April 27 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Kara Fox and Niamh Kennedy, CNN

Updated 0544 GMT (1344 HKT) April 28, 2021
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1:08 a.m. ET, April 27, 2021

Biden will announce new CDC mask guidance Tuesday, sources say

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Kate Sullivan

President Joe Biden is expected to announce Tuesday that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidance for wearing masks outdoors, three people familiar with the expected announcement said.

Ahead of his first address to Congress on Wednesday, the President will give remarks on the state of the pandemic on Tuesday. The three people familiar with the expected announcement said Biden will announce new CDC guidance on whether vaccinated people need to wear masks outdoors, though the final language of the expected announcement is still unclear.

One of Biden's top coronavirus advisers, Dr. Anthony Fauci, strongly hinted that the guidance would be updated this week, telling CNN's Jim Acosta Sunday he didn't want to get ahead of the CDC, but they "will be coming out with updating their guidelines of what people who are vaccinated can do and even some who are not vaccinated."

The Biden administration is also expected to announce, as early as Tuesday, several other new recommendations for fully vaccinated people in addition to "unmasking outdoors," a federal official told CNN.

The official said the new recommendations "will provide guidelines for activities fully vaccinated people can resume," suggesting a broader list than simply guidelines on masks. The recommendations will also provide guidelines for infection control and prevention in health care settings.

A November review in the Journal of Infectious Diseases found that the odds of viral transmission are 18.7 times greater indoors than out, and less than 10% of Covid-19 infections studied occurred outside. Despite that, several states still have outdoor mask mandates in place.

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1:04 a.m. ET, April 27, 2021

US to begin sharing AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine doses soon

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins, Kevin Liptak and Maegan Vazquez

The United States plans to share millions of doses of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine with other countries in the coming months, the White House announced on Monday.

"Today we announced that the administration is looking at options to share American-made AstraZeneca vaccine doses during the next few months," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during Monday's White House press briefing.

Psaki indicated that the decision was made because of the US' available supply of other Covid-19 vaccines approved for use. The US has tens of millions of AstraZeneca vaccines stockpiled but none have been used because it has not yet been granted emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration.

"Given the strong portfolio of vaccines that the United States has already authorized and that is available in large quantities, including two two-dose vaccines and one one-dose vaccine, and given that AstraZeneca is not authorized for use in the United States, we do not need to use AstraZeneca in our fight against Covid over the next few months," Psaki said.

Psaki said the FDA will conduct a quality review of doses before they can leave the country and that the US' plan to distribute the vaccine is still being developed. The White House has not said which countries will get the vaccine.

A senior administration official said later on Monday that there could be up to 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine available to be shared with other countries in the next two months, assuming the FDA issues an emergency use authorization for the vaccine.

Some context: Multiple world leaders have pressed US President Joe Biden to share doses as other countries have struggled to ramp up vaccinations. One of those countries is India, which is currently going through one of the worst Covid surges in the world.

Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on Monday. Modi did not make a specific request for vaccines when he spoke with Biden, according to senior administration officials.

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