Vaccine will be widely available by June, Warp Speed leader says; White House COVID-19 adviser resigns — 5 updates

Any American who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to get one by the end of June 2021, retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, director of supply, production and distribution for Operation Warp Speed, said in an Nov. 30 interview with MSNBC.

"We will have over 300 million doses available to the American public, well before [June],"Mr. Ostrowski said.

Four more updates:

1. The CDC's Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices will vote on who should be the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine during a Dec. 2 emergency meeting. The CDC has previously suggested prioritizing healthcare providers and people in long-term facilities; essential workers; and those with high-risk medical conditions, along with people 65 and older, once a vaccine is authorized, CNN reports. There are about 87 million essential workers in the U.S., of which 21 million are healthcare personnel, the CDC estimates.  

2. COVID-19 was likely circulating in the U.S. in December 2019, a month before officials identified the nation's first official cases, according to a federal study published Nov. 30 in Clinical Infectious Diseases. CDC scientists conducted antibody testing on 7,389 blood donations collected by the American Red Cross in nine states between Dec. 13 and Jan. 17. The researchers found evidence of COVID-19 infection in 106 samples, suggesting that COVID-19 may have been present in the U.S. earlier than previously recognized. 

3. Scott Atlas, MD, a member of the White House COVID-19 task force, resigned Nov. 30 from his post in President Donald Trump's administration. Dr. Atlas, a senior fellow at Stanford (Calif.) University's conservative Hoover Institution, joined the administration as a Special Government Employee, and his 130-day window in which he could serve closes this week, reports Politico.

4. New York has implemented emergency hospital procedures to prepare the state's healthcare facilities for an expected surge in new COVID-19 admissions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Nov. 30. The state is urging hospitals to start identifying retired nurses and physicians to help boost the workforce and to coordinate statewide transfers with other healthcare facilities to help balance capacity. 

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 13,546,787
Deaths: 268,103
Recovered: 5,146,319

Counts reflect data available as of 8:15 a.m. CST Dec. 1.

More articles on public health:
Number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, state by state: Dec. 1
24 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Dec. 1
Fauci warns of 'surge upon a surge'; Moderna seeks emergency approval for COVID-19 vaccine — 6 updates


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