March 25 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth and Eliza Mackintosh, CNN

Updated 0635 GMT (1435 HKT) March 26, 2021
3 Posts
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3:15 a.m. ET, March 25, 2021

US surpasses 30 million Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Deanna Hackney

The United States has surpassed 30 million cases of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

As of 3 a.m. Eastern Time, at least 30,009,773 Covid-19 infections and 545,237 virus-related deaths have been reported in the US, per JHU.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.    

Vaccines: At least 169,223,125 vaccine doses have been distributed and at least 107,060,274 total doses administered, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vaccine website. 

At least 85,472,166 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine and at least 46,365,515 people are now fully vaccinated, the website shows. 

CNN is tracking US cases here.


2:48 a.m. ET, March 25, 2021

New AstraZeneca report says vaccine was 76% effective in preventing Covid-19 symptoms

From CNN Health's Maggie Fox

A medical worker fills a syringe from a vial of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in Rome, on March 24.
A medical worker fills a syringe from a vial of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in Rome, on March 24. Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

Drug giant AstraZeneca updated its data on how well its coronavirus vaccine works, saying late Wednesday the vaccine showed 76% efficacy against symptomatic coronavirus disease and 100% efficacy against severe or critical disease or the need for hospitalization.

The vaccine was 85% effective in preventing symptoms in volunteers 65 and older, the company said.

The numbers are not terribly different from data the company released in a statement Monday. On Monday, AstraZeneca said its Covid-19 vaccine showed 79% efficacy against symptomatic disease and 100% efficacy against severe disease and hospitalization.

As with Monday's data, the company has released them via news release and not in a peer-reviewed report or as a formal submission for US Food and Drug Administration review.

"The primary analysis is consistent with our previously released interim analysis, and confirms that our COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective in adults, including those aged 65 years and over. We look forward to filing our regulatory submission for Emergency Use Authorization in the US and preparing for the rollout of millions of doses across America," Mene Pangalos, executive vice president for biopharmaceuticals research for the company, said in a statement.

Concerns raised in US: On Tuesday, the independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) that reviews data from multiple Covid-19 vaccine candidates expressed concern over AstraZeneca's announcements on its latest findings, and, unusually, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases publicly announced those concerns.

"The DSMB expressed concern that AstraZeneca may have included outdated information from that trial, which may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data," the NIAID, which has helped AstraZeneca run trials in the US, said.
"We urge the company to work with the DSMB to review the efficacy data and ensure the most accurate, up-to-date efficacy data be made public as quickly as possible."

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2:45 a.m. ET, March 25, 2021

Iowa, Louisiana and Washington become latest states to expand Covid-19 vaccines to over 16s

From CNN’s Ashley Ahn, Jacqueline Howard, and Virginia Langmaid

Registered Nurse Robert Orallo administers the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at the Blood Bank of Alaska in Anchorage, on March 19
Registered Nurse Robert Orallo administers the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at the Blood Bank of Alaska in Anchorage, on March 19 Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Five states have expanded coronavirus vaccine eligibility to anyone age 16 and older, and at least 22 more plan to open up to people 16 and older by the end of April.

Alaska opened up vaccinations to anyone 16 and older on March 9, Mississippi on March 16, West Virginia expanded on March 22, and Utah and state-run sites in certain Arizona counties opened on March 24. People aged 16 and older in Oklahoma can get vaccinated through the Chickasaw Nation’s vaccination program, but not yet through the state’s program.

As of Wednesday, Louisiana, Iowa and Washington are the latest states to announce plans to expand coronavirus vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 and older, announcing on Wednesday they will expand vaccinations in late March, early April and May, respectively.

For all states currently vaccinating anyone 16 and older, people ages 16 or 17 can only receive a Pfizer vaccine, as it is the only option authorized for use in that population so far. Moderna’s and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines are authorized for use in adults 18 and older.

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