Arizona Governor Issues Executive Order Preventing COVID Vaccine Mandates on College Campuses

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced on Tuesday an executive order that will prevent the state’s public colleges and universities from mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for its students.

The executive order comes in response to Arizona State University informing its students that they “expect” students to return to campus in the fall fully vaccinated. Further, individuals who choose not to receive the coronavirus vaccine would be subjected to a mask requirement and weekly testing.

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Pfizer: Israeli Data Finds Vaccine Prevents 94 Percent of Asymptomatic Infections

Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine was over 94% effective in preventing asymptomatic cases of COVID-19, according to real-world Israeli data released late Thursday.

The latest analysis suggests that Pfizer’s vaccine could overwhelmingly halt asymptomatic spread — a main driver of infections since asymptomatic people are often unaware they have the virus. The data also showed that the vaccine was 97% effective in preventing symptomatic cases, hospitalizations and deaths, slightly higher than the 95% effectiveness found in its clinical trials.

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Trump Tells Supporters Who Don’t Want the Coronavirus Vaccine That It’s Safe and Effective

Former President Donald Trump urged Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine Tuesday evening, touting the treatments as safe and effective in fighting the virus.

“I would recommend it,” Trump said during a Fox News interview. “And I would recommend it to a lot of people who don’t want to get it and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly.”

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Pfizer Vaccine Is Effective Against Fast-Spreading Brazilian Coronavirus Variant, Study Shows

Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine was able to neutralize the highly transmissible Brazilian virus variant, a new lab study showed.

The effectiveness of the vaccine against the variant was “roughly equivalent” to the original strain, researchers told the New England Journal of Medicine. Its ability to combat the variant, known as P.1, is especially encouraging in Brazil, where it has spread throughout the country.

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U.S. to Pay $4 Billion for Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution in Poor Countries

Joe Biden is set to announce today that the United States will be spending $4 billion on an effort to increase distribution of the coronavirus vaccine in poor and third-world countries, as reported by ABC.

Congress had approved spending the funds on an international vaccine distribution effort back in December; half of the money will go to an organization called Gavi, an international group that focuses specifically on vaccine distribution and is backed by the United Nations. The funding will cover Gavi’s operations throughout 2021 and 2022.

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Safety Concerns Make a Third of Americans Hesitant to Receive the Coronavirus Vaccine, Poll Shows

Approximately a third of Americans say that they are unlikely to receive the coronavirus vaccine due to perceived safety concerns, according to an Associated Press poll released Wednesday.

While 67% of Americans said that they either planned to receive the vaccine or had already done so, 17% said that they were unlikely to receive it and 15% said that they were definitely not going to receive it, the poll showed. Among those who expressed vaccine hesitancy, the majority cited concerns over possible side effects and doubts over whether it was really safe, and nearly 40% said that they did not believe that they needed a vaccine.

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Life Will Return to Normal in Seven Years, Vaccine Database Shows

It will take seven years for life to return to normal and for coronavirus to subside, a Bloomberg database tracking worldwide coronavirus vaccinations found.

Although countries like the U.S. and Israel have administered coronavirus at a rate that will ensure herd immunity by 2022, most countries have fallen behind that pace and will not catch up for seven years, according to Bloomberg. More than 119 million vaccines have been administered in 67 countries and the most recent rate of vaccination was 4.54 million doses per day, the vaccine database showed.

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ER Nurse Tests Positive for COVID-19 After Receiving Pfizer Vaccine

An emergency room nurse tested positive for COVID-19 over a week after getting the Pfizer vaccine, an ABC affiliate reported Monday.

A 45-year-old ER nurse identified as Matthew W., works for two hospitals San Diego, California, tested positive for COVID-19 eight days after receiving the vaccine, though experts say he could have been exposed prior to receiving the vaccine, 10 News reported.

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United Kingdom Approves AstraZeneca Coronavirus Vaccine

The United Kingdom became the first country to approve AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine as the nation combats a sharp spike in confirmed cases.

