Biden will also pledge an additional $2 billion in funding contingent on contributions from other nations and dose delivery targets being met, as fears mount that the longer it takes to achieve vaccination globally, the greater the risk that new variants may flourish.
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED
Q: How long is it safe to wait for the second dose of the vaccine?
A: Some vaccine providers have been forced to cancel appointments due to the winter weather that has ravaged much of the US, and more than more than 2,000 vaccination sites are in areas suffering from power outages.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the second dose of the vaccines approved so far in the US can be administered up to 42 days, or six weeks, after the initial inoculation. So if your appointment for a second dose was delayed or canceled due to winter weather, there should still be time to get fully vaccinated.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
More evidence that one dose of Pfizer’s vaccine gives strong protection
There’s more evidence that a single dose of coronavirus vaccine might be enough to significantly reduce disease. An Israeli study found that people who got a single dose of Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine were increasingly less likely to develop Covid-19 symptoms as time passed, and they were 85% less likely to get sick two to four weeks after getting their first shot. Canadian researchers also found that one dose of the vaccine provided more than 90% protection.
It comes after Pfizer/BioNTech announced Thursday that the first participants of its global Covid-19 vaccine trial for pregnant women have received their first doses.
European countries caught in a vaccine no man’s land
Kosovo, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina are still waiting to receive their first vaccine shipments, while rollouts in Albania and Northern Macedonia have so far been limited to a few hundred people.
The Western Balkan countries are key allies and possible future members of the European Union, but they have been left out of the bloc’s immediate vaccine supply plans. And they are also not a top priority for programs like COVAX, which are designed to help the world’s poorest countries access vaccines.
Taiwan blames ‘external forces’ for blocking BioNTech vaccine deal. China says it had nothing to do with it
A day earlier, Taiwanese health minister Chen Shih-chung said in a radio interview that Taiwan and BioNTech were about to sign a deal for 5 million vaccine doses in December, when the company suddenly backed out. “In the process of (discussing the deal) I had always worried that there would be external forces intervening,” Chen said, without naming any country. “We believe there was political pressure,” he said. “Back then we had already prepared our press release. But certain people don’t want Taiwan to be too happy.”
ON OUR RADAR
- As the WHO investigated origins of Covid-19 in China this month, Beijing pushed a baseless conspiracy that the virus emerged from a US laboratory.
- Stop disinfecting your groceries. Food and food packaging are highly unlikely to spread Covid-19, experts say.
- The level of Covid-19 cases among children reflects measures of wider community transmission, not whether schools were open, a CNN analysis found.
- Grocery store workers have been stocking shelves, handling customers and keeping stores tidy in challenging and sometimes dangerous pandemic conditions, but the vaccine remains elusive to them.
Explore the ocean while you shelter at home
Diving in the oceans, marine biologist Erika Woolsey has seen first-hand how coral reefs and sea life are being damaged by climate change. It has made her determined to find a way for others to share her experience — including those who can’t easily explore the ocean. Through her non-profit, The Hydrous, Woolsey is using virtual reality to “bring the ocean to everyone.”
“The yellow peril fear gets resurrected whenever a epidemic arises from China or Asia and we’re met with interpersonal violence and racist policies. And that’s exactly what happened during Covid-19.” — Russell Jeung, professor of Asian American studies at San Francisco State University