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CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Recommendations on COVID-19 Vaccines (MMWR)

Read the Interim Recommendations on COVID-19 vaccines, from CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Find who should get the vaccines in Phase 1a, Phase 1b and Phase 1c, as published Dec. 22 and Dec. 3. Priority groups for the first set of shots include healthcare workers and long-term care (LTC) residents. LTC includes skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes and assisted living. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is outlined in the December 13, 2020 MMWR, after the FDA granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) on Dec. 11. The Moderna vaccine is outlined in the Dec. 20, 2020 MMWR. While the MMWR is geared to medical professionals, much of it is understandable to the general public. The recommendations explain what meetings, experts and evidence were involved in ACIP’s work. The CDC recommends that every person get the EUA Fact Sheet BEFORE vaccination. Recommendations will be updated as more information and clinical evidence become available.

CDC Vaccine Doses Distributed vs Received (shots in the arm), COVID-19

CDC reports the overall Covid-19 vaccine doses that are actually administered (shots in the arm) or received by people, compared to the number of doses distributed (shipped). As of the morning of Jan. 22, 2021, less than half (48%) of distributed doses had been given as shots in the arm: 19.1 million of 39.9 million doses. This is up 2 points. Long-term care vaccines administered (included in the total) rose by just 200,000, to 2.3 million. Vaccination rollout to individuals in Phase 1a (healthcare workers and long-term care residents) continues to be slower than expected. Instead of the 1 million doses per day (vaccinations) expected in December, the rate to date averaged about 490,000 shots per day. However, the number of doses given since yesterday’s report was up by 1,561,585. ACIP estimates there 24 million persons in Phase 1a (of which 3 million are long term care). Consequently, it appears sufficient doses have already been delivered to reach everyone in group 1a with the 1st dose. More than 16 million people have gotten at least one shot; 2.8 people are reported as receiving both doses. Both Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines are counted. Both vaccine and ancillary kits (syringes, etc.) are shipped. UPS, FedEx and McKesson are the national distributors.

Clinical Trials for Coronavirus, NIH Editor's Pick

Find the latest update on clinical trials for vaccines and drugs that might be able to treat COVID-19 caused by the coronavirus. This official site is from NIH (National Institutes of Health) National Library of Medicine. As of January 7, 2021, an amazing number of studies – nearly 4,400 – were listed. Of those, 611 studies have been completed (including 79 in the US); another 143 have been terminated, suspended or withdrawn. While 1,250 studies were not yet recruiting participants, almost 2,400 were recruiting or enrolling subjects by invitation. The speed since the pandemic was declared March 11, is quite impressive. A recent search for COVID vaccine showed over 350 studies, 78 of which were in the United States. Short summaries available for each study may give an idea of how long the study will continue, and show if it was completed (with or without results posted). There are still 19 hydroxychloroquine studies actively recruiting or enrolling participants in the US.

FDA Updates on Coronavirus Disease COVID-19

The FDA, the federal Food and Drug Agency, provides updates on COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus. The FDA regulates lab testing, drugs requiring approval, medical devices (like N95s) and vaccine products. They post regular updates, sometimes multiple times per day. In addition, the FDA has listed a few of the likely many fraudulent products with claims to prevent, treat, mitigate, diagnose or cure coronavirus disease.

Vaccines for COVID-19 – Operation Warp Speed

Find information on vaccines for COVID-19, from MedlinePlus. This ad-free website stays up to date on Operation Warp Speed – whose goal is to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines. The initial doses are now available to priority individuals. Find out how to volunteer to be one of the people in a clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccines; see “Coronavirus Clinical Studies”. Learn about vaccine safety. As vaccines receive emergency use authorization (EUA), this site reports it. Good site. However, the Operation Warp Speed website could be improved by more closely reporting the federal government plan (through at least 50 states) to get people vaccinated, not just manufacturing the vaccine.

Other Helpful Listings

Axios-Ipsos Weekly Views about Coronavirus (January 2021 update)

New Axios-Ipsos weekly poll (Wave 35) conducted January 8-11, 2021, finds six in 10 people saying they are at least somewhat likely to get the Covid vaccine as soon as it’s available. More than three-fourths expected the vaccine would be available to them within 6 months. As to the rate of rollout, most people (55%) think it’s not very likely that 100 million people will be vaccinated by late April.

People continue to report wearing a mask, with 92% report wearing a mask all or sometimes when leaving their home; 74% said “at all times”. Maintaining a 6-foot distance from other people “at all times” is noticeably lower, at 55%. While over 1/3 of Americans (36%) visited friends or relatives in the last week, 75% perceived attending in-person gatherings of friends and family outside their own households as being a large or moderate risk. More than 3/4 said they stayed home last week as much as possible.

The pandemic continues to take an emotional toll. More than one in five (21%) said they had somewhat or very poor mental health. Only 29% rated their mental health as “very good” – the lowest ratings since the end of May.

The decline in trust in federal government remains low at 36%. However, about 70% trusted CDC information. Just over 1/4 (27%) had a great deal or fair amount of trust in Donald Trump, compared to over half (56%) who had a great deal or fair amount of trust in Joe Biden. Over half still support state and local government. Trust in one’s employer has stayed high, at 73%, though down from 80% seen May 1. About 2/3 trust local police and law enforcement (66%).

The latest Coronavirus Index poll is Wave 35 of near-weekly surveys conducted by Axios-Ipsos. The current poll has a margin of sampling error of 3.4 percentage points. The poll was taken after the Capitol riot in Washington DC, but before the President’s impeachment.

COVID-19 Vaccine Survey: December 2020 (KFF) Editor's Pick

A new survey finds 71% of people will “definitely” or “probably” get the COVID-19 vaccine. Survey was conducted by KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) the first week of December 2020. A number of groups, however, are hesitant: Republicans, people ages 30-49, rural residents, and Black adults. The most common concern is possible side effects. More than half (53%) of those reluctant to get the vaccine wanted to “wait and see” how it works for other people first; for hesitant Black adults, 71% were taking a wait-and-see approach. Republicans’ top two reasons for being hesitant to get the vaccine were “The risks of COVID-19 are being exaggerated”, and they “do not trust the government to make sure the vaccine is safe and effective.” Furthermore, 71% of Republicans saw vaccination as a personal choice rather than part of everyone’s responsibility” to protect health. Generally, among people who said they would “definitely not” get the vaccine, fewer than half of wear a face mask consistently in public; two-thirds had one or more misconceptions about mask-wearing. All groups tended to trust their own doctor (85% overall) for reliable information about the vaccine. More than 3/4 of Republicans (78%) also trust President Trump a great deal or fair amount to provide reliable COVID-19 vaccine information.

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