The vaccine, developed in partnership with Oxford University, can be stored at much warmer temperatures than other approved candidates. Its approval followed an official recommendation from Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, and the country has already purchased 100 million doses, the company said in its statement.

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Pfizer, U.S. Reach Deal for 100 Million Additional Coronavirus Vaccine Doses

The Trump Administration has purchased an additional 100 million doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, the drugmaker announced Wednesday.

The new agreement means that Pfizer will supply 200 million doses to the United States, according to the company’s statement, which will be distributed through July 2021. Also included in the deal is the option to purchase an additional 400 million doses.

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Gov. Whitmer Blasts Trump Administration Over Vaccine Rollout, Announces Relaxation of Economic ‘Pause’

In what she claimed is her last news conference before Christmas, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer blasted President Donald Trump’s administration for what she depicted as a “slow-walked” rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the state.

She also made several announcements regarding the “pause” implemented by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services since the middle of November.

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Pfizer Vaccine Vials Contain More Doses Than Expected, FDA Says

Some vials containing Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine contain more doses than expected, potentially expanding the country’s supply by up to 40%, public health officials said late Wednesday.

The FDA advised that the extra doses were acceptable to use and that it was collaborating with Pfizer over the issue.

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FDA Review Reaffirms Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine’s Safety, Efficacy

The FDA released data Tuesday reaffirming that Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective in preventing severe cases in adults.

The release is a sign that the vaccine is likely to be granted emergency use from the FDA in the coming days, public health officials said, a critical step in ensuring that millions of Americans can be vaccinated as soon as possible. The FDA released similar data regarding Pfizer’s vaccine just days before it was given emergency approval as well.

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Coronavirus Vaccinations Could Begin Monday, Reach 50 Million Americans by February, HHS Secretary Says

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that the first coronavirus vaccinations outside a clinical trial could begin as early as Monday.

Azar’s announcement follows a key FDA panel’s vote of confidence Thursday for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, clearing the way for the agency to issue an emergency use authorization. The FDA said that authorization would be announced later Friday, and that it was communicating with the CDC and Operation Warp Speed to ensure the most efficient distribution possible.

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FDA Grants Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine Emergency Authorization, Launching Nationwide Distribution and Vaccination Effort

The FDA approved Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use Friday, officially beginning a nationwide mass vaccination effort in an attempt to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.

Its approval follows a key FDA panel’s overwhelming vote to endorse the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. President Donald Trump called for the agency to approve Pfizer’s earlier Friday, telling its director, Dr. Stephen Hahn, to “get the dam vaccines out” as soon as possible.

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FDA Advisory Panel Approves Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine, Clearing Way for Final Authorization and Distribution

The FDA’s vaccine advisory panel voted 17-4 to approve Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for use, clearing the way for its approval and distribution nationwide.

After scouring over Pfizer’s data during the multi-hour meeting Thursday, the panel ensured that it was safe for the hundreds of million Americans expected to receive it in the coming months and voted to recommend approval. Though the panel’s decision is merely an advisory one, the FDA is expected to heed its recommendation and approve Pfizer’s vaccine as early as Friday.

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First Person Receives Pfizer’s Vaccine as Britain Begins Mass Coronavirus Vaccination Effort

Britain’s National Health Service administered its first doses of a coronavirus vaccine Tuesday, becoming the first country to begin its mass vaccination effort.

Just after 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, 90-year-old Margaret Keenan became the first person to receive a fully authorized vaccine outside of a clinical trial, marking the beginning of a global campaign to end a pandemic that has infected over 65 million people and killed over 1.5 million across the globe.

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Here’s Which COVID Vaccines Are Produced, Tested Using Aborted Baby Cells, According to a Pro-Life Institute

The pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute has released information on which coronavirus vaccines have been made using cells obtained from aborted babies.

The Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) released a new chart Thursday examining whether eight leading COVID vaccines were either produced or tested using cells obtained through abortions. The institute’s analysis found that most of the vaccine candidates did not use cell lines derived from abortions in their production, though several used abortion-derived cell lines in laboratory testing.

