June 23 coronavirus news

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

Updated 2039 GMT (0439 HKT) June 23, 2021
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2:36 p.m. ET, June 23, 2021

Benefits of coronavirus vaccine clearly outweigh the risks, CDC researchers say

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

For every million second-dose vaccinations, there may be tens of myocarditis cases, but thousands of Covid-19 cases prevented, researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the agency's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices during a virtual meeting on Wednesday.

In other words, the benefits of mRNA Covid-19 vaccination outweigh the risks.

Among adolescent boys ages 12 to 17, for whom the risk is higher than for girls, CDC researchers estimate that for every 1 million second-dose vaccinations, 5,700 Covid-19 cases, 215 hospitalizations, 71 intensive care unit admissions and two deaths would be prevented, the data show. It's estimated there might be 56 to 69 myocarditis cases.

Such myocarditis cases have generally been mild and quick to resolve.

Among adolescent girls ages 12 to 17, CDC researchers estimate that for every 1 million doses to complete a two-dose series of vaccine, 8,500 Covid-19 cases, 183 hospitalizations, 38 intensive care unit admissions and one death would be prevented, according to data presented to ACIP. The researchers estimate there might be eight to 10 cases of myocarditis.

"In persons aged 18 to 24 years, the benefit-risk balance is more favorable," CDC researcher Dr. Megan Wallace told ACIP on Wednesday.

Among women ages 18 to 24, CDC researchers estimate that for every 1 million doses to complete a two-dose series of vaccine, 14,000 Covid-19 cases, 1,127 hospitalizations, 93 intensive care unit admissions and 13 deaths would be prevented, according to the data presented. The researchers estimate there might be four to five cases of myocarditis.

Among men ages 18 to 24, for whom the risk is higher than for women, CDC researchers estimate that for every 1 million second-dose vaccinations, 12,000 Covid-19 cases, 530 hospitalizations, 127 intensive care unit admissions and three deaths would be prevented, the data show. It's estimated there might be 45 to 56 myocarditis cases.

2:32 p.m. ET, June 23, 2021

FDA expects to add warning to Covid-19 mRNA vaccines about risk of inflammatory heart conditions

From CNN’s Jamie Gumbrecht

The US Food and Drug Administration expects to add a warning about a risk of myocarditis and pericarditis to information sheets for Covid-19 mRNA vaccines, an FDA official said Wednesday.

Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle and pericarditis is inflammation of tissue surrounding the heart

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is meeting to discuss the risks of the inflammatory heart conditions – which have been seen among some young adults and teens who have been recently vaccinated .

Dr. Doran Fink from FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said the agency is aligned with CDC and agrees that a warning statement should be added to fact sheets for health care providers and vaccine recipients. 

The FDA wanted to hear ACIP’s discussion before finalizing language, Fink said, but warning statements would include information to explain such events occurred several days to a week after vaccination, particularly after the second dose; that limited information is available about long-term effects; and that people who experience pericarditis or myocarditis symptoms should seek medical attention.

“We anticipate that following today's ACIP meeting we would move rapidly to update the fact sheets with this information,” Fink said.

2:22 p.m. ET, June 23, 2021

Data will show vaccination benefits outweigh risks of heart inflammation, CDC directors says

From CNN's Sarah Braner

A healthcare worker speaks with a patient as the Empire State Building Offers COVID-19 Vaccines at its Observatory on June 18, in New York City.
A healthcare worker speaks with a patient as the Empire State Building Offers COVID-19 Vaccines at its Observatory on June 18, in New York City. Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Data about how many youths have experienced inflammation of the heart after getting a coronavirus vaccine will show the benefits of the shots outweigh the risks, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday.

“I think the data… we’ll see this afternoon at this advisory committee meeting will overwhelmingly demonstrate that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks,” Walensky told an event hosed by the Milken Foundation.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is meeting Wednesday to discuss cases of myocarditis and pericarditis that have been reported among a few hundred people, mostly young men and teens, who have been recently vaccinated. 

These cases are rare and mostly mild, Walensky said.

“What I want to say about this is that we’ve vaccinated about 20 million young people, and we have received about 300 young cases now that we’re looking at. For the most part, those cases are rare – 300 out of 20 million –they are mild, they are generally what we say self-limited or they go away with standard care – with minimal amount of care – and all of these people tend to do very well,” Walensky said. 

“And so as we look at the risk of myocarditis – potential risk of myocarditis – associated with the vaccine, and what the vaccine is preventing, and that is severe Covid illness, death among young people – and in fact myocarditis is among the things that can happen if you get Covid.”

