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CORONAVIRUS

CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science

Associated Press The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday defended the decision to ease mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, stressing that increasing political pressure had nothing to do with the abrupt shift in guidelines. “I’m delivering the ...

Some aren’t ready to give up masks despite new CDC guidance

Associated Press Like more than 120 million other Americans, Jan Massie is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and can pretty much give up wearing a mask under the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But she’s still covering her face, even as the temperature ...

Schools ditch student mask requirements in growing numbers

Associated Press As a lengthy, bitter fight over mask requirements for students neared its conclusion, the chairperson of a Florida school board announced that she would agree to lift a mandate that had been in place since September even though she preferred leaving it in place until the end ...

US deaths hit lowest level in 10 months

Associated Press COVID-19 deaths in the United States have tumbled to an average of around 600 per day — the lowest level in 10 months — with the number of lives lost dropping to single digits in well over half the states and, on some days, hitting zero. Confirmed infections have fallen ...

Younger adolescents get ready to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Associated Press MISSION, Kan. — Parents, schools and vaccine clinics rushed to begin inoculating younger adolescents Tuesday after U.S. regulators endorsed Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 12, a decision seen as a breakthrough in allowing classroom instruction to resume ...

Pfizer COVID-19 shot expanded to US children as young as 12

Associated Press U.S. regulators on Monday expanded the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children as young as 12, offering a way to protect the nation’s adolescents before they head back to school in the fall and paving the way for them to return to more normal activities. Shots could ...

Vaccine deserts: Some countries have no COVID-19 jabs at all

Associated Press N’DJAMENA, Chad — At the small hospital where Dr. Oumaima Djarma works in Chad’s capital, there are no debates over which coronavirus vaccine is the best. There are simply no vaccines at all. Not even for the doctors and nurses like her, who care for COVID-19 ...

Minnesota health officials get creative with vaccinations

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota health officials are trying various strategies in an attempt to get people vaccinated and slow the spread of the coronavirus. Volunteer physicians are working with a brewery in St. Paul on a pop-up event that rewards those who get shots with a free beer. ...

Parents excited over prospect of virus shots for children

Associated Press MISSION, Kan. — After more than a year of fretting over her 13-year son with a rare liver disease, Heather Ousley broke into tears when she learned that he and millions of other youngsters could soon be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. “This day is the best day in the ...

US backs waiving intellectual property rules on vaccines

Associated Press WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is throwing its support behind efforts to waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines in an effort to speed the end of the pandemic. United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced the government’s ...

‘Horrible’ weeks ahead as India’s virus catastrophe worsens

AP Science Writer NEW DELHI — COVID-19 infections and deaths are mounting with alarming speed in India with no end in sight to the crisis and a top expert warning that the coming weeks in the country of nearly 1.4 billion people will be “horrible.” India’s official count of ...

Biden’s vaccination goal: 70% of US adults by July 4

Associated Press WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday set a new vaccination goal to deliver at least one shot to 70% of adult Americans by July Fourth as he tackles the vexing problem of winning over the “doubters” and those unmotivated to get inoculated. Demand for vaccines ...

Restrictions easing in US and Europe amid disaster in India

Associated Press TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Air travel in the U.S. hit its highest mark since COVID-19 took hold more than 13 months ago, while European Union officials are proposing to ease restrictions on visitors to the continent as the vaccine sends new cases and deaths tumbling in more ...

FDA expected to OK Pfizer vaccine for teens within week

Associated Press WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for youngsters ages 12 to 15 by next week, according to a federal official and a person familiar with the process, setting up shots for many before the beginning of the ...

US to launch trade talks on COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Associated Press WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The U.S. top trade negotiator will begin talks with the World Trade Organization on ways to overcome intellectual property issues that are keeping critically needed COVID-19 vaccines from being more widely distributed worldwide, two White House ...

Free rides and beer: Incentives are added to vaccine drive

Associated Press Free beer, pot and doughnuts. Savings bonds. A chance to win an all-terrain vehicle. Places around the U.S. are offering incentives to try to energize the nation’s slowing vaccination drive and get Americans to roll up their sleeves. These relatively small, mostly ...

India grieves 200,000 dead with many more probably uncounted

Associated Press NEW DELHI — Three days after his coronavirus symptoms appeared, Rajendra Karan struggled to breathe. Instead of waiting for an ambulance, his son drove him to a government hospital in Lucknow, the capital of India’s largest state. But the hospital wouldn’t let him in ...

CDC: Many Americans can now go outside without a mask

AP Medical Writer NEW YORK — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its guidelines Tuesday on the wearing of masks outdoors, saying fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to cover their faces anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers. And those who are unvaccinated ...

US to share AstraZeneca shots with world after safety check

Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. will begin sharing its entire stock of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines with the world once it clears federal safety reviews, the White House said Monday, with as many as 60 million doses expected to be available for export in the coming months. The ...

Michigan became hotspot as variants rose and vigilance fell

Associated Press ROYAL OAK, Mich. — Eric Gala passed up an opportunity to get a coronavirus vaccine when shots became available in Michigan, and he admits not taking the virus seriously enough. Then he got sick with what he thought was the flu. He thought he would sweat it out and then ...