February 3 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton and Jo Shelley, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, February 4, 2021
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6:00 p.m. ET, February 3, 2021

US surpasses 450,000 total deaths from Covid-19

From CNN’s Haley Brink

Employees move bodies into refrigerated semi-trucks at the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner on January 14 in Tucson, Arizona.
Employees move bodies into refrigerated semi-trucks at the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner on January 14 in Tucson, Arizona. Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

There have been at least 450,088 reported deaths from Covid-19 in the United States since the pandemic began, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

There have been at least 26,533,999 total coronavirus cases in the US, university data showed.

Johns Hopkins recorded the first death from Covid-19 on Feb. 29 in Washington state. Later in the spring, two earlier deaths in California were posthumously confirmed to be from Covid-19.

There are four other countries in the world that have reported over 100,000 total Covid-19 deaths, according to the university. Brazil has more than 200,000 total deaths while Mexico, India, and the United Kingdom have over 100,000.

5:15 p.m. ET, February 3, 2021

Black and Hispanic people in the US continue to receive disproportionate share of Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

A man gets his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine administered at Coors Field baseball stadium on January 30 in Denver.
A man gets his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine administered at Coors Field baseball stadium on January 30 in Denver. Chet Strange/AFP/Getty Images

More than 20 states now report Covid-19 vaccination data by race or ethnicity, and inequities in Covid-19 vaccination are present in all of them, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. 

Black people have received a smaller share of vaccinations than their share of Covid-19 cases in all 23 states reporting data, and the same is true for Hispanic people in all 21 states reporting that data, the analysis found. 

In most of those states, Black and Hispanic people also received a smaller share of Covid-19 vaccinations than their share of Covid-19 deaths, with Vermont and Missouri as the exceptions. In Vermont, the share of vaccinations among Black people was equal to the share of Covid-19 deaths among Black people, and in Vermont and Missouri, the share of vaccinations among Hispanic people were higher than the share of Covid-19 deaths among Hispanic people.  

The Kaiser Family Foundation used data published on state websites as of Monday for the analysis, along with case and death data from The Covid Tracking Project.  

4:34 p.m. ET, February 3, 2021

Here's the latest on the race to distribute Covid-19 vaccines across the world

From CNN's Diego Mendoza

A health worker prepares to administer a dose of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine at the Cotahuma Hospital in La Paz, Bolivia, on February 3.
A health worker prepares to administer a dose of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine at the Cotahuma Hospital in La Paz, Bolivia, on February 3. Jorge Bernal/AFP/Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the world, and in the US, January marked the deadliest month of the pandemic so far. At the same time, the worldwide race to distribute vaccines is on.

If you're just catching up now, here’s a look at the latest vaccine news:

  • Vaccines direct to your local pharmacy in the US: The Biden administration announced Tuesday that vaccine manufacturers can now ship vials directly to pharmacies starting Feb. 11, including CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid. The White House said that 1 million doses will be distributed to 6,500 stores. The plan to expand vaccine availability in pharmacies has long been in the works and was a key component in the former Trump administration's distribution plan as well.
  • Canada's vaccine challenges: Facing massive shortages, a Montreal facility will tentatively begin producing the Novavax vaccine candidate by the end of 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed at a news conference. Approval is not expected for several more weeks. Trudeau said it was important for Canada to be “self-sufficient” in their vaccine rollout after other candidates met hurdles to Canada. 
  • Switzerland delays approval for one vaccine: The Oxford-developed candidate can significantly reduce the transmission of Covid, according to UK researchers. This is promising news for AstraZeneca, who has submitted its formula to the FDA for the final phase three trials. However, Switzerland declined to authorize the AstraZeneca vaccine this morning, saying "additional data from new studies are needed."
  • Unexpected triumph: Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is 91.6% effective at preventing symptomatic Covid, according to a peer-reviewed international analysis. Researchers initially approached the candidate with hesitation after Russia approved the vaccine for public use in August — before the crucial Phase 3 trials had been completed. The vaccine has been approved in more than a dozen countries, and more than 2 million people worldwide have already received the vaccine with no serious side effects.
4:11 p.m. ET, February 3, 2021

California opens mass vaccination sites as part of federal pilot program

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference in Oakland, California, on February 3.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference in Oakland, California, on February 3. California Governor's Office

California is opening two mass Covid-19 vaccination sites as part of a federal pilot program to quickly boost the number of available doses, as the state continues to see improving numbers in cases, deaths, positivity rate, and hospitalizations.

“Everything that should be up in relationship to this virus is up. Everything that should be down is down,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said, in a news conference at the Oakland Coliseum, one of the soon-to-be-open vaccination sites. 

The rolling average of new daily cases in the state has dropped in half in the past two weeks, according to data from California’s Department of Public Health. The state added 10,501 new cases and 481 additional Covid-19 related deaths Wednesday, and hospitalizations have dropped 30% over the last 14 days.

California State Los Angeles will house California’s other newly-announced vaccination site and both locations are part of a planned 100 locations nationwide in a federal-state partnership. FEMA will provide personal protective equipment and supplies, according to Newsom. 

California is now administering about one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine each week, Newsom said, a rate two to three times higher than the initial rollout as the state attempts to speed up inoculations and jump start its economy as it emerges from a regional stay at home order that shuttered many non-essential businesses.

The Oakland and Los Angeles sites are expected to begin vaccinations on Feb. 16, and appointments will be available through a newly developed statewide website called MyTurn that will alert users when they are eligible for a Covid-19 shot and present an appointment.

