mcloudy.png
Sunday January 17th, 2021 2:05PM

The Latest: Louisiana expands vaccine delivery to elderly

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana is boosting its distribution of coronavirus vaccines to the elderly.

The state on Monday increased the number of doses available to people aged 70 and older this week and expanded the locations where they can get the shots to include every parish of the state.

The Department of Health’s list of pharmacies offering the vaccine to the elderly numbered 107 last week. It has grown to 209 pharmacies and health clinics this week.

Gov. John Bel Edwards’s administration also is steering thousands more doses to the facilities for vaccinations of people 70 and older.

Demand remains certain to exceed supply. People need to make an appointment to get vaccinated.

___

THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— President-elect Joe Biden faces challenge in guiding America past the Trump era, but success on virus, economy may help

— Health expert says worst time for Britain's National Health Service is hitting now

— China says World Health Organization experts will arrive Thursday to investigate the origins of the pandemic

— A doctor using a horse-drawn cart to reach patients in mountain villages in Ukraine worries that its lockdown came too late

— India took a regulatory shortcut for a homegrown vaccine despite scant evidence of its effectiveness

— Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

SAN DIEGO — Several gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park have tested positive for the coronavirus in what is believed to be the first cases among such primates in captivity.

Lisa Peterson, the park’s executive director, told The Associated Press on Monday that eight gorillas at the park are believed to have the virus and several have been coughing.

It appears the infection came from a member of the park’s wildlife care team that also tested positive for the virus but has been asymptomatic. Veterinarians are closely monitoring the gorillas who are all together in their habitat at the park, north of San Diego.

___

DETROIT — Detroit’s call center was jammed with more than 100,000 calls Monday as the city took appointments for shots at a downtown convention center, starting Wednesday. Officials planned to schedule 20,000 appointments over the next month for people 75 and older.

Police officers and bus drivers can start to get vaccinated at a downtown convention center at the end of the week.

“We do not have the capacity to answer questions from people under 75 or non-Detroiters about vaccinations in general,” chief operating officer Hakim Berry said.

___

AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan has received its first shipment of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine before its vaccination drive kicks off this week.

The doses arrived at the country’s Alia airport on a Royal Jordanian Airlines flight on Monday following an earlier shipment over the weekend of Chinese drugmaker Sinopharm’s vaccine.

Officials have not said exactly how many doses arrived Monday and more shipments are expected in the coming weeks. Jordan’s health minister has said that the kingdom expects to secure enough vaccine to inoculate 20% of its 10.5 million people and that additional doses would be obtained as needed.

Jordan begins vaccinating its population on Wednesday, starting with front-line workers and vulnerable groups. More than 150,000 people have registered to receive the vaccine so far.

The kingdom has recorded more than 4,000 virus-related deaths and 308,600 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.

___

PHOENIX — Coronavirus hospitalizations in Arizona reached another new high as the state ramps up its vaccine efforts, including converting an NFL stadium into an around -the-clock vaccination site.

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported Monday that a record 4,997 people were hospitalized because of the virus. Among them, more than 1,100 were in intensive care units.

Those numbers are significantly above what the state now considered a hotspot experienced during its last surge in July.

Health officials say there are nearly 9,000 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and six additional deaths. This now brings Arizona’s coronavirus totals to 627,541 cases and 10,147 deaths.

___

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana state health officials say a more contagious variant of the coronavirus that was first identified in the U.K. late last year has been found in the state.

The Indiana State Department of Health said the variant was identified through testing by the state agency’s laboratory and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but Monday’s announcement included no additional information on its discovery in the state.

State Health Commissioner Kris Box said in a statement the variant “does not cause more severe infections, but it is much more easily spread.”

She said its discovery means that “it’s more important than ever” for residents to continue wearing masks and taking other precautions.

___

GENEVA — The World Health Organization’s chief scientist warned that even as countries start rolling out vaccination programs to stop COVID-19, there will be no chance of herd immunity this year.

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said on Monday it was critical countries and their populations maintain strict social distancing and other virus restrictions for the foreseeable future. Countries including Britain, the US, France, Canada, Germany, Israel and the Netherlands have started inoculating millions of their citizens against the virus in recent weeks.

Dr. Bruce Aylward, an adviser to WHO’s director-general, said the U.N. health agency was hoping vaccinations in poorer countries might begin in late January or February.

He said the WHO needed the cooperation of vaccine manufacturers alongside money and logistical help to start immunizing poorer populations and aims to have a “a rollout plan” next month.

