January 3 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Steve George, Amy Woodyatt and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, January 4, 2021
3 Posts
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11:58 p.m. ET, January 2, 2021

"We do not recommend mixing Covid-19 vaccines," Public Health England chief says

From CNN’s Arnaud Siad and Sharon Braithwaite

A nurse prepares to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Guy's Hospital in London, on December 8, 2020.
A nurse prepares to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Guy's Hospital in London, on December 8, 2020. Frank Augstein/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Mixing Covid-19 vaccines is not recommended, Public Health England’s Head of Immunisations Dr. Mary Ramsay said Saturday, after government guidance was updated this week to say the interchangeability of Covid-19 vaccines was a "reasonable" option.

“We do not recommend mixing the Covid-19 vaccines – if your first dose is the Pfizer vaccine you should not be given the AstraZeneca vaccine for your second dose and vice versa,” Ramsay said in a statement.

“There may be extremely rare occasions where the same vaccine is not available, or where it is not known what vaccine the patient received. Every effort should be made to give them the same vaccine, but where this is not possible it is better to give a second dose of another vaccine than not at all,” she added.

Ramsay clarified the UK’s position on vaccine mixing after an update to the government’s vaccine playbook on Dec. 31. 

What did the updated guidance say? Thursday's guidance said if the same vaccine is not available, or if the first product received is unknown, “it is reasonable to offer one dose of the locally available product to complete the schedule."

“This option is preferred if the individual is likely to be at immediate high risk or is considered unlikely to attend again,” it added.

Which vaccines are the UK using? The UK authorized emergency use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on December 2 and the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine on Dec. 30.

The guidance recommends both vaccines to be administered in two doses, a minimum of 21 days apart for Pfizer/BioNTech and 28 days apart for AstraZeneca, with longer term protection provided by the second inoculation.

UK guidelines contradict US approach: The updated UK guidance contradicts guidelines in the United States for the two vaccines it has authorized, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted that the authorized Covid-19 vaccines “are not interchangeable with each other or with other Covid-19 vaccine products,” and that “the safety and efficacy of a mixed-product series have not been evaluated. Both doses of the series should be completed with the same product.”

The CDC adds, however, that “if two doses of different mRNA COVID-19 vaccine products are inadvertently administered, no additional doses of either product are recommended at this time.”

11:58 p.m. ET, January 2, 2021

Sociologist predicts post-pandemic "Roaring ’20s"

Yale professor Nicholas Christakis speaks with CNN on Saturday, January 2.
Yale professor Nicholas Christakis speaks with CNN on Saturday, January 2. CNN

We’re not out from under the coronavirus pandemic yet, but a Roaring ’20s-type rebound is on the horizon, according to sociologist, physician and Yale professor Nicholas Christakis.

This will take time, Christakis told CNN.

“Plagues are not new to our species; they're just new to us,” he said.  

By the beginning of 2022, we will reach herd immunity and a majority of the population will be vaccinated, he predicts, but “it's still going to take some time to recover from the social and psychological and economic shock,” he said. 

So by the end of 2023, Christakis said the world will enter the post-pandemic period, and “all of these…experiences that are now being constrained by the germ will reverse.”

“If history is a guide, what's going to happen is all of us that have been cooped up -- have been saving our money, have become more religious…more risk-averse -- all of those trends will unwind and people will relentlessly seek out social opportunities in nightclubs and bars and political rallies and sporting events and musical concerts and so on. There might be…some sexual licentiousness, people with a lot of pent-up desire…[and] more liberal spending, for example,” he added.

Watch:

11:58 p.m. ET, January 2, 2021

Tokyo governor and others urge Japan's government to declare state of emergency over Covid-19 

From CNN's Junko Ogura in Tokyo

From left to right, Saitama Gov. Motohiro Ono, Chiba Gov. Kensaku Morita, Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan's minister in charge of coronavirus response, Tokyo Gov. and Kanagawa Gov. Yuji Kuroiwa meet the press after their meeting in Tokyo, on January 2.
From left to right, Saitama Gov. Motohiro Ono, Chiba Gov. Kensaku Morita, Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan's minister in charge of coronavirus response, Tokyo Gov. and Kanagawa Gov. Yuji Kuroiwa meet the press after their meeting in Tokyo, on January 2. Kyodo News via Getty Images

The governors of Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures on Saturday urged Japan's central government to declare a state of emergency amid a surge in new coronavirus cases. 

Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike and the governors of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa made the request during a meeting with Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is in charge of the government's coronavirus response.  

The four governors said the current infection rate is on the verge of exploding and called the recent surge a "crisis situation" that could have a major impact on the country's health care system. 

They argued measures need to be strengthened immediately and further cooperation with the national government is necessary under a special anti-coronavirus law. 

Nishimura said at a press conference after the meeting that the government will consider the request the governors made after consulting with health experts. He said he shares the view that the situation in the country's metropolitan areas is "severe" and the "issuance of a state of emergency is in sight." 

Tokyo reported 814 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday after it reached an all-time high of 1,337 on Thursday, exceeding 1,000 for the first time.