April 13 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Lauren Said-Moorhouse, Samantha Tapfumaneyi, Melissa Mahtani, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 0619 GMT (1419 HKT) April 14, 2021
14 Posts
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8:28 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

A doctor's advice for those who have gotten the Johnson & Johnson vaccine: "You're likely going to be okay"

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

A registered nurse administers a Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine in Lakewood, California, on March 31.
A registered nurse administers a Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine in Lakewood, California, on March 31. Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

Dr. Carlos del Rio, executive associate dean at Emory University School of Medicine, said on CNN’s “New Day” Wednesday that people who have gotten the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine will likely be OK, but they should be attuned to their body for possible symptoms.

On Wednesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and US Food and Drug Administration recommended that the US pause use of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine over six reported cases or “a rare and severe type of blood clot.”

“What it means to people at this point in time is, I think you’re likely going to be okay,” del Rio told CNN’s Poppy Harlow. “When you think about one in a million event that’s, you know, you cross the street every day, you have a much higher chance of getting run over by a car.”

“So, I think what people need to be is, don’t freak out, I’ll be going on with my life, but I would be very attuned to my body,” he continued.

He continued: “If I develop shortness of breath, if I develop leg pain, if I develop a headache and I’m within two to three weeks of having had Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, I would immediately notify my health care provider.”

8:24 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

German government agrees on law change that would give it more powers to battle Covid-19

From Inke Kappeler in Berlin 

The German federal cabinet has agreed to amend the country's Infection Protection Act that enables the federal government to impose nationwide curfews and lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The so-called "federal emergency brake" automatically overrules measures in Germany’s 16 states if the seven-day-incidence of new coronavirus infections surpasses 100 per 100,000 residents in an administrative district for three consecutive days, Chancellor Angela Merkel told a press conference on Tuesday in Berlin.

The situation is serious,“ Merkel warned.

“We may now overburden our health care system" and we must help health care workers to overcome the pandemic, Merkel said.

“Our fight against the pandemic must be more stringent. We must stop the third wave,“ Merkel urged. “I am aware that these are hard limitations,” she added.

At present, only one state, Schleswig-Holstein on the northern coast, records an incidence-rate under 100, all other states report higher levels, Saxony and Thuringia are even above 200, as monitored by Germany's Robert Koch Institute

The proposed law change must now go before Germany’s parliament for approval. For a nationwide lockdown to be implemented, Parliament must have consented to the Act and the incidence-rate threshold must be surpassed. 

9:42 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

"Don’t freak out" over Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause, infectious diseases professor says

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Dr. Carlos del Rio said it’s the “right move” for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food & Drug Administration to recommend that the United States pause the use of Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine over six reported cases of a "rare and severe" type of blood clot.

“It's rare. But I want to congratulate the CDC and the FDA for very quickly jumping on it, halting the vaccinations until we know more and really trying to understand what's going on. I think vaccine safety has always been a priority. And I think this is exactly the right move until we understand what's going on and what's the way forward,” del Rio, the executive associate dean of Emory School of Medicine & Grady Health System, said on CNN’s “New Day.” 

More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the United States. All six cases of the blood clot occurred among women ages of 18 and 48. 

“So what it means to people at this point in time is I think you're likely going to be OK. … Don't freak out. I would be going on with my life, but I would be very attuned to my body. If I develop shortness of breath, if I develop leg pain, if I develop a headache, and I’m within two to three weeks of having had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, I would immediately notify my healthcare provider,” said del Rio, a distinguished professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory.

“I would still recommend people get vaccinated. I would not say do not get vaccinated just because this very rare side effect,” he added.  

Watch here:

7:44 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

India will fast-track emergency use authorization for Covid-19 vaccines approved in other countries

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

India will fast-track emergency use authorization for Covid-19 vaccines that have been granted approval in the US, Europe, UK and Japan or have have been listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization, the Indian Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan announced Tuesday.

The goal of this move is to "augment our basket of Covid-19 vaccines," he said in a tweet, adding that the decision was made based on the recommendations of India's expert group on vaccine administration NEGVAC.

This comes as India, a country of nearly 1.4 billion people, is witnessing a record surge in Covid-19 cases despite rolling out one of the fastest vaccination drives in the world.

India's total caseload stands at more than 13.6 million — second only to the US — including more than 171,000 fatalities. Vaccinations topped 100 million, with India being the fastest country globally to reach that milestone, reaching the figure in just 85 days, the health ministry said.

India's drug regulator has also approved the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V.

In announcing the latest vaccine plans, Dr. Harsh Vardhan also said that government plans to assess the first 100 beneficiaries of such foreign vaccines for seven days for safety outcomes before it is further rolled out within the country. However, it'll be mandatory to conduct post-approval parallel bridging clinical trial as per prescribed provisions.

7:43 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

Federal health channels will stop using J&J vaccine immediately, White House says

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

A Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Lakewood, CA, on March 31.
A Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Lakewood, CA, on March 31. Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

The new announcement from the FDA and CDC means all federal health channels -- mass vaccination sites, community health centers and the like -- that were previously administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will immediately stop for the time being, according to a federal health official. 

The agencies are recommending that states do the same, but it will be up to the individual states to make that decision because they are given a separate allocation of doses. 

