Israel on COVID-19 vaccinations, according to OurWorldInData.org.

Tuesday was the first day since last July on which the United Kingdom had 0 COVID-19 deaths. However, 12 new deaths were recorded today. The 7-day average is 6 deaths, down from nearly 1,300 deaths daily in mid-January.

Venezuela is not revealing its COVID-19 data, but the Wall Street Journal reports the situation is not good. Other Latin America countries are also seeing COVID-19 cases rise.

AstraZeneca is in talks to move its vaccine production to a new factory, according to the New York Times. Previous reports indicated that the company may pursue normal FDA approval instead of emergency use authorization. EUAs for new vaccines may be more difficult because an EUA is less likely to be issued when safe and effective options already exist. In this case, there are three vaccines being used under EUA, and AZ is months behind on its potential submission to U.S. regulators.

The Washington Post published a trove of correspondence with White House chief medical adviser and NIAID Director Dr. Tony Fauci from March and April 2020. Among the messages, voices of concern from acquaintances seeing him work long hours, requests for personal briefings, and scientific exchanges with colleagues and counterparts, including in China.


ICYMI:

One of the most important stories last week was this one from STATNews, looking at how COVID-19 compounded problems crippling rural hospitals — leaving more communities without acute care facilities. This is on top of the challenges attracting and keeping volunteer ambulance personnel, a problem that existed long before the pandemic and has only worsened.