June 9 coronavirus news

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, Mike Hayes and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 0003 GMT (0803 HKT) June 10, 2021
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12:25 p.m. ET, June 9, 2021

FDA looking at extending J&J vaccine expiration dates, Fauci says 

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

A healthcare worker prepares a syringe with a vial of the J&J/Janssen Covid-19 vaccine at a temporary vaccination site at Grand Central Terminal train station on May 12 in New York City.
A healthcare worker prepares a syringe with a vial of the J&J/Janssen Covid-19 vaccine at a temporary vaccination site at Grand Central Terminal train station on May 12 in New York City. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN on Wednesday that the US Food and Drug Administration is looking into whether the expiration date on Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines can be extended and if so, how to get the doses utilized. 

“The FDA is looking into that right now, trying to determine if, in fact, the date can be extended or not and if so, can we get them properly utilized, whether it’s utilized in the United States or elsewhere,” Fauci said. “This is something that the FDA is very much on and looking at it very, very carefully.”

Johnson & Johnson told CNN this week it’s conducting stability testing “with the goal of extending the amount of time our COVID-19 vaccine can be stored before expiry.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in a news release this week that 200,000 doses of the state’s J&J vaccine are set to expire before the end of the month, and the state is unable to share the doses with other states or countries.

Of the 21.4 million J&J doses delivered in the US, about 11 million have been administered, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The J&J vaccine can be stored for up to three months at refrigerator temperatures.

1:01 p.m. ET, June 9, 2021

Fauci: US "cannot declare victory prematurely" against Covid-19 as variants are still a threat

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical adviser to President Biden, speaks during an interview on June 9.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical adviser to President Biden, speaks during an interview on June 9. CNN

While the US has “done very well” with vaccinating its population, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “we cannot declare victory prematurely because there are still a substantial proportion of people who have not been vaccinated.”

Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical adviser to President Biden, encouraged unvaccinated Americans to get their shot to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant first identified in India.

“We don't want to let happen in the United States what is happening currently in the UK, where you have a troublesome variant essentially taking over as the dominant variant, which has made it a very difficult situation in the UK. We don't want to be there,” he said. 

“About 6% of the isolates in the United States are this troublesome variant. You don't want to give it the opportunity to take over as the dominant variant, and we have within our power to do that by getting people vaccinated, because we have very, very good vaccines,” Fauci said. 

Fauci also said that the US Food & Drug Administration is “very, very carefully” looking into extending shelf life or re-allocating Johnson & Johnson vaccines that are set to expire. 

Of the 21.4 million Johnson & Johnson doses delivered in the US, about 11 million have been administered, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The vaccine can be stored for up to three months at refrigerator temperatures.

11:34 a.m. ET, June 9, 2021

Vermont is close to having 80% of the eligible population vaccinated, governor says

From CNN's Gregory Lemos 

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott announced Wednesday that his state is within striking distance of having 80% of the eligible population vaccinated from Covid-19.  

"After yesterday’s totals, we’re just 2,385 vaccinated Vermonters away from hitting 80% of the eligible population," Scott said in a tweet Wednesday.   

Scott previously announced that the state’s pandemic restrictions will be lifted once that vaccination target has been hit and set a goal of July 4, according to the state's health department website.  

The state reported Tuesday that 79.4% of the eligible population has been vaccinated. Vermont's seven-day rolling positivity rate is 0.8%, according to the state's Covid-19 daily update Tuesday.  

11:53 a.m. ET, June 9, 2021

New York City mayor: It’s going to be “very very tough” to fully vaccinate 5 million people by end of June

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks in New York on June 9.
Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks in New York on June 9. NYC Media

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that it's going to be “very very tough at this point” to hit the city's set goal of five million fully vaccinated individuals by the end of June.

“Right now in terms of fully vaccinated – we’re about 76% to goal. In terms of folks who have had at least one dose, this is crucial, we are at 88% to goal.”

“Over 4.4 million NY’ers have had at least 1 dose – essentially everyone that gets one dose comes back” he added, noting that rate is 95% consistently.

