December 14 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Emma Reynolds, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 4:06 p.m. ET, December 15, 2020
58 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
4:04 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

Canada rolls out its first Covid-19 vaccines

From CNN’s Paula Newton

Tamara Dus, left, director of University Health Network Safety Services, administers Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Canada to personal support worker Anita Quidangen in Toronto on December 14.
Tamara Dus, left, director of University Health Network Safety Services, administers Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Canada to personal support worker Anita Quidangen in Toronto on December 14. Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press/AP

A personal support care worker in Toronto was among Canada’s first recipient of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine Monday as the country began distributing its first 30,000 doses across the country.

Anita Quidangen has been a personal support worker for nearly three decades and provincial officials say she has worked tirelessly at the Rekai Centre, one of Toronto’s hard hit long-term care homes.

Applause broke out after Quidangen received her shot, as more health care workers lined up for their vaccinations. It is a mostly symbolic rollout as Canada works to secure vaccines more quickly from Pfizer-BioNTech and other international manufacturers.

Canada says it expects to receive about 249,000 doses of the vaccine before the end of the year but is awaiting at least 20 million doses from Pfizer-BioNTech.

The country completed a "dry-run" of vaccine distribution last week and officials reported no problems providing a timely and secure delivery.

Canada’s doses will be distributed from Pfizer’s European production hubs and not from the US supply of vaccine.

Earlier Monday federal officials say they are continuing to negotiate "hard" to receive as many vaccine doses as possible, as quickly as possible.  

“Notably, our portfolio consists of signed agreements with seven vaccine manufacturers that will provide us with access to up to 414 million doses, the most number of doses per capita of any country in the world,”  said Anita Anand, Canada minister of procurement and the woman who has led efforts to put together Canada’s vaccine portfolio.

Canada also announced it would spend about $400 million more to help developing countries access testing, therapeutics and vaccines. Federal officials say they have so far contributed more than $800 million dollars in the global effort to help developing countries cope with Covid-19. 

Clarification: An earlier version of this story described as Anita Quidangen as Canada’s first recipient of the Covid-19 vaccine. She was among the first to receive the vaccine.

12:28 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

Covid-19 vaccinations expected to start in nursing homes this week

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, speaks during a press conference on December 14.
Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, speaks during a press conference on December 14. HHS Department of Defense

Covid-19 vaccinations are expected to start in nursing homes this week, said Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed. 

"We know that several states have already established and are going into long-term care facilities. They'll go in there this week," Perna said during a news conference on Monday.

"We're working through the state plans and the guidance that was put out was that long-term health care facilities slash nursing homes was one priority, but as well as the first-line medical personnel," he said. "Allocations for vaccines went out to the states, to the locations that they directed, and they are identifying in those populations who is first."

Perna added, "On Monday, a week from today, over 1,100 long-term health care facilities and nursing homes will also begin vaccinations."

US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said during the news conference that the date of Dec. 21 for vaccinations came up during discussions that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had in working with CVS and Walgreens. 

"But there's no prohibition on distributing and vaccinating sooner," Azar said. 

"In fact, we encourage it sooner," he added. "We expect to see vaccinations this week."

1:22 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

Some Americans are getting vaccinated today — but the pandemic is still raging in the US

Some Americans across the US are getting the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine today.

But the milestone comes as the coronavirus pandemic is surging across the country.

The United States reported more than 109,300 current Covid-19 hospitalizations on Sunday, setting a new record high since the pandemic began, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

And the US is also nearing 300,000 coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began.

Experts are urging Americans to not let up their guards despite today's good vaccine news. Remember: It will be several months before most Americans can get a Covid-19 vaccine.

The director of the National Institutes of Health warned that even those who get the vaccine should keep wearing masks for the foreseeable future.

"You still need to think of yourself as potentially contagious even though you are protected from getting sick at a very high percentage of certainty," Dr. Francis Collins told NBC's "Meet the Press."
12:17 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

The vaccine has arrived in Arizona's most populous county

From CNN's Konstantin Toropin

Maricopa County Public Health has announced that it has received their first shipment of the Covid-19 vaccine today in a tweet.

"The countdown to dispensing is on..." the county added.

Maricopa is Arizona's most populous county.

See the full tweet:

12:22 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

People in the US with no underlying conditions could be vaccinated by early 2020, Fauci says

From CNN's Andrea Diaz

Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies during a hearing in Washington, DC, on September 23.
Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies during a hearing in Washington, DC, on September 23. Graeme Jennings/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci told MSNBC Monday that people living in the US with no underlying health conditions should expect to get a Covid-19 vaccine at the end of March or the beginning of April.

"I had been saying by my calculation, sometime by the end of March, the beginning of April that the normal healthy man and woman in the street, who has no underlying conditions, would likely get it," Fauci said. 

Additionally, Fauci said that by the second quarter of 2021, we could see the "overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated." 

