White House and Federal Agencies
- President-elect Biden will announce a new COVID-19 vaccination and economic support plan on Thursday. The proposal will include over a trillion dollars of new relief.
- Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched the COVID-19 Education Campaign aimed at increasing public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines while reinforcing basic prevention measures, including mask wearing and social distancing. Several HHS leaders (Dr. Anthony Fauci, Rear Admiral Felicia Collins, Dr. Nancy Messonnier) participated in a town hall conversation with Black America about the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and how they can work together to save lives.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Updates
- CDC released a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on the Assessment of Day-7 Postexposure Testing of Asymptomatic Contacts of COVID-19 Patients to Evaluate Early Release from Quarantine in Vermont from May to November, 2020. These results indicate that among the persons in quarantine who tested negative at day 7 after exposure, none who were retested between day 8 and 14 were positive.
- The CDC updated toolkits with information regarding vaccine resources and additional web resources on COVID-19 for the following groups:
Economy, Vaccine, Testing and Treatment
- The CDC says that it is acceptable for states to overlap vaccinating priority groups. A state does not need to finish vaccinating one group before moving onto the next group.
- As of January 7, 21.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses (both Pfizer and Moderna) have been distributed. 5.9 million doses have been administered as of that date.
- Preliminary research suggests that Pfizer’s vaccine is effective against new strains of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
- BioNTech, the company that partnered with Pfizer to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, will double its 2021 vaccine output to two billion doses.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) approved delaying the time between first and second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for up to six weeks.
- Admiral Giroir hosted a media telebriefing update on the comprehensive national testing effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
- HHS announced the extension of the Community Based Testing Site program for COVID-19 testing, through partnership with national pharmacy and retail chains CVS, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, Quest (through services at Walmart) and service provider eTrueNorth (through services at Health Mart and Topco locations). The partnership has resulted in establishing more than 3,300 COVID-19 testing locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. To date, more than 5.6 million tests have been conducted as a result of this partnership.