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Covid-19 News: Live Updates – The New York Times

Credit…Bryan Anselm for The New York Times

All adults in every U.S. state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, meeting the April 19 deadline that President Biden set two weeks ago.

The United States is administering an average of 3.2 million doses a day, up from roughly 2.5 million a month before. More than 131 million people, or half of all American adults, had received at least one shot as of Sunday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and about 84.3 million people have been fully vaccinated.

Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont were the last states to expand eligibility, opening vaccinations to all adults on Monday.

“It’s truly historic that we have already reached this milestone,” said Dr. Nandita Mani, the associate medical director of infection prevention and control at the University of Washington Medical Center.

After a slow start, the pace of vaccinations has risen considerably in recent months. Mr. Biden, who initially said he wanted states to make all adults eligible for a vaccine by May 1, moved the deadline up as vaccinations accelerated. Mr. Biden has also set a goal of administering 200 million doses by his 100th day in office, which the nation is on pace to meet.

The expansion of eligibility comes as medical officials investigate whether Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot Covid-19 vaccine is linked to a rare blood-clotting disorder. All 50 states suspended administration of the vaccine last week, after federal health officials recommended a pause.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said on Sunday that federal regulators should come to a decision on Friday about whether to resume Johnson & Johnson vaccinations. Although he said he did not want to get ahead of the C.D.C. and the Food and Drug Administration, he said he expected experts to recommend “some sort of either warning or restriction” on the use of the vaccine.

Even if there is a link between the vaccine and the clotting disorder, the risk is exceedingly low, experts say.

Still, Dr. Mani said the pause was likely to harden the hesitancy of some Americans to get vaccinated.

At the same time, with the virus resurgent, public health experts are warning Americans not to let their guards down. The United States is averaging more than 67,000 new cases a day over the past seven days, up from over 54,000 a month ago, according to a New York Times database.

“Seventy thousand cases a day is not acceptable. We have to get that down,” said Barry Bloom, a research professor and former dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He said more vaccinations would help, but people must remain vigilant about wearing masks and social distancing.

At its current pace, the United States will vaccinate 70 percent of its population by mid-June. But vaccine hesitancy could slow progress toward herd immunity, which will also depend on vaccinating children.

Pfizer announced this month that it had applied for an emergency use authorization to make children ages 12 to 15 eligible for its vaccine. Moderna is expected to release results from its trial in young teenagers soon, and vaccinations in this age group could begin before school starts in the fall.

Trials in younger children are underway. Dr. Fauci also said on Sunday that he expected children of all ages to be eligible for vaccination in the first quarter of 2022.

Although vaccinations have picked up in the United States, many countries still face dire vaccine shortages. About 83 percent of Covid-19 vaccinations have been administered in high- and upper-middle-income countries, while only 0.2 percent of doses have been administered in low-income countries, according to a New York Times vaccine tracker.

Dr. Funmi Olopade, the director of the Center for Global Health at the University of Chicago, said it was crucial for the United States to step up its role in the global vaccination campaign as supply increases. The virus, left to spread around the world, could continue to mutate and threaten the nation’s economic recovery, she said.

It is in everybody’s “self-interest to provide whatever we can in the way of excess vaccines to low- and middle-income countries,” Dr. Bloom said.

Emily Anthes and

United States › United StatesOn Apr. 18 14-day change
New cases 40,482 +5%
New deaths 352 –8%

World › WorldOn Apr. 18 14-day change
New cases 587,496 +20%
New deaths 6,271 +14%

U.S. vaccinations ›

Where states are reporting vaccines given
President Biden at the White House in March. He will appear in a public service announcement as part of a media campaign to persuade more people to get vaccinated.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The Biden administration will mount an intense push on Monday to persuade Americans to get vaccinated against Covid-19, an effort timed to coincide with the deadline President Biden set for states to extend vaccine eligibility to all adults age 16 or older.

The one-day campaign — officials are calling it a “blitz” and likening it to a “get out the vote” effort — will roll out on social media, including push notifications from Facebook and Twitter, as well as radio and television programs, according to a senior administration official, who insisted on anonymity to preview the plan, first reported by Axios.

