May 14 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth and Brad Lendon, CNN

Updated 0002 GMT (0802 HKT) May 15, 2021
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3:36 p.m. ET, May 14, 2021

About 2.4 million US children have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, CDC data shows

From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

Payton Nguyen, 12, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from medical assistant Gloria Urgell at Providence Edwards Lifesciences vaccination site in Santa Ana, California, on May 13.
Payton Nguyen, 12, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from medical assistant Gloria Urgell at Providence Edwards Lifesciences vaccination site in Santa Ana, California, on May 13. Jae C. Hong/AP

More than 155 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, including about 2.4 million children under 18, according to data published Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Overall, 268,438,666 total doses have been reported administered, about 79% of the 341,865,945 doses delivered.

That’s about 1.8 million more doses reported administered since Thursday, for a seven-day average of just under 2 million doses per day.

Nearly 47% of the US population has received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine and about 36% of the US population is fully vaccinated.

Among those age 12 and older — younger children are not yet eligible for any coronavirus vaccines — about 55% have received at least one dose and about 43% are fully vaccinated, CDC data shows.

The US Food and Drug Administration extended its emergency use authorization for Pfizer/BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine in 12-to-15-year-olds on Monday. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday the agency now recommends the use of this vaccine for that age range after the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' (ACIP) voted unanimously to recommend giving that vaccine to kids as young as 12.

Note: Data published by the CDC may be delayed, and doses may not have been given on the day reported.

3:16 p.m. ET, May 14, 2021

Cuba sees record increase in daily Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Patrick Oppmann

Cuban health officials reported 1,277 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, the highest daily increase since the beginning of the pandemic.

Health officials also reported at least seven new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 785. 

Cuba had managed to keep the spread of Covid-19 under control, but after reopening its borders near the end of 2020, the island has seen a surge in cases. Cuban officials have begun to distribute the island’s homegrown vaccine candidates more widely in an attempt to lessen the impact of the virus.

3:31 p.m. ET, May 14, 2021

With less than 4% fully vaccinated population, Canada's mask mandates are here to stay

From CNN’s Paula Newton 

A medical staff member works at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on May 5.
A medical staff member works at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on May 5. Zou Zheng/Xinhua/Getty Images

Mask mandates and social distancing in Canada should be kept in place for months, and indoor gatherings will not be recommended until at least the fall when more than 75% of Canadians will be fully vaccinated, health officials said Friday.

“On a national level we’re seeing hopeful signs that we’ve passed the peak of the third wave,” said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said during a news conference Friday in Ottawa, pointing to reductions in new daily cases, hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions.

However, Tam said the rate of transmission and the level of infection in Canada remains too high to allow for any loosening of restrictions any time soon.

Tam called the goal of 75% of eligible Canadians getting fully vaccinated as an "aspirational target."

As of Friday, the federal government said more than 42% of Canadians have now received at least one dose. That represents more than half of all eligible adults.

However, less than 4% of Canadians are fully vaccinated and that number is not expected to rise substantially until summer as Canada continues to delay second shots for up to four months. The lack of vaccine supply makes Canada continue to ration vaccine doses, although the government says more vaccines, especially from Pfizer, will continue to ramp up through the end of June.

Health Canada guidance indicates that even outdoor activities like barbecues and small outdoor gatherings should only resume in the coming weeks if and when about 75% of eligible Canadians receive at least one vaccine dose and 20% are fully vaccinated.

Public health officials also say mask mandates should be one of the last restrictions to be lifted.

“I think masks might be the last layer of that multi-layer protection that we would advise for people to remove. I think we have to slowly and surely ease the more restrictive measures, those shutdowns and those stay-at-home orders,” said Tam.

Canada’s Health Minister Patty Hajdu said her government has discussed the new guidance with all the provinces and territories, and the final word on when and how to relax public health measures will ultimately rest with local officials.

2:20 p.m. ET, May 14, 2021

Equity is important in vaccinating children against Covid-19, CDC advisers say

From CNN’s Maggie Fox

Children ages 12 to 15 wait to get their vitals checked before getting their Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Families Together of Orange County in Tustin, California, on May 13.
Children ages 12 to 15 wait to get their vitals checked before getting their Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Families Together of Orange County in Tustin, California, on May 13. Jae C. Hong/AP

It will take some time and effort to make sure coronavirus vaccines are given to 12-to-15-year-olds in an equitable way, vaccine advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted Wednesday to recommend use of Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine in younger teens and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on it immediately.

Vaccination of the younger age group began right away in some places, but work is required to make sure all the young teens and older children who need the vaccine get it, ACIP said.

“Providing rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents will require a stepwise approach, including augmenting existing infrastructure for vaccination, increasing enrollment of providers caring for adolescents into the COVID-19 vaccination program, and applying school-focused strategies to ensure vaccination opportunities for a diverse population,” they wrote in a report distributed by the CDC in its weekly MMWR release.

“Some aspects of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., cold-chain storage requirements or large minimum order sizes) might limit access to the vaccine among some populations, which could negatively affect health equity. Advancing health equity, particularly in populations that experience disproportionate COVID-19 morbidity and mortality, requires engagement with community leaders, adolescent health care providers, and parents to identify and remove barriers to COVID-19 vaccination,” they added.

The committee will continue to review safety and effectiveness data on the vaccine and noted that the 12-15-year-olds are eligible to enroll in vaccine safety monitoring programs such as CDC’s cellphone-based v-safe system.

“The ACIP COVID-19 Vaccines Work Group, comprising experts in infectious diseases, vaccinology, vaccine safety, public health, and ethics, has held weekly meetings to review COVID-19 surveillance data, evidence for vaccine efficacy and safety, and implementation considerations for COVID-19 vaccines,” the report noted.

