Los Angeles will temporarily close all vaccination sites because it has run out of vaccines
From CNN's Sarah Moon
Los Angeles will temporarily close five Covid-19 vaccination sites, including one of the nation’s largest at Dodger Stadium, due to a lack of vaccine doses, Mayor Eric Garcetti said on Wednesday.
“We don’t have enough vaccines,” Garcetti said at a news conference, as he explained that the vaccine doses aren’t arriving soon enough.
“We’re vaccinating people faster than new vials are arriving here in Los Angeles and I’m very concerned,” he said. “Our vaccine supply is uneven, it’s unpredictable, and too often, inequitable.”
The sites will shut on Friday and Saturday, and Garcetti says he hopes to reopen them by Tuesday or Wednesday.
“These closures, unfortunately, are inevitable,” he said, adding that the city will have exhausted its supply of the Moderna vaccine for first dose appointments.
While the city has been administering about 13,000 doses a day, only 16,000 new doses arrived this week. So far, the city has administered more than 293,000 doses across the five sites.
7:30 p.m. ET, February 10, 2021
Double masking can block 92% of infectious particles, CDC says
From CNN's Keri Enriquez
Double masking can significantly improve protection, new data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.
Researchers found that layering a cloth mask over a medical procedural mask, such as a disposable blue surgical mask, can block 92.5% of potentially infectious particles from escaping by creating a tighter fit and eliminating leakage.
"These experimental data reinforce CDC's prior guidance that everyone 2 years of age or older should wear a mask when in public and around others in the home not living with you," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, told a White House briefing. "We continue to recommend that masks should have two or more layers, completely cover your nose and mouth, and fit snugly against your nose and the sides of your face," said Walensky
Medical procedure masks like the commonly seen blue surgical masks typically don't fit securely to faces and create gaps, allowing unfiltered air to escape. A fitted cloth mask can act as a cinch and secures the loose medical mask in place. This improves protection by preventing leakage of unfiltered air and particles, better protecting the wearer and those around them.
Fully vaccinated people can skip Covid quarantines, CDC says
From CNN's Maggie Fox
People who have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus -- right now that means with two doses of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine -- can skip quarantine if they are exposed to someone infected with the virus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.
That doesn't mean they should stop taking precautions, the CDC noted in updated guidance. It's just not necessary for them to quarantine.
"Fully vaccinated persons who meet criteria will no longer be required to quarantine following an exposure to someone with COVID-19," the CDC said in updates to its webpage with guidance on vaccination. "Vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria," the CDC added.
The criteria: They must be fully vaccinated -- having had both shots with at least two weeks having passed since the second shot. That's because it takes two weeks to build full immunity after the second dose of vaccine.
But the CDC says protection may wear off after three months, so people who had their last shot three months ago or more should still quarantine if they are exposed. They also should quarantine if they show symptoms, the CDC said.
More Americans say they're willing to take a Covid-19 vaccine, but supply issues remain
Jay Croft and Christina Maxouris
More Americans say they are confident about getting a Covid-19 vaccine, but supplies are limited and new variants are raising concerns across the country.
A Gallup poll released Wednesday found 71% of those surveyed are willing to get vaccinated, up from 65% in late December and the highest number since July. So far, about 10% -- almost 33.8 million Americans -- have received at least one dose of the two-part vaccines, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 10.5 million people have been fully vaccinated.
WHO recommends AstraZeneca vaccine for adults over 18 and in countries where new variants are circulating
From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard and Naomi Thomas
The World Health Organization's recommendations for the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, AZD1222, include all people ages 18 and older, including older adults.
In a briefing on Wednesday, Dr. Joachim Hombach, executive secretary of WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization said:
"The immune response in people above 65 is almost the same as in younger people, and this makes us very confident."
The new recommendations were published on Wednesday and note that there are some populations for which data are limited or do not exist -- including children, pregnant women, lactating women and other groups. "Until such data are available, vaccination of individuals below 18 years of age is not recommended," the guidance says.
"The available data on AZD1222 vaccination of pregnant women are insufficient to assess vaccine efficacy or vaccine-associated risks in pregnancy. However, it should be noted that AZD1222 is a nonreplicating vaccine," it says. It added that "WHO does not recommend pregnancy testing prior to vaccination. WHO does not recommend delaying pregnancy because of vaccination."
For women who are breastfeeding, the guidance says that "a lactating woman who is part of a group recommended for vaccination, e.g., health workers, should be offered vaccination on an equivalent basis." It also said that it does not recommend discontinuing breastfeeding after vaccination
At the same briefing, WHO also recommended the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in countries where variants of the coronavirus are circulating.
The group of expert advisers looked at two aspects of the circulation of the variants in relation to the AstraZeneca vaccine, said Dr. Alejandro Cravioto, chair of WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization.
In the United Kingdom, Cravioto said preliminary analysis showed a slightly reduced efficacy against the variant first spotted there. The analysis also showed a limited reduction in titers of neutralization, which means the vaccine is still having a good effect protecting people infected with that variant.
In South Africa, Cravioto said preliminary analysis showed “a marked reduction” in vaccine effectiveness against mild or moderate disease in a variant first spotted there. The analysis also showed a reduction in neutralizing antibody levels. However, he said the study was small and didn’t allow assessment of the vaccine against severe infection. He noted there is indirect evidence that there is still protection against severe disease.