Retail pharmacies begin vaccinating through federal program; France 1st country to recommend single vaccine dose for COVID-19 survivors — 8 updates

Three states — Louisiana, New York and South Carolina — are reporting more than 500 new daily COVID-19 cases per million residents, reports The COVID Tracking Project.  

By comparison, 43 states reported more than 500 new cases per million residents a little over a month ago, with 11 states reporting more than 1,000 new cases per million residents Jan. 8, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

Seven more updates:

1. The U.S. government purchased 200 million COVID-19 vaccines doses Feb. 11. HHS and the Department of Defense purchased 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna, bringing the total doses purchased by the government from the two companies to a total of 600 million. Each company is set to deliver 300 million doses in regular increments through the end of July 2021. 

2. Roche's rheumatoid arthritis drug reduced the risk of death in patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19, according to a large U.K. study conducted by the University of Oxford. Twenty-nine percent of patients receiving Roche's tocilizumab died within 28 days, compared to 33 percent of patients in the control group. "This means that for every 25 patients treated with tocilizumab, one additional life would be saved," the University of Oxford said Feb. 11. The research has not been peer reviewed.

3. Retail pharmacies will begin vaccinating eligible Americans Feb. 12 through a new federal program, reports The New York Times. The government distributed 1 million vaccine doses to about 6,500 retail pharmacies, with plans to eventually expand to as many as 40,000 drugstores and groceries. 

4. About 20,000 pregnant women have received the COVID-19 vaccine with no immediate complications, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease, said during a Feb. 10 media briefing. 

5. The South Africa coronavirus variant was detected Feb. 11 in Illinois, North Carolina and Washington, D.C., reports The Washington Post. The CDC has reported 13 B.1.351 variant cases in five states as of Feb. 11. This count does not include the new cases confirmed in Illinois or Washington, D.C.

6. Michigan officials detected the U.K. variant in a state prison Feb. 10, marking the first such case detected in a U.S. correctional facility, reports The New York Times. As of Feb. 11, the CDC has reported 981 B.1.1.7 variant cases in 37 states.

7. France on Feb. 12 became the first country to recommend a single COVID-19 shot for people previously infected by the virus. The country cited research showing recently infected people develop an immune response similar to that from a vaccine and said the single dose will act as a booster. The guidelines do not apply to people with suppressed immune systems or those who contract COVID-19 after their first vaccine dose.

Snapshot of COVID-19 in U.S.

Cases: 27,394,595

Deaths: 475,471

Americans receiving at least one vaccine dose: 34,723,964

Counts reflect Feb. 11 and Feb. 12 data from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University and the CDC.

More articles on public health:
April will be 'open season' for COVID-19 vaccinations in US, Fauci predicts 
Massachusetts allows 'companion' vaccinations, prompts stampede of volunteers
States ranked by percentage of COVID-19 vaccines administered 


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