___

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s health minister said Monday he is expecting the resignation of the rector of Warsaw Medical University after an inquiry showed that almost half the vaccines it has administered went to celebrities and opposition politicians instead of university hospital medics.

Health minister Adam Niedzielski said it was an intentional act by the university hospital and that the rector, Zbigniew Gaciong, should take responsibility and offer his resignation.

The university hospital was fined roughly $95,000.

The mostly elderly celebrities say they believed they were taking part in a promotion of the national inoculation program when they were vaccinated in late December — a vaccination window designated for health care employees and their families.

Niedzielski said some 30 university employees were not vaccinated thanks to the celebrities.

The celebrities whose names have been revealed by local media are strong critics of the right-wing government.

___

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A Dutch municipality is planning to test all of its residents two years of age or older following a coronavirus outbreak at an elementary school that included cases of the more transmissible variant first discovered in the United Kingdom.

Lansingerland municipality’s decision to test nearly all of its 62,000 residents marks the first time such a mass test has happened in the Netherlands since the pandemic began.

The local health authority said last week that a cluster of some 75 virus cases linked to a school in the town of Bergschenhoek included 30 positive tests of the new variant.

The mass test aims to study the spread of the new variant and quell its spread in the municipality close to the port city of Rotterdam.

All elementary schools in the Netherlands are closed as part of a strict five-week lockdown that is widely expected to be extended this week.

___

MADRID — Spain has reported more than 61,000 new coronavirus infections since the last Health Ministry update on Friday and 401 confirmed fatalities, a sharp increase that the country’s top coronavirus expert pitted on Christmas gatherings rather than the new virus variant identified in the U.K.

Fernando Simón, who leads Spain’s health emergency coordination center, says that the country has found 70 cases of the new variant.

“In our case, the evolution we are seeing,” he said “is a problem of the behavior that we’ve had in the past few days.”

Spain’s 14-day cumulative incidence, considered a good thermometer by experts of the contagion, shot up to 435 cases per 100,000 residents with Monday’s data.

Coronavirus patients are keeping busy 14% of the country’s hospital beds, a share that almost doubles to 26% in intensive care wards.

The country has recorded 2.1 million infections and at least 52,000 deaths for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

___

CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools’ students are starting to return to classroom learning as doors open to thousands of pre-kindergarten and some special education students.

The third-largest school district in the U.S. began Monday to phase-in classroom instruction after going remote last March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Students in kindergarten through 8th grade will have the option to return Feb. 1. or continue with online learning. District officials haven’t provided data on exactly how many students have returned or how many teachers showed up for work.

The Chicago Teachers Union has opposed reopening plans due to concerns about the danger of contracting the coronavirus in school.

___

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday he hopes vaccinations against the coronavirus will begin later this week after authorities complete their final regulatory tests for the approval of China’s SinoVac vaccine.

“God willing, our (vaccination) campaign will begin on Thursday or Friday,” Erdogan told reporters following a Cabinet meeting.

The first shipment of 3 million doses of the SinoVac vaccine reached Turkey late last month. The country is expected to receive a total of 50 million vaccine doses.

Erdogan also said that talks were continuing with Germany’s BioNTech for the purchase of the vaccine it is jointly producing with Pfizer.

Earlier, Turkey had said it had reached an agreement for the purchase of some 30 million doses of that vaccine.

___

GENEVA — The World Health Organization said the recent surge in global coronavirus cases is largely due to “the increased mixing of people,” not the newly identified virus variants.

In a press briefing Monday, WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, said that the spike in cases in numerous countries was detected before the new variants were identified.

Van Kerkhove noted that during the summer, COVID-19 cases were down to single digits in most countries across Europe.

“We lost the battle because we changed our mixing patterns over the summer, into the fall and especially around Christmas and the New Year,” she said. “That has had a direct impact on the exponential growth that you have seen in many countries,” she said.

Dr. Michael Ryan, WHO’s emergencies chief, said while there is some evidence the new variants may be accelerating the spread of COVID-19, there is no evidence that they are driving “any element of severity.”

___

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s government said Monday that primary school pupils of the three youngest levels will return to schools Jan. 18.

Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said the “very difficult decision” was taken because the number of new confirmed COVID-19 infections has stabilized and there have been no recent spikes in new cases or deaths.

Niedzielski said the health care system has substantial reserves for treating coronavirus patients, with 16,000 specialized beds still available, while the nationwide vaccination program is underway.

