CDC releases new guidelines for Americans vaccinated against Covid-19

By Ben Westcott, Brett McKeehan, Kara Fox, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 0103 GMT (0903 HKT) March 9, 2021
30 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
2:31 p.m. ET, March 8, 2021

Ohio will expand Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to include people age 50 and older

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Educational staff at Kettering City Schools receive the Covid-19 vaccine as a part of Ohios Phase 1B vaccine distribution in Dayton, Ohio, on February 10.
Educational staff at Kettering City Schools receive the Covid-19 vaccine as a part of Ohios Phase 1B vaccine distribution in Dayton, Ohio, on February 10. Megan Jelinger/AFP via Getty Images

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has announced that beginning Thursday, the state will expand its Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to include people age 50 and older, as well as those with type 2 diabetes, and end-stage renal disease.

The change comes as DeWine said he spoke with the 113 health commissioners throughout Ohio Monday morning, of which a number requested that the state further broaden eligibility because some counties still find themselves with leftover vaccine doses at the end of each week.

“Those 50 to 59 years of age, total population in Ohio is approximately 1.2 million. End stage renal disease, those under 50, we think is about 25,000, and type 2 diabetes, again under 50, is about 172,000 we believe. So that will give you some idea,” DeWine said. “We’re opening to those three groups beginning on Thursday.”

1:55 p.m. ET, March 8, 2021

Biden says he will sign $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill "as soon as I get it"

From CNN's Betsty Klein

President Joe Biden speaks from the State Dining Room at the White House on March 6 in Washington, DC.
President Joe Biden speaks from the State Dining Room at the White House on March 6 in Washington, DC. Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Biden told reporters Monday he will sign the $1.9 trillion Covid relief package, his top legislative priority, as soon as it lands on his desk. 

“As soon as I get it,” Biden said when asked when he would be signing the bill.

The President made the remarks while participating in an event highlighting vaccinations for veterans in Washington, DC.

Biden will sign the bill pending passage in the House this week, now expected on Wednesday. 

A senior Democratic leadership aide told CNN Monday that the Covid-19 relief bill that was expected to be passed by the House on Tuesday, has been delayed until Wednesday. 

Until then, officials will continue to engage with members on Capitol Hill, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said earlier Monday.

"Our legislative team, led by Steve Ricchetti and Louisa Terrell, are certainly not taking anything for granted. They're picking up the phone, checking in with offices, making sure they have their questions answered. They're asking the President, the vice president, Ron Klain, other senior members of the administration to make calls as needed," she said. 

The bill was passed by the Senate on Saturday afternoon along party lines after the overnight vote-a-rama.

1:51 p.m. ET, March 8, 2021

Vaccination rates are "significantly lower" among minority communities, White House adviser says

From CNN's Betsy Klein

White House adviser and Covid equity task force director Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith speaks during a Covid briefing on March 8.
White House adviser and Covid equity task force director Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith speaks during a Covid briefing on March 8. White House

White House adviser and Covid equity task force director Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith provided an update Monday on the administration’s efforts toward vaccine equity, emphasizing that there is still work to be done. 

Factors including race, ethnicity, rural versus urban geography, poverty, disability, living situation and type of employment are “exerting tremendous influence on the outcomes we see in Covid-19,” Nunez-Smith said at Monday’s virtual Covid briefing.

She outlined with charts how Latinos have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19 cases, while Black Americans have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19 deaths. Vaccination rates, she said, are “significantly lower” for Latino, Asian, and non-Hispanic Black Americans relative to their share of the general population, nothing that there is still limited data on vaccinations.

“We're not getting from individuals, from providers and from states, the critical information about who has access to these three lifesaving vaccines that need to be equitably distributed across our country. So I want to emphasize here: It is possible to do better,” she said.

The information that is being reported, she said, shows there is “critical ground that we must make up.”

Nunez-Smith also detailed the challenges of vaccine hesitancy, noting that the Biden administration is implementing “a comprehensive and national public education campaign,” and hosting roundtables with constituencies to get those efforts right.

“We're building relationships with trusted messengers, all over the country, to make sure they have the best information possible to share with their communities,” she said.

However, she pressed, public health officials “cannot and will not” accept that vaccine confidence is “the end all and be all of the difference in vaccine uptake,” citing the need for other intervention, like community vaccination sites, mobile units, and other equity-oriented vaccination site features, like targeted geographic eligibility, weekend extended hours, and reserved slots for registration through faith-based and community-based organizations. She also touted the federal retail pharmacy program to address these issues for some of the nation’s most vulnerable.

