February 2 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, February 3, 2021
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4:06 p.m. ET, February 2, 2021

About 32.8 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the US, new CDC data shows

From CNN’s Deidre McPhillips

People receive Covid-19 vaccines at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Monday.
People receive Covid-19 vaccines at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Monday. Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images

About 32.8 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States, according to data published Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC reported that at least 32,780,860 total doses have been administered, about 62% of the 52,657,675 doses distributed.

That’s about 558,000 more administered doses reported since yesterday, for a seven-day average of about 1.3 million doses per day. 

About 8% of the US population – more than 26.4 million people – have now received at least one dose of the vaccine and about 6 million people have been fully vaccinated, CDC data shows. 

Remember: States have 72 hours to report vaccine data, so data published by the CDC may be delayed – and may not necessarily mean all doses were given on the day reported. 

3:59 p.m. ET, February 2, 2021

States reallocate hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses held in federal long-term care program

From CNN’s Nadia Kounan

States are reallocating hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses – initially set aside to vaccinate long-term care residents and staff members – through a federal partnership between the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and pharmacies including Walgreens and CVS. 

CNN has counted at least 254,750 doses being repurposed by 10 states. That is equal to more than 8% of all people who have been administered at least one dose through the federal program. 

In a call with governors last week, the Biden administration told states that they should be re-appropriating vaccines that had been earmarked for the program but hadn’t been used within a week of delivery.  

On Monday, Andy Slavitt, an adviser to the Biden administration, said the White House continues to ensure that doses are allocated to people who will use them.

“We have been working with states and with those distributors to make sure that those excess doses quickly get to the places that [they're] needed when they exist,” Slavitt said. 

Last week, Utah reallocated 28,275 doses back into the hands of the state to be redistributed. 

The CDC told CNN at least 24 such transfers have been approved but states and jurisdictions can work directly with the pharmacies to redistribute vaccine as needed. 

Already, the states of Arkansas and New Jersey are taking back 30,000 doses each. New Jersey has also stopped the delivery of 44,000 doses that had been allocated to the federal program. The state of New York is reallocating 50,000 doses.  

In a letter posted to Twitter on Friday, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced that the state was reallocating 37,800 doses to vaccine providers in the state. “These surplus vaccines should be made available to members of the general public right away rather than at the completion of the LTC program."  

Earlier today, the Biden administration announced they will be putting one million doses towards the first phase of the retail pharmacy program – a similar partnership between the federal government and retail pharmacies, but this time geared towards vaccinating the general public.

5:10 p.m. ET, February 2, 2021

Palestinian medics in the West Bank receive first Covid-19 vaccines

From CNN's Abeer Salman

Men in Hebron, West Bank, watch a live television broadcast as Palestinian Health Minister Mai Al-Kaila announces the start of Covid-19 vaccinations.
Men in Hebron, West Bank, watch a live television broadcast as Palestinian Health Minister Mai Al-Kaila announces the start of Covid-19 vaccinations. Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images

Palestinian medics have begun administering Covid-19 vaccines in the West Bank following the transfer of a first batch of 2,000 doses by the Israeli Ministry of Defense on Monday. 

Palestinian Authority Health Minister Mai Al-Kaila, a physician herself, was among those who administered the vaccine to front-line medical workers, before receiving a dose herself.​

About 3,000 more doses from Israel’s stock of Moderna vaccines are due to arrive in the coming days, as well as 5,000 doses of the Sputnik vaccine, according to the Health Minister. 

These will be augmented by the arrival of a further 37,000 vaccines supplied by the WHO-led Covax program, the minister added. 

A first transfer of vaccines to Gaza will take place on Wednesday, Al-Kaila said.

  

3:32 p.m. ET, February 2, 2021

New England Patriots plane will shuttle health care workers to Super Bowl LV

From CNN's David Close

The New England Patriots plane delivers N95 masks in Boston in April 2020.
The New England Patriots plane delivers N95 masks in Boston in April 2020. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The same New England Patriots plane that brought 1.2 million N95 protective masks to the United States from China this past spring will be used to shuttle 76 vaccinated health care workers to Super Bowl LV.

The NFL team says the “frontline heroes” will be treated to an all-expenses paid trip to Sunday's game in Tampa, Florida, including roundtrip travel on the Patriots private plane.

Last April, Patriots owner Robert Kraft told CNN that the effort to facilitate the purchase and delivery of PPE supplies was "probably the most challenging operation our organization and team ever had to do."

In a team issued statement, Kraft acknowledged the full-circle circumstances the pandemic fight has now presented. Kraft stating on Tuesday, "Last April, when our plane returned with masks from China, we never could have imagined the devastation this pandemic would cause, nor could we have dreamed of the heroic stories and achievements that have come to be as a result, especially the dedication of healthcare workers on the front lines and the creation of safe and effective vaccines. 

"Ten months later, it's an honor for us to celebrate these healthcare workers by giving them a well-deserved break for a day and an opportunity to enjoy the Super Bowl, a reality that is only made possible because of the vaccines."

2:39 p.m. ET, February 2, 2021

Argentina asks Russia for more vaccine doses

From CNN’s Mitchell McCluskey

Argentine President Alberto Fernández gets a shot of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine at a Buenos Aires hospital on January 21.
Argentine President Alberto Fernández gets a shot of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine at a Buenos Aires hospital on January 21. Esteban Collazo/Argentine Presidential Press Office/AP

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández spoke to Russian leader Vladimir Putin about acquiring more doses of the Sputnik V vaccine, developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute, according to a statement from the Argentine presidency on Tuesday.