1:53 p.m. ET, May 14, 2021

White House says changes likely coming to mask mandate on US federal property

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing in Washington, DC, on May 14.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing in Washington, DC, on May 14. Pool

It will take some time to implement new mask guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention across the government, the White House said Friday, but changes in masking rules on federal property could be coming soon.

“The CDC guidelines were just put out, as you all know, yesterday,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a press briefing. She reiterated the guidelines were “by the CDC, not by us, not by the White House, not by the President, to be very clear.”

She said the masking guidelines were immediately adopted as policy at the White House for staffers and reporters.

“We're working to implement it,” Psaki said of the new rules, but she added it “may take a couple of days. But certainly I would expect on federal lands, federal properties that the guidelines will be a guide.”

President Biden’s first executive order upon taking office was to require masks on federal property. As CNN’s Maggie Fox reported at the time, the "100 Days Masking Challenge," symbolized the administration's sharp turn from the Trump era by emphasizing recommendations by public health experts.

A president cannot tell states or cities what to do, but the federal mandate affected federal offices and federal lands and urged states to do the same.

1:46 p.m. ET, May 14, 2021

34 Republicans write letter asking Nancy Pelosi to lift mask mandate in House of Representatives

From CNN's Kristin Wilson 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walks to a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on May 13.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walks to a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on May 13. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

House GOP members have penned a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking her to lift the mask guidance in light of the updated US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.

“We urge you to immediately return to normal voting procedures and end mandatory mask requirements in the House of Representatives,” they wrote. The letter was signed by 34 GOP lawmakers.

"The United States Congress must serve as a model to show the country we can resume normal life through vaccination. Let’s follow the science and get back to work," the letter continues.

Pelosi said the restrictions will remain in place until more members are vaccinated. 

A CNN survey of Capitol Hill found this week that Democratic lawmakers in both chambers of Congress have a 100% vaccination rate against Covid-19, significantly outpacing Republicans in the House and Senate and illustrating the partisan divide over the pandemic.

For Republicans, at least 44.8% of House members are vaccinated and at least 92% of senators are, CNN found.

1:15 p.m. ET, May 14, 2021

UK will accelerate vaccination program amid concerns over variant first found in India

From CNN's Arnaud Siad

A member of the public receives a Covid-19 vaccine at a temporary vaccination center at the Essa academy in Bolton, England, on May 14.
A member of the public receives a Covid-19 vaccine at a temporary vaccination center at the Essa academy in Bolton, England, on May 14. Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

The United Kingdom will be accelerating its Covid-19 vaccination rollout amid concerns over the variant first identified in India, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday.

“Following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, we will accelerate remaining second doses to the over-50s and those clinically vulnerable right across the country so that those doses come just eight weeks after the first dose," Johnson said.

He also urged people who are eligible but have yet to come forward to get vaccinated as soon as they can.

“The race between our vaccination program and the virus may be about to become a great deal tighter,” Johnson said.

He also said the government would proceed with the plan to move to step three of England's roadmap out of lockdown starting Monday.

“At this stage, there is no evidence of increased cases, translating into unmanageable pressures on the NHS, even in Bolton and infections deaths and hospitalizations, nationally, remain at their lowest levels since last summer,” he said.

"But I have to level with you that this new variant could pose a serious disruption to our progress and could make it more difficult to move to step four in June," he cautioned.

Earlier on Thursday, Johnson had admitted that his government was "anxious" about the coronavirus variant first identified in India, as the number of UK cases of the strain more than doubled in a week.

1:11 p.m. ET, May 14, 2021

New analysis of Covid-19 in vaccinated US health care workers helped prompt CDC guidance change, agency says

From CNN's Maggie Fox

A fresh batch of data from a big study of health care workers across the United States helped prompt the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to say fully vaccinated people can go without masks in most circumstances, the agency said Friday.

The study found use of the Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines provided 94% protection for the frontline workers immunized at the beginning of the vaccine rollout. A single dose provided 82% protection, the CDC-led team reported in the agency’s weekly report, the MMWR.

“This assessment, conducted in a different study network with a larger sample size from across a broader geographic area than in the clinical trials, independently confirms U.S. vaccine effectiveness findings among health care workers that were first reported March 29,” the CDC said in a statement.

“This report provided the most compelling information to date that COVID-19 vaccines were performing as expected in the real world,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in the statement.

“This study, added to the many studies that preceded it, was pivotal to CDC changing its recommendations for those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19," she added.

More about the study: It involved more than 1,800 workers and compared people who tested positive for coronavirus to those who tested negative.

“Health care personnel are at high risk for COVID-19,” the report reads. “The early distribution of two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) to health care personnel provided an opportunity to examine vaccine effectiveness in a real-world setting,” they added.

“The first U.S. multisite test-negative design vaccine effectiveness study among HCP found a single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to be 82% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 and 2 doses to be 94% effective," the report continued.  

12:55 p.m. ET, May 14, 2021

Slovakia ends its eight-month coronavirus state of emergency Saturday

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite and Amy Cassidy

Slovakia will finally end its state of emergency on Saturday as the Covid-19 situation “is improving," a government spokesperson told CNN on Friday. 

But Prime Minister Eduard Heger is appealing to citizens to “respect the remaining measures” and get vaccinated, the spokesperson said.

The state of emergency took effect on Oct. 1 and was extended several times since due to rising infection numbers. 

According to data from John Hopkins University, Slovakia reported 328 new cases of Covid-19 and 39 new deaths on Thursday.