The president will appear in a public service announcement, and Vice President Kamala Harris will take to social media to publicize the vaccines. Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Mr. Biden’s top medical adviser for the pandemic, will try to reach young people with 15-second videos on Snapchat — an unusual platform for the 80-year-old infectious disease specialist.

While the administration has continuing media campaigns designed to reach people who are hesitant about vaccination, including Black and Latino Americans, Monday’s media push will be widespread, the official said. It will feature top administration officials — including Xavier Becerra, the secretary of health and human services; Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general; and Dr. Rachel Levine, the assistant secretary for health — who will do more than 30 interviews across the country with local media outlets.

Officials will also appear on outlets targeted to specific audiences, like Telemundo and “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show,” which has a large following among African-Americans.

More than 84 million Americans — roughly one-third of the adult population — are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and as of Sunday more than 209 million shots had been administered. But after months of demand outstripping supply, Biden administration officials expect that before long, vaccine supplies will exceed demand.

Biden administration officials are well aware that if the United States is to reach herd immunity — when the virus can’t spread easily because it will lack hosts — skeptics must be persuaded to take their shots.

Officials are especially concerned about a rise in vaccine hesitancy in the wake of the decision by federal health officials to “pause” the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while regulators examine six cases of rare blood clots among vaccine recipients.

A C.D.C. advisory panel is expected to meet on Friday to discuss the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and make recommendations about its use.

Waiting to be vaccinated outside the Stade de France in the Paris suburbs this month.
Credit…Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

PARIS — One of France’s most popular Covid-19 analysts is not a doctor or a government official. Rather, he is an independent 24-year-old data scientist who has created tools used by millions to book vaccine appointments or assess the risks of seeing one’s family during the holidays.

The analyst, Guillaume Rozier, started a website on April 1 that, in less than a minute, scans all available appointments at certified vaccination centers throughout the country and helps users access booking sites. Powered by the work of a dozen volunteers, the search engine, Vite Ma Dose (My Dose Quickly), has drawn 2.5 million unique visitors in just days.

The site does not have the capacity to track the number of appointments it is responsible for. “But we estimate that at least several thousand, if not several tens of thousands, of people are getting a vaccine appointment every day, considering the site’s traffic,” said Mr. Rozier, who also set up a tracking website last year to make the country’s latest coronavirus data accessible to the French public. He said he had received hundreds of thank-you messages from people who found appointments through the new website.

A similar vaccine appointment site created for New York City by Huge Ma, a 31-year-old software engineer, was so popular that he made a campaign appearance with a mayoral candidate.

The French authorities said last week that the vaccine rollout would gather speed, but many say vaccination call centers are overwhelmed. Mr. Rozier also said that many centers and appointment times do not appear on reservation platforms.

France and Britain, among other countries, have used mobile services to help vaccinate people or trace those infected with the virus, but they have not been widely adopted by the public. Last week, Apple and Google blocked a planned update to the National Health Service’s “Test and Trace” app in Britain over privacy concerns.

Almost 19 percent of France’s population has received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, far behind countries like Israel, Britain and the United States. France on Thursday became the third European country to record 100,000 Covid-19 deaths, after Britain and Italy.

While services like Vite Ma Dose will not catch France up on their own, users have praised its efficiency. Corentin Catherine, a 24-year-old pharmacy student, received his first shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in eastern France last week thanks to an appointment being canceled at the last minute.

Mr. Catherine said he felt “grateful” for the app, through which he also booked an appointment for his second dose.

The French authorities have said they aim to inoculate all adults by the end of the summer. But mistrust in the vaccine has soared amid safety concerns over the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, and 110,000 doses had been wasted as of last month, according to the government.

Covidliste, a website created by two other data scientists, aims to minimize those losses by connecting people who wish to be inoculated, including those who are not yet eligible, with health workers still in possession of unused doses at the end of the day. More than 25,000 people have been invited to receive a vaccine dose through the app, its founders said.

“It’s typically issues of supply and demand that do not meet,” Martin Daniel, one of the founders, said on French radio. “So I figured maybe we could create a tool to make this process more efficient.”

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