WASHINGTON, DC (Reuters) – US health authorities will hold an emergency meeting next week to recommend that a coronavirus vaccine be given first pending approval by healthcare professionals and people in long-term care facilities.
The meeting, announced on Friday by the Immunization Commission of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suggests that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may be close to allowing the long-awaited drug to be distributed, at least to those in question. -vulnerable.
United Airlines has begun shipping shipments of the vaccine, developed by Pfizer Inc, on charter flights to ensure it can be distributed quickly once it is approved, according to a source.
The CDC’s immunization practice advisory committee will vote Tuesday to recommend to the FDA that it allow medical professionals and long-term care facilities to be the first two groups to receive initial deliveries of vaccines, a CDC spokesman said.
The green light for any vaccine would be welcome news for Americans, who are being held back by increasingly aggressive measures to curb the spread of the virus.
On Friday, Los Angeles County health officials banned all public and private gatherings for at least three weeks and urged residents to stay home as long as possible.
The county released religious services and protests from the order, citing constitutional protection in an apparent confirmation of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week that rejected New York State’s restrictions on churches and synagogues.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, dismissed the Supreme Court’s ruling as “irrelevant,” saying it was tailored to specific areas that were no longer subject to restrictions.
But the decision could spark legal challenges to similar restrictions placed on prayer houses in other states, including California.
“It is fair to say that this decision of the Supreme Court has wider implications and that the governors would be wise to be guided by it in any attempt to set up prayer houses for different treatments,” said Randy Mastro, a leading lawyer for the Catholic Archdiocese. Brooklyn in the case, Reuters said.
The mayor of Washington, D.C. Muriel Bowser said this week that her latest restrictions on collecting COVID-19 also apply to indoor religious services, reducing the maximum number of worshipers from 100 to 50.
“MISS THE PATIENCE”
Americans, already tired of eight months of imprisonment, began the holiday season on Friday under pressure to stay home, avoid gatherings and limit Christmas shopping.
One day after the nation celebrated a modest Thanksgiving, malls and retailers enforcing strict COVID-19 rules saw fewer shoppers for the traditional Black Friday at the start of holiday shopping.
“Remember, skip the crowds and shop from home this Black Friday,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshir, a first-term Democrat, wrote on Twitter.
Approximately 90,000 patients were treated for COVID-19 in hospitals on Friday, a number that has doubled in the past month to the highest since the pandemic began.
“This is the reality we face when COVID-19 can spread uncontrollably – intensive care units with capacity do not have enough health workers,” New Mexico Gov. Michel Lujan Grisham tweeted.
Grisham, a Democrat, did not say who believed he had left the virus unchecked. The governor imposed a lock requiring all “insignificant” businesses to close and residents to stay at home.
About 880 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Friday in New Mexico. The Curry County Hospital is the last to reach capacity in its intensive care unit this week, according to the county’s Facebook page.
Some politicians and health experts feared that Americans traveling for Thanksgiving could spread the disease. Many heeded the advice to stay home on Thursday, but others chose to travel, saying they were willing to risk illness to see their family.
The day before Thanksgiving, usually one of the busiest days of the year in the United States, more than 1.07 million people transited U.S. airports – most of every day since the pandemic began, according to the administration. for transport security.
More than 4 million traveled through airports Sunday through Thursday, up from more than 11 million in the same period last year, TSA figures show.
Report by Gabriela Borter and Melissa Fares in New York, Susan Heavy, Lisa Lambert, Diane Bartz and David Shepardson in Washington, Anurag Maan in Bengaluru and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Edited by Rosalbe O’Brien, Bill Tarant, Robert Bircell