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U.S. COVID-19 Death Toll Hits 500,000

This week in Clipboard Health’s Nursing News round up… 

U.S. Surpasses 500,000 COVID-19 Deaths

On Monday, the U.S. surpassed 500,000 COVID-19 deaths. The death roll encompasses 19% of the total COVID-19 deaths in the world despite the U.S. having only 4% of the world’s population.

As of Monday, the total number of COVID-19 cases reached 28 million, even as the rates of daily cases and hospitalizations have fallen to the lowest they’ve been since the Thanksgiving and Christmsa holidays. 

The U.S. death rate from COVID-19 fell to 37% in the second week of February and have been falling for six weeks straight since early January. However, health care officials warn that the cases could resurge again due to new variants. 

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine To Be Reviewed for Authorization This Week

The U.S. may get its third approved COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this week or the beginning of next week. On Friday, Johnson and Johnson applied for emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

Later this week, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine candidate will undergo review by the outside advisory committee that decides whether or not to recommend the FDA grants emergency use authorization to new vaccines.

Johnson & Johnson says that it is prepared to deliver 20 million doses of its vaccine by the end of March.

AstraZeneca Expects April Authorization for COVID-19 Vaccine 

AstraZeneca said that it anticipates that its vaccine candidate will receive emergency use authorization by the beginning of April. The company has 30 million doses of its vaccine ready to ship immediately with a total of 50 million doses expected to be shipped by the end of April.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Can Be Stored at Higher Temperatures

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve higher storage temperatures for the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. 

Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must be stored at ultra-code temperatures of -80 degrees Celsisus to -60 degrees Celsisus, which requires specialized freezers. 

The newer recommendations would allow the vaccine to be stored at standard freezer temperatures similar to Moderna.

Medical Studies Round-Up

Here’s a brief round-up of recent medical studies and their findings for you to stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving field of medical research.

  • A new study based in Washington found that COVID-19 infections were higher in pregnant people than in other adults of similar ages. 
  • Israel reported that the Pfizer vaccine has been 95.8% effective in preventing COVID-19 illness in people who have received the vaccine. The country expects to vaccinate 95% of all Israelis over the age of 50. 

COVID-19 in the News

To learn more about the top COVID-19 vaccines, vaccination timelines, potential requirements for health care professionals and facilities, and more, check out our COVID-19 Vaccine Information hub.

Here’s some more of the most recent news from the past week concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The United States has administered 65 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Tuesday morning.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a Tuesday briefing that he expects the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to begin recommending more relaxed guidelines concerning COVID-19 in the near future.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there were no concerning new safety issues that came up during the first month of administering the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. 
  • The companies Lyft and CVS announced that they have agreed to partner in order to make the COVID-19 vaccine more accessible for people who live in under-served communities or rural areas.