Each site will be paired with two mobile vaccination clinics that can be deployed to multiple locations, according to a press release from Newsom’s office. 

3:28 p.m. ET, February 3, 2021

West Virginia governor calls for more localized approach to Covid-19 vaccine administration

From CNN’s Deidre McPhillips

West Virginia Governor's Office
West Virginia Governor's Office

To improve the pace of vaccination against Covid-19, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said states “need to get the bureaucratic thinking out of the system.”

“To sit back and try to develop a system and work on it with 18 experts, or 1,800 experts, with people dying, just isn’t going to get it,” Justice said at a US Chamber of Commerce Foundation event on Wednesday.

Justice also suggested a “common sense” approach to vaccine distribution, focused on vaccinating older people first and making the vaccine available at places people are familiar with, including local pharmacies and local health clinics.

“You have to take this to the people. This model can work anywhere in this country,” he said. “We’re slowly moving to this (nationwide), but in the last few weeks, just to tell it like it is, a bunch of people have died because we were sitting with vaccines on shelves and they should have been in people’s arms," he added.

Some context: West Virginia has consistently been one of the leading states in terms of the share of distributed doses that have been administered. According to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Virginia has administered 82% of the doses they’ve received, putting the state second after North Dakota. Nationally, that rate is about 61%.

Accounting for the extra doses that can be pulled from the vials, 108% of distributed doses have been administered in West Virginia, Justice said on Wednesday.

3:03 p.m. ET, February 3, 2021

Yankee Stadium mass vaccination site will open Friday

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio NYC Media

The mass vaccination site at Yankee Stadium will open Friday with 15,000 appointments available during the first week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in a news release.

The site was targeted because of the Bronx’s positivity rate, which is the highest among all New York City boroughs, but also to “further the state’s and city’s mandate for fairness and social equity in the vaccine distribution process,” according to the release.

"Yankee Stadium has always been known for its World Series banners, but now it'll be recognized as a place where the people of the surrounding community in the Bronx can receive the vaccine doses that they need and deserve,” de Blasio said. “This is about justice and standing up for the neighborhoods that were hardest hit by Covid-19."

A statement from the New York Yankees emphasized the immediate difference these vaccinations will make in the community.

“We will do whatever is needed to make this a success," he said.

2:30 p.m. ET, February 3, 2021

Deploying the Defense Production Act to help with vaccine production is on the table, White House says

From CNN's DJ Judd

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told CNN’s Phil Mattingly Wednesday the Defense Production Act is “absolutely” on the table if the administration determines it’s necessary to ramp up vaccine supply ahead of the summer deadline they set for being able to offer a Covid-19 vaccine to every American.

“The reason the President invoked the Defense Production Act was because he wanted to have a range of options for any moment where there was a reduction in supply, on, on, on, you know, materials, on PPE, on syringes. And at the appropriate time, we can certainly use it for that,” She said.

But, Psaki added “we have confidence in” the ability of vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna to produce sufficient vaccine in the time allotted. 

In the meantime, Psaki said, “our focus is really more on evaluating, our team evaluating where there are needs for supplies and materials that would help deliver the vaccines into the arms of Americans.” 

Earlier today, CNN’s Sarah Murray reported that while Biden’s administration had touted its deployment of the DPA, but was taking a “more cautious and contemplative effort” on utilizing the act for vaccine supplies.

2:02 p.m. ET, February 3, 2021

Federal government has partnered with 21 pharmacy chains to administer Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN’s Deidre McPhillips

Across the country, 21 pharmacy chains have partnered with the federal government to administer Covid-19 vaccines.

The first phase of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program is scheduled to start next week on Feb. 11, as select retail pharmacies receive a limited supply of vaccine directly from the federal government to vaccinate priority groups.

The retail pharmacies participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program vary by state and jurisdiction. Most states have one or two partners.

Walmart, including Sam’s Club, is a federal partner in 21 states; Walgreens, including Duane Reade, is a federal partner in 14 states; CVS, including Long’s, is a federal partner in 11 states.

Additionally, Rite Aid, Kroger, Albertsons, and Medicine Shoppe and LeaderNET of Cardinal Health have each partnered in at least five states, along with their subsidiaries.

As the program expands, more partners will be added in each jurisdiction, Chris Krese, a spokesperson from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, told CNN. 

1:57 p.m. ET, February 3, 2021

Nearly 34 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in US, CDC says

From CNN's Michael Nedelman

A nurse gives a Covid-19 vaccine shot to a patient at CSUN Covid-19 vaccination center in Northridge, California on February 2.
A nurse gives a Covid-19 vaccine shot to a patient at CSUN Covid-19 vaccination center in Northridge, California on February 2. Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

Nearly 34 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States, according to data published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC reported that 33,878,254 total doses have been administered – about 61% of the 55,943,800 doses distributed. That’s about 1.1 million more administered doses reported since yesterday.

The pace of vaccinations has steadily risen over time. 

On Dec. 30, the seven-day average was about 255,000 shots per day.

That number jumped to 359,000 on Jan. 6; 710,000 on Jan. 13; 892,000 on Jan. 20; 1.16 million on Jan. 27; and now 1.32 million on Feb. 3.

At the current rate, every adult in the US could be fully vaccinated in about a year.

Assuming 75% of US adults must be fully vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, the US could reach this threshold around Halloween.

Just over 8% of the US population – more than 27 million people – have now received at least one dose of the vaccine, and about 6.4 million people have been fully vaccinated, CDC data shows.

Note on the data: 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.