Education Minister Przemyslaw Czarnek said teachers returning to classrooms will be tested for the coronavirus this week to make sure they can resume work.

Other pandemic-related restrictions that have shuttered shopping malls, restaurants, fitness clubs, schools and universities will remain in place. People are still required to wear masks at all times outdoors and keep a safe distance.

___

MILAN — Italy registered another 448 coronavirus-related deaths on Monday, bringing its confirmed pandemic case total to 79,203, with another 12,532 positive cases recorded in the previous day.

Virus deaths were down slightly from weekday trends, as fewer tests are carried out on the weekends. The second surge in COVID-19 cases has proven resilient despite months of varying restrictions aimed at quelling the contagion.

The government is considering new restrictions set to start this weekend, with the two regions where the virus was first detected in Italy in February 2020 — Lombardy and Veneto — likely to go under partial lockdown.

Nationwide, both the number of patients in intensive care and regular wards is rising, with 2,642 in intensive care and 23,603 hospitalized in other wards.

___

SAN DIEGO — Dozens of cars were filing into a parking lot in downtown San Diego near its baseball stadium early Monday after the county opened a vaccination super station aimed at inoculating 5,000 health care workers a day.

San Diego was among the U.S. cities converting stadium parking lots into mass vaccination stations to try and significantly ramp up the effort to inoculate health care workers weeks after the initial rollout has fallen below expectations.

San Diego County was limiting the number to 2,500 the first day to allow medical staff from the University of California, San Diego, to work out any kinks.

So far, 12,500 health care workers in San Diego County have signed up for an appointment at the drive-thru vaccination super station near the stadium, said Heather Buschman, spokeswoman for UC San Diego Health.

___

WORCESTER, Mass. — Thousands of police officers, firefighters and other first responders in Massachusetts are scheduled to get their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Monday.

About 60 sites have been set up around the state to vaccinate an estimated 45,000 people over several weeks, state officials said.

The city of Worcester has turned its senior center into a mass vaccination site for first responders from the city and several surrounding communities. Police officers, firefighters, EMS personnel from public and private ambulance companies, and others will be given their first dose.

To make sure there are enough qualified people to administer the vaccines, UMass Medical School’s Graduate School of Nursing spent Saturday training more than 160 medical school students in intermuscular injection.

The state so far has limited vaccinations to medical professionals and nursing home residents.

___

Germany’s BioNTech, which developed the first COVID-19 vaccination on the market with American partner Pfizer, says it expects to produce 2 billion doses in 2021 with ramped-up manufacturing.

Company CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin says with three manufacturing sites in the United States and three in Europe operating or coming online soon, it expects to approximately double the number of doses committed for this fiscal year.

The company said in a presentation Monday to the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference that it is also looking to expand the people able to receive its vaccine to include pregnant women and children, among others.

As of Jan 10, the company says it has already shipped 32.9 million doses of its vaccine. The vaccine was 95% effective in trials.