"I believe if we're efficient about it, and we convince people to get vaccinated, we can accomplish that by the end of the second quarter of 2021, namely, by the end of the late spring early summer, I believe we can get there by then, so that by the time we get into the fall, we can start approaching some degree of relief, where the level of infection will be so low in society, we can start essentially approaching some form of normality," Fauci said. 

12:22 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

Kentucky governor says vaccine is a modern miracle and historic achievement  

From CNN’s Nakia McNabb

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, right, speaks to the media as Byron Bishop, a UPS driver, scans a delivered COVID-19 vaccination package in a loading dock at University of Louisville Hospital on December 14 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, right, speaks to the media as Byron Bishop, a UPS driver, scans a delivered COVID-19 vaccination package in a loading dock at University of Louisville Hospital on December 14 in Louisville, Kentucky. Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear greeted a UPS truck delivering the first shipment of Pfizer's vaccine to the University of Louisville Hospital this morning.

During a news conference, a visibly emotional Beshear said the vaccine is “nothing short of a modern, medical miracle” as he watched five health care workers receive the vaccine. Dr. Jason Smith, the hospital's chief medical officer, was among the first people in Kentucky to receive the vaccine.

“This is a historic achievement that promises to save lives in this fight, restore our economy, get our kids back to school and let our kids have their grandparents once again,” said Beshear.

Beshear announced more than 12,500 initial doses of the two-stage Pfizer vaccine are being distributed to 11 regional hospitals that will receive them within the next three days. According to the governor, more than 25,000 doses are going to CVS and Walgreens, which has a federal contract to vaccinate residents at long-term care facilities.

“We have to focus on our long-term care residents first for the moral side, they make up 66% of the deaths here in the Commonwealth. Just think about it, our goal is in the next two months to vaccinate all of them, meaning we can deal this virus a deadly blow while we are pushing towards victory,” added Beshear.

He said he hopes the first allotment of the Moderna vaccine will be shipped this week and available to hospitals by early next week.

2:04 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

A Tampa nurse becomes one of the first people in Florida to receive vaccine 

From CNN's Tina Burnside 

Vanessa Arroyo, a 31-year-old frontline nurse at Tampa General Hospital, receives the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine during a news conference in Tampa, Florida, on December 14.
Vanessa Arroyo, a 31-year-old frontline nurse at Tampa General Hospital, receives the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine during a news conference in Tampa, Florida, on December 14. WFTS

A 31-year-old frontline nurse at Tampa General Hospital was one of the first people to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in the state of Florida. 

Vanessa Arroyo was vaccinated during a news conference held by Gov. Ron DeSantis Monday morning. 

Arroyo is a frontline nurse in Tampa General's Covid-19 unit, DeSantis said. 

She has worked for Tampa General for eight years. 

According to University of Florida Health in Jacksonville, Dr. Leon L. Haley Jr., a board-certified emergency room physician, CEO of UF Health Jacksonville and dean of the University of Florida College of Medicine Jacksonville, is thought to be the first in the state to be vaccinated.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described frontline nurse Vanessa Arroyo as the first person to receive a vaccine in the state of Florida. Dr. Leon L. Haley Jr. is believed to be the first person to be vaccinated in the state.

11:56 a.m. ET, December 14, 2020

HHS will announce a new allocation of vaccines each week, health secretary says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard and Nicholas Neville

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar speaks during a press briefing on December 14.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar speaks during a press briefing on December 14. HHS Department of Defense

The US Department of Health and Human Services will start to track and announce new allocations of Covid-19 vaccines in the nation each week, Secretary Alex Azar said on Monday.

"Each Friday from here on out, we will announce new weekly allocations of the vaccine," Azar said during a news conference hosted by Operation Warp Speed on Monday.

"This week, everyone's work starts to pay off. This weekend's shipment of vaccines is 2.9 million doses," Azar said, adding, "With 2.9 million doses held back and sent in 21 days for people to receive their second dose."

12:09 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

Newly vaccined doctor says she is now less worried she could take the virus home to her family

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Pulmonary and critical care specialist Dr. Stella Ogake speaks during an interview in Columbus, Ohio, on December 14.
Pulmonary and critical care specialist Dr. Stella Ogake speaks during an interview in Columbus, Ohio, on December 14. CNN

Pulmonary and critical care specialist Dr. Stella Ogake received her Covid-19 vaccine at the OSU Wexner Medical Center in Ohio this morning.

“For us who are on the front lines taking care of these patients, it is such a moment of hope because we can see the light. We can see the end of this pandemic,” she told CNN.

“When I saw the truck coming out of the Pfizer manufacturing plant yesterday, I was so emotional just thinking about all the work that we had to put in to get here," she added.

Getting the vaccine alleviates her fear of getting the virus or taking it home to her family, she said, adding she wants this moment for other Americans too.

“Just seeing patients in the hospital and seeing what they go through, my biggest fear is getting it myself or taking it home to my son or my husband, or my other family members. And for them to get as sick as the people I take care of, that's definitely my biggest fear,” she said Monday.

Right after taking the vaccine, she said she was feeling good and it wasn’t painful.