The United States is preparing itself for post-vaccine life, the number of cases in India is reaching new highs and vaccine negotiations continue around the world. Here’s what you need to know:
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CDC issues guidelines for Americans vaccinated just before Biden’s 100th day in office
On Tuesday, the CDC released new guidelines for Americans fully vaccinated, saying that they can now forgo the mask when doing outdoor activities alone or in small groups. Masks are still needed in public spaces and busier outdoor environments, and at indoor gatherings. Shortly after this announcement, the governors of California, New York, Louisiana, Maine and Massachusetts all loosened their outdoor mask mandates.
The Biden administration celebrated its 100th day this week, and far exceeded his goal administer 200 million doses at that time. As more and more Americans receive their vaccines, questions arise about what an increasingly vaccinated country will look like. For example, some experts are debate the merits and drawbacks use single-use vaccine registers and vaccine surveillance applications to safely reopen facilities.
India’s pandemic crisis deepens as US and other countries send aid
Today the Indian Ministry of Health reported 386,452 new cases– yet another world record – as the country’s new wave continues to reach unprecedented heights. Hospitals are overwhelmed and extremely low in oxygen, and crematoriums lack space for bodies. Many get angry to Prime Minister Modi for not responding adequately to the crisis.
The United States sent its first emergency medical supplies shipment in the struggling country today, including more than 400 oxygen cylinders and nearly a million rapid test kits. The Biden administration too plans to send stored doses AstraZeneca vaccine after a safety review. More than 40 other countries have also pledged to send aid.
EU signs major new vaccine deal as efforts from other countries stall
This week, the EU announced that it had reached an agreement with Pfizer / BioNTech to purchase 1.8 billion doses of vaccine– making it the drugmaker’s biggest customer to date. The contract gives the EU the flexibility to resell or donate certain doses, which positions the region well to help other countries struggling to launch vaccination efforts. Britain also recently announced that it would buy 60 million additional doses by Pfizer / BioNTech.
Elsewhere in the world, vaccination efforts continue. The authorities of the Brazilian health agency recently voted unanimously to stop the importation of Russian vaccine Sputnik V, claiming that there is not enough data to prove its safety and effectiveness. And the Democratic Republic of the Congo is return of 1.3 million doses of AstraZeneca to COVAX and UNICEF after realizing that it will not be possible to distribute all of them before they expire in June.
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