2:20 p.m. ET, June 23, 2021

Local health officials expect White House to renew federal public health emergency declaration

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

The White House is expected to extend its declaration of a national public health emergency next month due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lori Tremmel Freeman, chief executive officer of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, told CNN on Wednesday.

In April, US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra renewed the nation's public health emergency declaration for 90 days. The declaration expires next month, but Freeman said that the White House shared with local health officials during a call that the Biden administration is committed to extending the declaration further. 

"They are committed to ensuring that the emergency order remains in place through the end of the year — even as they recognize that the current order is about to expire in July," Freeman told CNN.

"There are a lot of things tied to that public health emergency order, including it helps states and local jurisdictions with the pandemic response, but it can be impactful to other forms of assistance like Medicaid eligibility coverage provisions that were changed under the declaration of a public health emergency order," Freeman said. "If an emergency order is lifted, some people could no longer be eligible for some of the health-related coverages that they had gotten under the emergency."

 

12:15 p.m. ET, June 23, 2021

Delta variant on track to make up 90% of new Covid-19 cases in Europe by late August

From CNN’s Sharon Braithwaite

The Delta variant is on track to make up 90% of new cases of Covid-19 in the European Union by the end of August, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control warned in a threat assessment published Wednesday.

The variant, first identified in India and scientifically labeled B.1.617.2, is 40% to 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant first identified in England, the ECDC said.

A single dose of a two-dose vaccine appears to offer less protection against the variant than it would against other strains, the agency said, regardless of which vaccine is used.

Full vaccination does appear to offer nearly the same protection against the Delta variant as other variants, the threat assessment said.

Because of that transmission advantage, models suggest it will make up 70% of new European cases by early August, rising to 90% by the end of the month, the agency said.

12:15 p.m. ET, June 23, 2021

New York state of emergency will expire Thursday, will not be renewed, governor says

From CNN's Anna Sturla

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference on June 23.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference on June 23. State of New York

New York's state of emergency will expire on Thursday and will not be renewed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a news conference on Wednesday.

CDC guidance still stays in effect, including the mask requirement for unvaccinated individuals and on public transportation, among other restrictions. Local jurisdictions are still allowed to enforce restrictions, the governor stipulated.

Cuomo recognized essential workers during the conference, while reminiscing on the chaotic days of the early pandemic.

The governor also repeatedly urged New Yorkers to get out and spend around the city as a means of stimulating the economy.

"Get out of the house!" Cuomo said. "Go experience New York. Go to a movie. Go to Radio City Music Hall!"

11:31 a.m. ET, June 23, 2021

CDC is making plans for boosters of Covid-19 vaccines, Walensky says

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that while the agency is planning for boosters of Covid-19 vaccines, she doesn’t think that there will be enough data to make the decision about when they will be available during the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting today.

“We, in an interagency way, are planning to boost,” Walensky said during the Milken Future of Health Summit. “Because, quite honestly, we want to make sure that if we see more disease out there we have a mechanism, we’re fully ready to combat it.” 

Speaking about Wednesday’s ACIP meeting, she said that it would be “a scientific discussion about how those decisions should be made. We are not, I don’t believe, planning on any decision about when those boosters will come.” 

No vote is scheduled during today’s ACIP meeting. 

Asked if the idea of boosters seems real, she said “I guess the question would be six months, a year, two years, how long, you know, how long will that be. It’s possible that it’ll be on the shorter end, I don’t think we’ll have the data today to make that decision. I think those discussions will be about the data we’re going to need to inform that.” 

 

10:54 a.m. ET, June 23, 2021

Large crowds in Tokyo protest upcoming Olympic games

With one month to go until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, large crowds turned out to protest, calling for the cancellation of the games. They say they're scared the games will lead to a rebound of Covid-19 cases.

CNN’s Selina Wang sent in this report from the site of the protests.

Watch below:

10:22 a.m. ET, June 23, 2021

Delta variant detected in all states but South Dakota 

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

The Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2 and first identified in India, has been detected in 49 states and Washington, DC, according to GISAID, an independent data sharing initiative, and the Hawaii Department of Health.

A South Dakota Department of Health spokesperson told CNN Wednesday there are no cases to report in the state at this time. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates Delta made up 20.6% of cases in the US in the two weeks leading up to June 19. In the region that includes South Dakota, it’s more than twice as high – 46.4%. Other states in the region are Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.