Originally, each vial of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine was supposed to contain five doses, but some pharmacists reported that they could extract six doses using certain syringes.

As a result, the FDA approved an updated label that reads, “Low dead volume syringes and / or needles can be used to extract six doses from a single vial. If standard syringes and needles are used, there may not be enough volume to extract You a sixth dose from a single vial. “

Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, said this increase in doses per vial “provides 20% additional capacity.” The New York Times first reported on Pfizer’s plans to base its vaccine obligation on cans instead of vials.

CNN chief correspondent Dr. However, Sanjay Gupta said the ability to get the sixth dose with these syringes wasn’t everywhere on Friday.

“Many places have them,” said Gupta John Berman of CNN, “but not every place.”

McKesson, a medical supply company hired by the federal government to distribute it, said syringe kits will be made available to extract the sixth dose.

These changes underscore the urge to vaccinate as many people as possible in an inconsistent supply chain.

About 5% of the US population – approximately 17.4 million people – have received at least one dose of vaccine, and more than 3 million people are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data updated Saturday. Almost 1.6 million vaccine doses were administered on Friday, the largest one day increase.

New cases have failed, but things remain dire

As vaccination efforts increase, the pandemic continues unabated. And while CNN’s data analysis shows encouraging trends in new daily cases and hospitalizations, health officials remain concerned about the apparently more transmissible variant first identified in the UK.

“You will likely see people traveling again in March and April, probably over the spring break,” said Dr. Celine Gounder, a former member of the Biden Transition’s Covid-19 Advisory Board. “And it is precisely at this point in time that we expect these variants – especially the British variant – to have established themselves in the USA.”

• Cases: Johns Hopkins University reported more than 186,000 new cases as of Friday. In the US, an average of 180,816 new daily cases are currently distributed over seven days. This is the lowest since December 2, and is a 27% decrease from the high on January 11, when the mean new cases hit 249,168 within a week. However, the current average is still 2.7 times higher than the summer high in July.

• Hospital stays: There were 116,264 Covid-19 patients in US hospitals on Friday, a metric that is decreasing day by day, according to the COVID Tracking Project. This is the lowest level since December 21, but is still almost twice as high as in summer.

• Deaths: 3,655 new deaths were reported on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins data. The US has an average of more than 3,000 new deaths per day in a week. With more than 68,152 deaths, January is currently the second deadliest month of the pandemic after December 2020. January is well on the way to surpassing the December death toll of nearly 77,500 deaths.

Deaths in California hit a new high

Meanwhile, California reported 764 deaths from Covid-19, a pandemic high for the Golden State, on Friday, according to the state health department. Almost 600 deaths were reported in the state on Saturday.

Jennifer Bagues, funeral director for Felipe Bagues Mortuary in Los Angeles, said her shop had been bombed and urged them to hire new staff and an answering machine to handle the surge in calls.

“We had to turn families away, which is very difficult,” she said, because funeral homes and their staff also support families who are going through their “toughest times”.

“You have to tell them that, I can put you on a waiting list and we will reach you,” said Bagues. “It’s unknown in our industry. I’ve been doing this for 25 years and I’ve never seen it before.”

Hospital stays in California are declining, falling below 20,000 for the first time since Christmas, the Department of Health said on Friday. However, the capacity of the intensive care unit is still small. There are only 1,094 beds available nationwide. The Southern California and San Joaquin Valley regions are still reporting 0% intensive capacity.

Vaccine Distribution “Shouldn’t Be the Hunger Games”

According to Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, states are struggling to cope with a slow adoption of Covid-19 vaccines due to a lack of information and financial support.

“I’m eligible to get vaccinated in Minnesota and I can’t find any,” Osterholm, former coronavirus advisor to President Joe Biden, told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Friday. “I want to share this frustration loud and clear.”

Utah governor Spencer Cox told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that the state was well positioned for distribution, but the vaccine dispensing had been bottled in private pharmacies nationwide.

“Long-term care facilities in Utah have way too much vaccine. We estimate they have 15-16,000 extra doses that they don’t need and currently can’t use. So we’re taking that back and ‘give it to our local health departments and it will be gone next week, “said Cox.

Frustrations about vaccine distribution and concerns about supplies have repeated across the country.

Louisiana hasn’t set up mass vaccination centers because there aren’t enough vaccines to manage a site, Governor John Bel Edwards said Friday.

New York state has given 97% of its allotted first vaccine doses, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday, and they are expected to run out soon.

On Saturday, Cuomo spoke of a vaccine pop-up location in a public housing complex in Brooklyn, where he highlighted the importance of equal access to vaccines for black and brown communities that have suffered disproportionately from the pandemic.

“Wealthier white communities had more Covid tests,” he said. “When it comes to this vaccine, access has to be fair across the board.”

One study found that 60% of Americans don't know where or when to get a Covid-19 vaccineIn Texas, the Houston Health Department’s 1,600 new vaccination appointments were filled by eligible citizens within about five minutes of opening. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the phone system had received approximately 250,000 calls that “literally overwhelmed the system.”

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that she receives daily calls from people “desperately looking for the vaccine,” adding, “I just don’t see an abundance of vaccines.”

The Los Angeles County Department of Health announced Friday that it had received enough doses to vaccinate only one in four people currently eligible.

“We have the infrastructure, the problem is access to the vaccine,” LA district director Holly Mitchell told CNN on Saturday to the forum in Inglewood, a vaccination site that has vaccinated 9,400 people since Tuesday.

Utah’s Cox said competition between states should be avoided in the case of vaccines at the start of the pandemic when the federal government forced states to look for supplies like personal protective equipment.

“This shouldn’t be the ‘Hunger Games’ like it was the case with PPE. It was ridiculous and we all had to play that game,” he said. “We’re all there together. The governors are there together. We just need insights from the federal government and the manufacturers,” said Cox.

UK variant should be seen, says Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, spoke to CNN on Friday about the coronavirus variant B.1.1.7, which was first identified in the UK and is believed to be more contagious. He says its transmission in the US must be carefully monitored.New evidence suggests that a new variant of coronavirus could be problematic for vaccines

According to the CDC, at least 195 cases of the variant have been identified in 22 states. This number does not represent the total number of cases in the US, only the cases identified through analysis.

“It didn’t become dominant,” said Fauci. “It could be. That’s why you have to watch it closely when we go from January to February and really have to look carefully.”

A CDC report earlier this month said the variant has the potential to “improve the US pandemic in the coming months,” and people should focus on using masks, social distancing, and other measures too take that reduce the transmission.

Fauci agreed to the health recommendations. “Something like this prevents surges, regardless of … the type of virus.”

CNN’s Paul Vercammen, Maggie Fox, Madeline Holcombe, Lauren Mascarenhas, Raja Razek, Chuck Johnston, Hollie Silverman, Amanda Watts, Nick Neville, Andrea Diaz, Naomi Thomas, Michael Nedelman and Alta Spells contributed to this report.


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