“So you know, look we’re waiting to see cause it actually really depends if people got the 3 week vaccine or the 4 week vaccine – it’s going to be very very tough at this point to hit 5 million by the end of June but we are going to be certainly well over 4 million and then with hundreds and thousands of other people coming in for their second dose soon.”

“What matters most is where we are on Covid – so it’s going to take a little longer to get to our 5 million but we are ahead of the game on Covid,” he continued.

De Blasio said the Covid-19 positivity rate is “lower than we expected it to be at this point,” adding its “more consistently moving in the right direction.”

He said the hold on J&J by the federal government disrupted a lot of progress, adding that, “if that hadn’t happened, I believe we would have made the goal square.”

11:09 a.m. ET, June 9, 2021

J&J says its working to extend the shelf-life of its Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas and Lauren Mascarenhas

An Army nurse holds a vial of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine in Orlando.
An Army nurse holds a vial of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine in Orlando. Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Speaking during the Wall Street Journal Tech Health event on Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky said the company is working to ensure its vaccines can be used and deployed effectively.

“We’re working very hard, both at the federal level at the local level, to do everything we can to make sure that these vaccines can be used and deployed in the very best possible way,” Gorsky said. 

He said that he was proud of the progress in vaccinating Americans. 

“We still have work to do, there’s still education and there’s still information that needs to take place,” he said.

“It’s going to take more effort. I think we’re finding out now, the good news was we got a lot of vaccines out to meet this initial surge in demand and now making sure we get the very best possible deployment and allocation and the distribution system gets even more agile, more flexible, not only here in the United States, between states, but in fact around the world will be work that we need to continue to stay focused on in the weeks and months ahead.”

Gorsky's comments follow a statement the company released yesterday, saying it is working to extend the shelf-life of its Covid-19 vaccine, amid reports that doses may expire before they are used in the US.

“We continue to work with the U.S. government and health authorities to support the use of our vaccine, which continues to play an important role, including among those who wish to be fully vaccinated with one shot,” Johnson & Johnson told CNN in a statement Tuesday. “We also continue to conduct stability testing with the goal of extending the amount of time our COVID-19 vaccine can be stored before expiry.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in a new release Tuesday that 200,000 doses of the state’s J&J vaccine are set to expire before the end of the month, and the state is unable to share the doses with other states or countries.

Of the 21.4 million J&J doses delivered in the US, about 11 million have been administered, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The J&J vaccine can currently be stored for up to three months at refrigerator temperatures.

11:37 a.m. ET, June 9, 2021

J&J CEO confident Emergent Biosolutions will be authorized to produce their Covid-19 vaccine soon

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, on June 9.
Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, on June 9. Wall Street Journal Tech Health

Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, said it would be inappropriate to speculate on when Emergent Biosolutions will be authorized to manufacture the company’s Covid-19 vaccine, but he is confident it will happen soon.

“We’re actively working with regulators as we speak. I think that we’ve had a great partnership with them throughout this process and it would be inappropriate for me to speculate” on pinpointing a date or time, Gorsky said during the Wall Street Journal Tech Health Event on Wednesday. He added that he was “confident that we will be able to get that status in the near future.” 

Testifying before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus crisis last month, Emergent CEO Bob Kramer said the he expected the plant to resume production of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine drug substance “within a matter of days.” 

Some background: Emergent stopped manufacturing the vaccine substance after an inspection found there was cross contamination between the J&J vaccine and the AstraZeneca vaccine the facility was making at the same time. Emergent has since stopped making the AstraZeneca vaccine substance at its Baltimore facility.

The FDA had also been evaluating over 100 million doses of the J&J vaccine Emergent manufactured, which be made available to the public if production is authorized. 

11:04 a.m. ET, June 9, 2021

Olympic athletes will likely be subject to tracking upon arrival in Japan

From CNN's Selina Wang and Junko Ogura in Tokyo

The Olympic rings are displayed by the Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo on June 3.
The Olympic rings are displayed by the Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo on June 3. Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

All athletes and support staff traveling to Japan for the Summer Games are likely to be subject to disclose their movements through GPS data on their phones, if required, Japan’s Olympic officials said.