Going forward, she said the administration will continue to prioritize filling gaps for high-risk communities and will call on states to “offer clear, transparent equity goals for their residents” and provide more data.

“We must take significant steps at every level of intervention to bend the vaccination process towards justice,” she said, adding that equity is “mission critical” and not just an aspirational goal.

 

1:48 p.m. ET, March 8, 2021

House vote on Biden $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill delayed until Wednesday

From CNN's Kristin Wilson and Ryan Nobles

The US Capitol is seen in Washington, DC, on March 6.
The US Capitol is seen in Washington, DC, on March 6. Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

A senior Democratic leadership aide tells CNN that the Covid-19 relief bill that was expected to be passed by the House on Tuesday has been delayed until Wednesday. 

Another senior Democratic aide says there is nothing unexpected about the delay. “It’s just a big, detailed bill, and it's just taking a minute to process all of it,” the aide said. 

1:38 p.m. ET, March 8, 2021

Go There: CNN answers your questions about Covid-19 vaccines and guidelines for fully vaccinated people

New guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for vaccinated people will be released today.

The new guidelines will come as more than 30 million people in the US are now fully immunized against Covid-19.

CNN's Polo Sandoval was in Austin, Texas, answering your questions.

WATCH:

1:35 p.m. ET, March 8, 2021

Wyoming is removing its statewide mask requirement, governor says

From CNN’s Will Brown

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon gives the State of the State address on March 2.
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon gives the State of the State address on March 2. Michael Cummo/Wyoming Tribune Eagle via AP

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon announced that he is removing the statewide mask requirement and allowing restaurants, bars, theaters, and gyms to resume normal operations starting March 16.

Gordon pointed to declining numbers of active Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, as well as the state’s vaccine rollout, as reasons for the changes.

The governor encouraged Wyoming citizens to “continue to take personal responsibility for their actions and stay diligent,” including by wearing masks indoors and observing requests by private businesses.

Gordon is keeping the state’s mask requirement in place for K-12 schools.

Wyoming joins states such as Texas and Mississippi that are removing statewide mask mandates despite criticism from President Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci.

1:16 p.m. ET, March 8, 2021

Iraq extends Covid-19 restrictive measures for two more weeks

From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq

Iraq extended a series of restrictive measures announced last month for two more weeks due to increasing Covid-19 infections, the Iraqi health ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The measures include a full curfew on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between March 9 through March 22.

Restaurants and cafes will be closed for dining but will allow pick-up services. All entertainment venues will be closed for two more weeks, including indoor parks, cinemas, sports halls, and swimming pools.

On Monday, the Iraqi Ministry of Health reported 4,468 new coronavirus cases. It brings the total number of cases in Iraq to at least 731,016.

The health ministry also reported 16 Covid-related deaths bringing the total number of fatalities in Iraq to at least 13,596 since the pandemic began.

There are currently 52,959 Covid-19 patients hospitalized across the county, among them 413 cases in intensive care.

1:23 p.m. ET, March 8, 2021

Chicago will allow some fans back into baseball stadiums in April, mayor says

From CNN's Konstantin Toropin

The Chicago Cubs take on the Chicago White Sox in an empty Wrigley Field on July 19.
The Chicago Cubs take on the Chicago White Sox in an empty Wrigley Field on July 19. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced today that fans will be allowed back into baseball stadiums for Opening Day of the 2021 season on April 1.

"Folks, we've significantly slowed the spread of COVID, getting our positivity rate down to 2.8%," Lightfoot wrote in a tweet.

"And now, we can begin to safely welcome fans back to our baseball stands on opening day," she added. 

The Chicago White Sox said that they will "welcome a limited number of fans, approximately 20% of Guaranteed Rate Field’s total capacity, in physically distanced seating pods at home games," in a statement today.

The Chicago Cubs also announced that "the team is approved to host 20% of Wrigley Field's capacity beginning with the April 1 home opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates," in a statement today.

Both teams noted that they will be enforcing masking for all fans and that they will employ "pod-style seating for physical distancing."

Lightfoot herself also said that "although we’re reopening, masking is still of utmost importance" in her tweet.

See the mayor's tweet:

12:39 p.m. ET, March 8, 2021

Pennsylvania has administered almost 3 million vaccine doses

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

Pennsylvania has administered nearly 3 million total Covid-19 vaccination doses, according to the state health department.

It has fully vaccinated almost 1 million people, according to statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Pennsylvania has been allocated 4,179,220 doses through March 13, and has administered 2,981,190 total doses through March 7, the Pennsylvania Department of Health said.

Pennsylvania added a two-day total of 3,176 cases, as well as 39 deaths.