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US Pfizer announces 500M more vaccines to lower-income countries; California has lowest virus transmission in US: COVID-19 updates

13:25  22 september  2021
13:25  22 september  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

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California is now the state with the lowest transmission of COVID-19 in the country, according to data reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It is the only state in the country reporting transmission levels considered "substantial" by the CDC, along with the territory Puerto Rico. All other states currently have "high" levels of transmission." High transmission consists of 100 or more cases per 100,000 people in the last week.

a sign sitting on the grass: A message marks a white flag that is part of artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg's © Patrick Semansky, AP A message marks a white flag that is part of artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg's "In America: Remember," a temporary art installation to commemorate Americans who have died of COVID-19, on the National Mall in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021.

California's rate is 94 cases per 100,000. By comparison, Texas is 386 and Florida is 296. Despite the state's overall transmission rating, the majority of California's counties are experiencing high transmission.

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About 70% of eligible Californians — those ages 12 and up — are fully vaccinated, according to state data. That's compared to the national average of about 64%.

Also in the news:

►The Department of Education launched an investigation into Texas' ban on mask mandates in schools, which it said may be preventing disabled students from full access to education, The Texas Tribune reported.

►A 20-year-old gas station clerk in Germany was fatally shot after he asked a customer to wear a mask while buying beer, prompting officials to warn against the radicalization of people opposed to COVID restrictions.

►All employees at San Francisco International Airport will be required to be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. It's the first U.S. airport to implement this kind of vaccine mandate, Mayor London Breed said Tuesday.

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►Johnson & Johnson released new data Tuesday showing a booster dose of its vaccine given two months after the one-shot vaccine provides 94% protection against moderate-to-severe COVID-19 symptoms.

????Today's numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 42.4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 678,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 229.4 million cases and 4.7 million deaths. More than 182 million Americans — 54.8% of the population — have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

????What we're reading: Parents of young children woke up Monday morning to the news that COVID-19 vaccines for their little ones may be just around the corner. So, when can kids get the vaccine? We answered your questions.

Keep refreshing this page for the latest news. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY's Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates directly to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

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Pfizer announces 500M more vaccines to lower-income countries

Pfizer and BioNTech will offer another 500 million doses of its vaccine to lower-income countries, expanding its efforts in these vaccine-limited areas to a total of 1 billion doses.

The additional vaccines are part of an agreement with the U.S. government to supply doses to 92 low- and lower-middle-income countries and 55 member states of the African Union, areas that don’t have widespread access to COVID-19 vaccines. The company says these vaccines are being supplied to the government to be donated at a not-for-profit price.

Deliveries of the vaccine to these areas started in August and the total 1 billion doses are expected to be delivered to these areas by September 2022, the company said, adding the first doses as part of this program arrived in Rwanda on Aug. 18. Since that time, more than 30 million had been shipped to 22 countries.

— Christal Hayes

Art installation in nation's capital commemorates COVID deaths

An installation of more than 660,000 white flags on the National Mall was on display, beginning this weekend, to represent lives lost during the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.

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The temporary art installation, called "In America: Remember," was created by artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg. It will be available to view for two weeks. Many of the flags include personal tributes to people who have died.

There have been more than 678,000 COVID-19 deaths in the country since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

Shortage of monoclonal antibody drugs hits states

A shortage of monoclonal antibody drugs, used to fight infection and shown to reduce hospitalization and deaths if administered early, is impacting states amid rising cases of unvaccinated people.

In Tennessee, the state government is now recommending nearly all vaccinated residents be denied access to monoclonal antibody treatment to preserve the limited supply for non-vaccinated patients.

Hawaii's health centers are receiving just half of the amount of monoclonal antibody treatments they are requesting to treat patients. The weekly supply for the state has been capped at 680 treatments by the federal government.

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Samantha Wendell, a 29-year-old surgical technician in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, became engaged to her longtime boyfriend in 2019, her family has told national media outlets. She spent much of the late summer in the hospital and ended up on a ventilator, according to family. Her funeral was held at that same church days after her Sept. 10 death.

"She was worried about her fertility," a cousin wrote in a Facebook group for COVID-19 survivors and loved ones of those who've died from the virus. "Misinformation killed her."

-Mary Ramsey, The Courier-Journal

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pfizer announces 500M more vaccines to lower-income countries; California has lowest virus transmission in US: COVID-19 updates

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