Putin agreed to increase production of the vaccine and would meet the needs of Argentina, the statement said.

Fernández added that the results of the immunization campaign have been “excellent, with no adverse effects."

Argentina authorized the use of the vaccine in late December and was the first country in Latin America to administer the use of Sputnik V vaccines, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

Argentina has already received shipments of several hundred thousand doses of the vaccine since December.

Fernández himself received the Sputnik V vaccine on Jan. 21.

An interim analysis of Phase 3 trial data published in the medical journal The Lancet on Tuesday found that Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is 91.6% effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 and 100% effective for preventing severe illness.

Argentina currently has 1,933,853 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 48,249 recorded deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

2:33 p.m. ET, February 2, 2021

US National Park Service implements mask requirements at parks

From CNN's Liz Stark

National Park Service rangers wear face masks as they interact with visitors at the reopening of the Washington Monument in October 2020.
National Park Service rangers wear face masks as they interact with visitors at the reopening of the Washington Monument in October 2020. Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

The National Park Service has begun implementing a mask requirement for all employees and visitors to help protect against the spread of coronavirus, the Department of Interior announced in a press release Tuesday afternoon.

The requirements require mask-wearing in NPS buildings and on park lands when visitors can’t maintain physical distance, ”including narrow or busy trails, overlooks and historic homes,” it said in a press release.

“To protect the health of those who live, work and visit our national parks and facilities, and in support of the President’s Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing, the National Park Service (NPS) today implemented a mask requirement for employees, visitors, partners and contractors,” the press release reads.

This announcement comes after President Biden signed an executive order on his first day in office requiring masks on federal property. 

2:22 p.m. ET, February 2, 2021

Canada will produce its own vaccines by the end of 2021

From CNN’s Paula Newton

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on Tuesday.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on Tuesday. CTV

Canada says it has signed a tentative agreement with US vaccine firm Novavax to produce millions of doses of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate at a facility in Montreal.

The agreement, announced Tuesday by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is the first of several being developed as Canada says it intends to repatriate vaccine production for decades to come.

“What we’re very clear on is Canada will be developing domestic manufacturing so regardless of what could happen in the future we will have domestic production on top of all our partnerships and contracts signed with companies around the world,” Trudeau said during a news conference in Ottawa Tuesday.

He added that it was important for Canada to be "self-sufficient" in vaccine production.

Novavax is still doing clinical trials of its vaccine but submitted more data to Health Canada for review Friday. Canada has an agreement to buy 52 million doses from Novavax when and if its vaccine candidate receives Canadian approval.

Approval is not expected for weeks and any domestic production of vaccines won’t happen until fall, at the earliest.

That still leaves Canada with a significant shortage of vaccines in the short term. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, are the only vaccines approved for use in the country so far.

Both of those vaccine suppliers have significantly slowed deliveries to Canada after a combination of manufacturing delays and demands from Europe, where Canada procures its doses, to restrict vaccine exports subject to EU approval.

Canada did not attempt to procure any vaccine doses from the US after the Trump administration indicated it would not allow any vaccines to be exported.

According to public health data from the provinces and the federal government, just over 2% of Canada’s population has received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Provinces in Canada, who are responsible for vaccine distribution, are growing frustrated as mass vaccination sites are ready, but in many cases sit empty awaiting vaccine doses.

“They have the capacity of several thousand each per day and the possibility to ramp up past that so all of us are a little disappointed, a little frustrated, and chomping at the bit to do more and get the vaccines to us,” said retired Gen. Rick Hillier, now leading Ontario’s vaccine task force.

He added that he has lost confidence in the Pfizer supply chain as doses that were promised to Canada were not delivered.

2:08 p.m. ET, February 2, 2021

French health authority recommends AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine for people under 65 

From CNN's Pierre Bairin

The French National Authority for Health on Tuesday recommended that France approve AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine. However, the agency recommended restricting its used for people under 65. 

“The data currently available in people aged 65 and over are limited by a small sample size and do not allow conclusions to be drawn on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in this population," the French health authority wrote in their recommendation summary. 

For people 65 and older, the drug regulator recommended giving a different type of Covid-19 vaccine, called a messenger RNA vaccine. This is the type of vaccine made by Pfizer and Moderna.

For people under 65, the AstraZeneca vaccine requires two doses. The French health authority recommended the second dose be given nine to 12 weeks after the first dose.

A spokesperson for the health authority said the French government will be making the final decision on who gets the vaccine and the exact guidelines for its distribution.

1:06 p.m. ET, February 2, 2021

Extra vaccines for pharmacies will come from increased production, White House says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced the federal government would deliver an extra 10.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine in the coming weeks – a 20% increase – plus an additional one million doses directly pharmacies.

Asked by CNN's Kaitlan Collins where the vaccines for pharmacies would come from, Zients said they would come from increased production by Moderna and Pfizer.

"The additional 1 million, on top of the 10.5, is consistent with Moderna and Pfizer scaling their operations," Zients said during a White House coronavirus briefing on Tuesday.

"We're doing all we can to monitor and help the manufacturers produce as much vaccine as possible," Zients said. "To the increase of over 20% – that's happened since the beginning of the administration. That's going directly to states, territories and tribes, plus this million to pharmacies, directly. It's all a result of the manufacturing scaling up, and we hope that we can do all we can, and we will do all we can, to continue that scale up and make more vaccines available."