A mass vaccination site in Colorado was shut down after 11 people suffered “adverse reactions” including nausea and dizziness after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Centura Health said in a statement that the Wednesday shutdown “followed our protocols and in an abundance of caution, made the decision – in partnership with the state – to pause operations for the remainder of the day.”
Two patients were transported to a hospital for observation while EMTs treated the other nine people with juice and water, the state health department said.
More than 1,700 people received shots at the site in Commerce City, a few miles north of Denver, so the issues involved less than 1% of the vaccinations. The 640 patients who were unable to receive their vaccine because of the pause will be automatically rescheduled for Sunday, Centura said. The state said the Pfizer vaccine, requiring two doses, will be administered Sunday.
“We know it can be alarming to hear about people getting transported to the hospital,” said Scott Bookman, the COVID-19 Incident Commander. “From what we know, today’s side effects were consistent with what can be expected.”
Also in the news:
►More than a third of Americans have gotten at least one vaccination shot, and more than a quarter of U.S. adults are now fully vaccinated, data released Thursday through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. Just under one-fifth of all Americans have been fully vaccinated. And 45% of the people in New Hampshire are at least partially vaccinated, the state with the highest level of vaccinations. On the other side is Mississippi as the lowest state: Less than 27% partially vaccinated.
►Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that the state has filed a lawsuit against the federal government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to end the drydocking of the cruise industry. Cruise ships were prevented from leaving ports with passengers by a no-sail order issued by the CDC over a year ago. “Florida is fighting back,” the governor said, flanked by cruise line employees and state and local officials. “This is not reasonable. This is not rational.”
►Florida officials considered and rejected using Dollar General stores to deliver COVID vaccine in rural counties and to historically underserved urban areas. The reason: Not enough people were going there for COVID testing.
►Hawaii announced plans to expand vaccine eligibility to all adults by April 19, becoming the final state to commit to President Joe Biden’s call to lift eligibility requirements by that date.
►A Los Angeles mass vaccination site will allow any adult to stand in line for a COVID-19 vaccine Thursday through Sunday after vaccination appointments went unfilled in recent days, the governor’s Office of Emergency Services said.
►Baseball fans headed to the San Francisco Giants’ home opening game Friday will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result to be admitted, the team said on its website.
►The University of Notre Dame said it will require all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the fall semester, but it will accommodate documented medical or religious exemptions. Notre Dame joins Cornell, Brown and Rutgers among universities already announcing the requirement for the fall term.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more than 30.9 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 559,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: More than 133.3 million cases and 2.89 million deaths. At least 225.2 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S. and 171.4 million have been administered, according to the CDC.
📘 What we’re reading: After COVID-19, post-traumatic growth could bring creativity, joy back into your life. But perhaps not until 2024. Read the full story.
Wednesday’s announcement by the CDC that the highly transmissible coronavirus variant first identified in Britain is now the dominant strain in the U.S. carries ominous implications, but recent developments in the United Kingdom offer a ray of hope.
Researchers at Imperial College London found that COVID-19 infections dropped about 60% in March as national lockdown measures slowed the spread of the virus. People 65 and older were least likely to be infected as they benefited most from the vaccination program, which initially focused on older people.
The study also found that the relationship between infections and deaths is diverging, “suggesting that infections may have resulted in fewer hospitalizations and deaths since the start of widespread vaccination.”
In the U.S., even though infections have increased by 14% over the last two weeks, the rate of hospitalizations is only up 5% and reported deaths – which typically lag by about four weeks – are down 31%, according to the New York Times tracker.
The U.S. trails only Britain among large countries in the number of vaccine doses administered per 100 people, 55-51. By comparison, France is at a little under 19. The U.S. has also given at least one vaccine shot to 75% of its population age 65 and older, which is most vulnerable to the virus.
That suggests the spring surge so many health experts are dreading won’t be as brutal as the one in the winter, which was capped by a record 95,000-plus deaths in January.
“It’s almost a race between getting people vaccinated and this surge that seems to want to increase,” presidential adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN on Wednesday.
Philippine authorities have launched an investigation into the death of a 28-year-old man who was allegedly forced to do nearly 300 squat exercises after officials say he ignored quarantine rules last week. Darren Manaog Peñaredondo, 28, was apprehended by village watchmen on April 1 in General Trias City, south of Manila, while he was buying water after 6 p.m. The curfew lasts from 6 p.m. until 5 a.m.
Arab News reports that he and other violators were reportedly forced to do 100 squats in sync. If they could not do them simultaneously, they would have to begin again. Some, including Peñaredondo, ended up doing almost 300 squats.
“Early morning on Saturday he had a convulsion, but we were able to revive him at home” before he was rushed to the hospital and died hours later, Adrian Lucena, Peñaredondo’s cousin, posted on social media.
The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that Michigan and other states with high rates of coronavirus transmission should restrict indoor youth sports and consider other steps now, such as a potential pause on indoor dining, to rein in the spread of the virus.
“I would advocate for sort of stronger mitigation strategies … to sort of decrease the community activity and shore up mask wearing,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House COVID-19 Response Team news briefing.
Walensky’s comments came one day after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer attributed rising cases in the state to pandemic fatigue and variants.
“It’s not a policy problem. It sounds like, you know, maybe we could do a little tweaking around the edges, but taking steps back isn’t going to fix the issue. What we have to do is really put our foot down on the pedal on vaccines, and implore people to do what we know keeps us safe: masking, distancing, hand washing.”
Michigan’s case rate is currently leading the nation: 452.5 cases per 100,000 people.
– Kristen Jordan Shamus and Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press
Contributing: The Associated Press