The company’s vaccine currently has to be stored at extremely cold temperatures, making delivery to remote areas difficult. But the company says it’s working on a more stable version.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Health, AP World News, AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Louisiana expands vaccine delivery to elderly
Louisiana is boosting its distribution of coronavirus vaccines to the elderly
5:37PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Right-wing app Parler booted off internet over ties to siege
The conservative-friendly social network Parler has been booted off the internet over ties to the siege on the U.S. Capitol
5:34PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Going big: US dispensing shots at stadiums and fairgrounds
The U.S. is entering the second month of the biggest vaccination effort in history with a major expansion of the campaign, opening football stadiums, major league ballparks, fairgrounds and convention centers to inoculate a larger and more diverse pool of people
5:28PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
US ramps up vaccinations to get doses to more Americans
The U.S. is entering the second month of the biggest vaccination effort in history with a major expansion of the campaign, opening football stadiums, major league ballparks, fairgrounds and convention centers to inoculate a larger and more diverse pool of people
4:16PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Gorillas in San Diego test positive for COVID-19
Several gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park have tested positive for the coronavirus in what is believed to be the first cases among such primates in captivity
3:50PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Jordan receives first shipment of Pfizer vaccine
Jordan has received its first shipment of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine before its vaccination drive kicks off this week
3:10PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Health
Ford announces closing of Brazil manufacturing operations
Ford Motor said on Monday it will close three plants in Brazil and stop producing automobiles in the South American country
3:51PM ( 1 hour ago )
Turkey, Greece to resume talks on disputes on Jan 25
Turkish and Greek officials say their countries will resume talks aimed at reducing tensions at the end of the month, following this summer's dispute over maritime borders and energy rights in the eastern Mediterranean
2:10PM ( 3 hours ago )
Libyan man sentenced to life for deadly UK park stabbings
A Libyan man who stabbed three friends to death as they sat in an English city park on a summer evening has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole
1:10PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP World News
Milbury out, Babcock in for NHL broadcasts on NBC
Mike Milbury is no longer a presence on NBC Sports’ NHL coverage in the aftermath of a comment he made last summer that drew widespread criticism
4:41PM ( 1 hour ago )
New this week: 'MLK/FBI,' Why Don’t We and 'Prodigal Son'
This week’s new entertainment releases include Regina King’s directorial debut “One Night in Miami,” which brings together Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke in the same Miami hotel in February 1964
3:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
Carson Palmer, Bob Stoops lead college Hall of Fame class
Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer and former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops are among the 13 former players and coaches who make up the latest College Football Hall of Fame class
2:49PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Thomas apologizes for homophobic slur at Kapalua
Justin Thomas is apologizing for uttering a homophobic slur after missing a short putt in the Sentry Tournament of Champions
11:40PM ( 1 day ago )
A farewell to @realDonaldTrump, gone after 57,000 tweets
The Twitter account @realDonaldTrump, which grew from the random musings of a reality TV star into the cudgel of a president, has died
2:46AM ( 2 days ago )
An farewell to @realDonaldTrump, gone after 57,000 tweets
The Twitter account @realDonaldTrump, which grew from the random musings of a reality TV star into the cudgel of a president, died Friday
10:30PM ( 2 days ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
Twitter without Trump tumbles along with other tech shares
Shares of social media and other tech companies have tumbled, hit by fallout from the siege on the U.S. Capitol supporters of President Donald Trump
4:46PM ( 1 hour ago )
Stocks slip as Wall Street takes a breather after 4-day run
Stocks closed lower on Wall Street Monday as trading cools in markets around the world following record-setting runs
4:08PM ( 1 hour ago )
Lebanon plans 11-day, 24-hour curfew, hospital beds fill up
Lebanese authorities have announced a tightening of a nationwide lockdown, including an 11-day 24-hour curfew that starts later in the week
2:51PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
The Latest: UK hospitals in crisis; vaccinations ramp up
England’s chief medical officer is warning that the coming weeks will be the worst of the pandemic for the National Health Service as he appealed to the public to strictly follow guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease
8:33AM ( 9 hours ago )
Doggie desserts: Ben & Jerry's enters the pet food business
Ben & Jerry’s isn't just for people anymore
8:21AM ( 9 hours ago )
Indonesia green-lights emergency use of Chinese vaccine
Indonesia's Food and Drug Authority has authorized emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by China-based Sinovac Biotech Ltd
4:24AM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
The Latest: Austin will treat patients at convention center
Health officials in Austin, Texas, say they will open space in the Austin Convention Center for COVID-19 patients because they expect that the area’s health care system will soon be overwhelmed
6:48PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: California sees record COVID-19 deaths
California health authorities are reporting a record high of 695 coronavirus deaths as many hospitals strain under unprecedented caseloads
3:49PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: Israeli PM gets second dose of COVID-19 shot
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has received a second dose of the coronavirus vaccine after becoming the first Israeli to be inoculated last month
2:07PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Business - Health Care
Right-wing app Parler booted off internet over ties to siege
The conservative-friendly social network Parler has been booted off the internet over ties to the siege on the U.S. Capitol
5:34PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Going big: US dispensing shots at stadiums and fairgrounds
The U.S. is entering the second month of the biggest vaccination effort in history with a major expansion of the campaign, opening football stadiums, major league ballparks, fairgrounds and convention centers to inoculate a larger and more diverse pool of people
5:28PM ( 18 minutes ago )
State capitols step up security amid new safety concerns
State capitols across the country are under heightened security after the siege of the U.S. Capitol last week
5:26PM ( 19 minutes ago )
House speeding to impeach Trump for Capitol 'insurrection'
With impeachment pressure mounting, the House is speeding ahead to try to oust President Donald Trump from office
5:22PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Michigan bans open carry of guns inside state Capitol
Michigan has banned the open carry of guns in the state Capitol a week after an armed mob rioted in the U.S. Capitol and following a protest in the statehouse last year
5:21PM ( 25 minutes ago )