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said all stakeholders traveling into the country for the Games would be subject to tracking after being repeatedly asked by journalist about the matter.  

Muto conceded this would likely include athletes, but said they would come back with a firm answer. 

Earlier in the week, Tokyo 2020 officials disclosed that foreign media traveling into the country would be subject to disclosing their movements through phone GPS data and would have to disclose their intended itineraries in advance to try and stem interaction with the general public. Game organizers said Wednesday that real time surveillance would require significant man power and it would be mainly used if there was a case confirmed from Games.

The Games are set to begin next month, but Japan is currently battling a fourth wave of coronavirus infections and a state of emergency in Tokyo and other prefectures remains in place until the end of June.

In recent weeks there is mounting pressure from health experts, business leaders and the Japanese public to call off the Games. At least one International Olympic Committee member said he believes the Olympic Games will go ahead this year and says the option of canceling the event is "essentially off the table."

9:36 a.m. ET, June 9, 2021

About half of US states have scaled back daily Covid-19 data reporting

From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

About half of US states have stopped providing daily updates on key Covid-19 metrics, including new cases, deaths and hospitalizations, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

Most of those states have scaled back to five updates each week, but Alabama and Kansas have dropped down to three times a week and Florida to only once a week. 

“Real-time public health data is the most powerful weapon against a pandemic,” Beth Blauer, executive director of the Johns Hopkins University Centers for Civic Impact, wrote in a blog post published Monday. 

“Maintaining daily reporting will be necessary to ongoing virus tracking efforts and mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes state rollback of data reporting extremely concerning," the post continued.

Florida’s new weekly reports, which took effect this week, are also scaled back in terms of the information they provide. Testing information, for example, is no longer available. 

A note on Alabama’s Covid-19 data dashboard says that the less frequent updates follow decreases in cases, deaths and hospitalizations. 

But JHU’s Blauer says that daily data reporting allows for a clearer view of where things stand and more timely response to shifting trends. 

“The rollback of reporting frequency indicates that many states do not see this past year of investment in data infrastructure and public data reporting as a permanent fixture,” Blauer wrote. 

9:34 a.m. ET, June 9, 2021

CDC issues new travel advice for more than 120 countries

From CNN's Ryan Prior

People in Singapore relax on a breakwater with the Marina Bay Sands in the background on June 6.
People in Singapore relax on a breakwater with the Marina Bay Sands in the background on June 6. Joseph Nair/NurPhoto/Getty Images

As more people get vaccinated the spread of Covid-19 becomes more controlled, public health officials are issuing new travel advice for more than 120 countries.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its international travel guidance on Monday to give specific advice for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

The update includes moving 33 countries, including Iceland, Israel and Singapore, into the lowest risk category. 

The CDC's Covid-19 revised Travel Health Notice guidelines also seek to "better differentiate countries with severe outbreak situations" from countries in which Covid-19 is "sustained, but controlled."

The CDC’s threat levels are determined by the number of Covid-19 cases in a given country. At each level, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated, but its guidance for unvaccinated people varies by how severe the pandemic is in each country. 

  • The CDC recommends avoiding travel to countries at level 4, the highest threat level, which have more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the last 28 days. They include nations such as Brazil, India and Iraq.
  • For countries at level 3, such as Mexico, Russia, and Iran, the CDC recommends against nonessential travel for that those who are unvaccinated. These are currently reporting 100 to 500 cases per 100,000 residents.
  • At level 2, the agency recommends that unvaccinated travelers who are at severe risk for severe illness from Covid-19 should avoid visiting. These nations, such as Finland, Cambodia and Kenya, are currently reporting 50-99 cases per 100,000. 
  • Finally, countries at level 1, such as Australia and New Zealand, are considered the lowest risk destinations, and have reported less than 50 Covid-19 cases in the last 28 days. The CDC still recommends getting vaccinated before traveling to a low-risk location.