The pause happened because this type of blood clot is not listed on the list of potential adverse side effects that were part of the emergency use authorization for J&J. While officials are stressing it is rare, they want health care providers to have time to understand what potential side effects are and how to best treat them. 

The CDC and FDA came to a decision late last night, a federal health official said. The two agencies will do a press call at 10 a.m. this morning to answer more questions about the development. 

7:16 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

CDC and FDA recommend US pause Johnson & Johnson vaccine use over blood clot concerns

From CNN’s Elizabeth Cohen

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration are recommending that the United States pause the use of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine over “six reported US cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot.”

A federal official previously told CNN that US health agencies were taking concerns about blood clots and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine "seriously."

An expert outside the government who is familiar with the situation agreed that health officials are taking the matter seriously.

There have been "four serious cases of unusual blood clots" reported after people received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to European health authorities. Like their US counterparts, the European authorities are investigating these cases and that "it is currently not clear" whether there's a causal association between the vaccine and the clots.

The concern in the United States isn't just about the Johnson & Johnson shot per se.

At a time when US health officials are encouraging Americans to get vaccinated as soon as they can, there's a worry that news coverage about clots being studied in relation to Johnson & Johnson's vaccine might make some Americans more hesitant to get any Covid-19 vaccine.

7:47 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

"Don't declare victory prematurely," Fauci warns

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, DC, on March 18.
Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, DC, on March 18. Susan Walsh/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

US officials are racing to vaccinate as many Americans as possible to beat another Covid-19 surge -- and doses are being administered at a record pace.

But that's not all the US needs to be doing right now. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US’ top infectious disease expert, told CNN Monday night that the country shouldn’t “declare victory prematurely.”

"We see so many pulling back on some of the public health measures, the mask mandates, the restaurant opening, the bars, we can't be doing that. We've got to wait a bit longer until we get enough vaccine into people that we will clearly blunt any surge," Fauci said.

But with a combination of the fast vaccinations and a doubling down on safety measures, the US could soon see a "turnaround," Fauci continued, and cases could start to come down again.

Read more here:

8:06 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

India approves use of Russia's Sputnik V Covid--19 vaccine

From CNN's Manveena Suri in Delhi 

India's drug regulator has approved the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V as the country grapples with a second wave.

Sputnik V is the third coronavirus vaccine to get emergency use approval after Covishield, developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and the Indian firm Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.

The decision was made by the Drugs Controller General of India after a Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization “deliberated on various critical areas for consideration including safety, immunogenicity, efficacy data from overseas clinical studies, indication, age group, dosing schedule, precautions, storage, warnings, adverse effects of special interest, risk benefit evaluation…,” the Indian Ministry of Health said in a statement on Tuesday.

Sputnik V, which has been approved for use in 60 countries across the world, is manufactured in India by the company, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories.

In September, the pharmaceutical firm partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to conduct clinical trials of Sputnik V and distribute the vaccine in India, according to a press release issued by Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.

“We are very pleased to obtain the emergency use authorization for Sputnik V in India. With the rising cases in India, vaccination is the most effective tool in our battle against COVID-19. This will enable us to contribute to our nation’s effort of vaccinating a significant proportion of our population,” said GV Prasad, co-chairman and managing director of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

The bigger picture: India reported 161,736 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, a slight dip following six consecutive days of record single-day rises, according to a CNN tally of figures from the Ministry of Health.

The country has recorded a total of 13,689,453 cases, which includes 171,058 deaths and 1,264,698 active cases.

A total of 108,533,085 vaccine doses have been administered and so far, to health and frontline workers and people aged 45 and above.

Several states have announced tighter restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus. On Monday, the northern state of Haryana announced a nightly curfew to come into immediate effect from 9:00 p.m. till 5:00 a.m. until further notice. 

The capital territory of Delhi, which reported 11,491 cases on Monday, is preparing for a surge in cases.

The state government has declared 14 private hospitals in the capital be made into "full COVID-19" hospitals and asked them not to admit patients other than those infected with coronavirus. Nineteen private hospitals have been directed to reserve at least 80% of their ICU beds for Covid patients while a further 82 private hospitals have been asked to reserve 60% of their ICU beds for coronavirus patients, according to an order tweeted by Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain.

5:53 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

Thailand bans "water splashing" at New Year festival as Covid-19 cases rise

From CNN's Kocha Olarn in Bangkok

Thailand’s government bans "water splashing" at its Songkran New Year water festival after the country reported record numbers of new coronavirus infections for three consecutive days.

On Tuesday, Thailand reported 965 new Covid-19 cases, bringing its total number of cases to 34,575 including 97 deaths from the virus.

Often referred to as the world's biggest water fight, Songkran is a three-day festival during which revelers splash water -- a symbol of cleansing and purification -- on each other. This year's main days of celebration start Tuesday and run through to Thursday though some Thai cities have been known to stretch out the fun a few extra days.

The government will allow religious activities and "mild watering" with coronavirus measures in place.

According to Thailand's Ministry of Interior’s website, there are 41 provinces where mandatory quarantine is required but enforced at various degrees of restrictions and conditions.

Dr Opas Karnkawinpong said during Tuesday's government press briefing that the prime minister has urged companies to resume working from home after the holiday is over.