The latest on the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines

By Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 3:08 p.m. ET, April 11, 2021
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10:18 a.m. ET, April 11, 2021

India bans export of anti-viral drug remdesivir as Covid-19 cases rise

From Rishabh Pratap

A health worker tests nasal swab samples for Covid-19 in Srinagar, India, on April 5.
A health worker tests nasal swab samples for Covid-19 in Srinagar, India, on April 5. Mukhtar Khan/AP

India has banned the export of anti-viral drug remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients following a rise in coronavirus cases, a statement from the country’s health ministry said on Sunday.

The ban would apply to Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) until the Covid-19 situation in the country improves, the health ministry statement said. 

As of Sunday, there are 1,108,087 active Covid-19 cases and they are steadily increasing, the ministry said, adding that this rise has led to a sudden spike in demand for the anti-viral drug remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients used in the treatment of coronavirus patients.

The ministry anticipates a potential for further increase in this demand in the coming days.

Currently, seven Indian companies produce the drug under a voluntary licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences, USA. 

7:50 a.m. ET, April 11, 2021

Los Angeles opens vaccinations to those 16 and older ahead of state's planned eligibility expansion

From CNN's Alta Spells

Syringes are prepared for doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine on April 9 in Los Angeles.
Syringes are prepared for doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine on April 9 in Los Angeles. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Los Angeles residents ages 16 and above are now eligible to sign up for a Covid-19 vaccination at one of 19 vaccination sites currently being run by the city, the Los Angeles mayor's office told CNN. 

Appointments can be made using the city's vaccine registration website, which was updated Saturday afternoon to reflect the expanded eligibility, however vaccinations for the week will not begin until Tuesday when the the city's vaccination locations reopen.

The mayor's office said it worked with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and used targeted text message alerts to encourage communities that have been hit the hardest by Covid-19 to make appointments on the updated website.

“We are excited to open vaccination appointments for Angelenos 16 and older. Vaccinations at city-run sites will begin on Tuesday, with support from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, to encourage access for the most vulnerable communities with the highest need. All three vaccines will be available to those 18 years and older, with the Pfizer vaccine authorized for those ages 16-17. We continue to receive a limited supply of vaccines, and when we receive greater supply in the weeks ahead, the City will be ready to administer even more vaccines quickly and safely,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement provided to CNN. 

Some context: Everyone in California who is 16 and older will become eligible for Covid-19 vaccinations beginning Thursday, April 15, according to an announcement from California Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this month. 

7:03 a.m. ET, April 11, 2021

Nearly 40% of Marines have declined the Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN's Oren Liebermann, Ellie Kaufman and Devan Cole

Nearly 40% of US Marines are declining Covid-19 vaccinations, according to data provided to CNN on Friday by the service, the first branch to disclose service-wide numbers on acceptance and declination.

As of Thursday, approximately 75,500 Marines have received vaccines, including fully vaccinated and partially vaccinated service men and women. About 48,000 Marines have chosen not to receive vaccines, for a declination rate of 38.9%.

CNN has reached out to the other services for acceptance and declination rates.

The corresponding acceptance rate for vaccinations among Marines -- 61.1% -- is not far off the military estimate of two-thirds, or about 66%.

Another 102,000 Marines have not yet been offered the vaccines. The total number of Marines includes active-duty, reserves and Individual Mobilization Augmentee Marines.

The declination rate at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, one of the prominent Marine Corps bases, was far higher, at 57%, according to another set of data provided to CNN. Of 26,400 Marines who have been offered vaccinations, 15,100 have chosen not to receive them, a number that includes both II Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Installation East -- Camp Lejeune. Another 11,500 active-duty Marines are scheduled to be offered the vaccines.

"We fully understand that widespread acceptance of the Covid-19 vaccine provides us with the best means to defeat the pandemic. The key to addressing the pandemic is building vaccine confidence," Marine Corps spokeswoman Col. Kelly Frushour told CNN in a statement.

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