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
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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.

11:32 a.m. ET, December 14, 2020

First doses of Covid-19 vaccine arrive in Florida

From CNN's Tina Burnside 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conferences in Tampa, Florida, on December 14.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conferences in Tampa, Florida, on December 14. WFTS

The first shipment of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine has arrived in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced during a news conference Monday morning. 

DeSantis said he had the pleasure of being at the loading dock at Tampa General when the state received its first doses of the vaccination from FedEx. 

Broward Memorial and UF Shands in Jacksonville also received their vaccines on Monday, DeSantis said. 

On Tuesday, Jackson Memorial in Miami and Advent Health in Orlando will receive their shipment of the vaccination, Desantis said. 

DeSantis says the state of Florida anticipates having all 100,000 doses of the vaccination for all five hospitals by tomorrow morning.

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

The first doses of Covid-19 vaccine have arrived in North Carolina, governor says

From CNN's Tina Burnside 

The first doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine have arrived in North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper tweeted just before 10 a.m. ET.

"It's a limited supply for now, but this is a remarkable achievement for science and health" the governor tweeted.

Cooper is urging all residents to continue wearing masks and acting responsibly while the state works to get as many people vaccinated as possible. 

Here's the tweet: