Vaccine will be available to all Americans by late July, Biden says; US boosts states' weekly vaccine supply — 6 COVID-19 updates

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For the first time in 2021, no state is reporting a seven-day COVID-19 case average higher than 10,000 as of Feb. 16, reports The COVID Tracking Project.

The rate of global virus cases is also slowing down, declining 16 percent over the past week, according to a statement from the World Health Organization cited by The Washington Post.  

Five more updates:

1. Anthony Fauci, MD, on Feb. 16 revised his prediction on when vaccines will be widely available to the general public, moving the timeline from April to late May or early June, reports the Los Angeles Times. President Joe Biden also said that every American who wants to receive a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to get one by the end of July during a town hall meeting hosted by CNN Feb. 16. For more takeaways from the town hall, click here.

2. The federal government will increase states' collective vaccine allocation to 13.5 million doses each week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Feb. 16. The U.S. is also doubling its supply for pharmacies to 2 million doses weekly through a new federal program, Ms. Psaki said.

3. Moderna expects to deliver 300 million vaccines to the U.S. government by the end of July, according to a Feb. 16 update. About 25.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine have been administered in the U.S. thus far, according to a CDC communication with Moderna. 

4. The CDC is in talks with at least 13 labs to expand gene sequencing efforts used to track coronavirus variants, reports Politico. The agency is aiming to increase the number of coronavirus samples analyzed each week from 4,500 to 7,000 by the end of February.

5. Researchers detected significant eye abnormalities among a small group of severely ill COVID-19 patients in France, according to a study published in Radiology. MRI scans revealed 7 percent of the 129 patients included in the study had one or more nodules on the back of their eyeballs. Researchers said screening should be considered for all severe COVID-19 patients to detect these nodules.

Snapshot of COVID-19 in U.S.

Cases: 27,757,609

Deaths: 488,103

Americans receiving at least one vaccine dose: 39,670,551

Counts reflect Feb. 16 and Feb. 17 data from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University and the CDC.

 

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