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US Could Reach Herd Immunity by May 2021 If 70 Percent of Americans Get the Vaccine, Top Doctor Says

America could reach herd immunity by May of next year if a majority of citizens are vaccinated, a prominent health expert told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday.

Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the chief scientific adviser for President Donald Trump’s immunization program Operation Warp Speed, told Tapper on his show “State of the Union” that if 70% of the populace receives a coronavirus vaccine, the U.S. could reach herd immunity by May 2021.

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States Aren’t Prepared to Distribute Coronavirus Vaccine, Investigation Finds

Most states aren’t adequately prepared to distribute the leading coronavirus vaccine, especially to rural areas, once it is approved for public use, according to a ProPublica analysis of state plans.

Pfizer announced Monday that the coronavirus vaccine it is developing was more than 90% effective and did not produce safety concerns during its large-scale trial. But, as the vaccine approached Food and Drug Administration approval, a ProPublica investigation found that states aren’t ready to administer the delivery of the vaccine to vast swaths of their populations.

“Early, when we don’t have lots of doses, I frankly do not anticipate that vaccine will be widely available in every rural community,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s V

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Pfizer Notified Biden Before Trump on Vaccine Success

In an interview with WMAL radio show Wednesday morning, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar appeared to confirm that the Trump administration learned of Pfizer’s successful COVID-19 vaccine trial from press coverage not from company officials directly. “I…learned of this from media reports on Monday morning,” Azar told “Mornings on the Mall” program on November 11. “There certainly was a gap in communications, let’s say.”

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Commentary: Was Pfizer’s Vaccine News Slow-Walked Until After the Election?

As the coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe in the spring, President Trump announced his plan to fast-track an effective vaccine that would be available by the new year.

The goal of Operation Warp Speed, launched by the White House in May, was “to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial doses available by January 2021, as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.” Congress appropriated $10 billion to fund the ambitious program.

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FDA Has Delayed Approval Process for Promising Cancer Drug for Months Because of COVID

A promising immunotherapy drug for patients battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may fail to gain federal approval due to COVID-19 precautions, according to company executives and a quarterly report.

Liso-cel, manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb, originally had its Food and Drug Administration (FDA) application accepted in February, but has yet to have one of its contracted manufacturing sites undergo FDA inspection due to the coronavirus pandemic. Not only is the drug’s approval contingent on the facility inspections from the FDA, according to multiple company executives, but its application expires on Nov. 16, meaning that if the plant is not inspected in the coming days Bristol-Myers may have to completely resubmit the drug’s application as a result.

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Commentary: A Vaccine from China? No Thanks

While Democrats including presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Gov. Andrew Cuomo (N.Y.), Gov. Gavin Newsom (Calif.), Gov. Ned Lamont (Conn.), and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot all publicly question the Trump administration’s ability to facilitate a safe COVID-19 vaccine, could arsonist-turned-firefighter China have the cure we all need?

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Vaccine Expected to be Ready for Vulnerable Population by January, HHS Sec Azar Says

Department of Health and Human Services Sec. Alex Azar said Wednesday that he expects a coronavirus vaccine to be available for vulnerable Americans by January 2021.

The Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary said that vaccines will be immediately be offered to seniors, health care workers and first responders once hospitals are able to administer it, according to The Hill. Sec. Alex Azar’s comments came at press briefing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters.

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Trump Official Says Vaccine Expected Starting in January

A Trump administration official leading the response to the coronavirus pandemic says the U.S. can expect delivery of a vaccine starting in January 2021, despite statements from the president that inoculations could begin this month.

And a growing, bipartisan chorus of lawmakers, experts and public health officials says the country is ill prepared for a projected winter surge of COVID-19.

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White House to Block FDA Vaccine Guidelines That Would’ve Delayed Approval Past Election

The White House blocked new vaccine guidelines proposed by health officials within the Trump administration, which likely would have pushed the approval of a coronavirus vaccine past the election.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is in charge of approving vaccines, proposed the guidance on Sept. 21, according to The New York Times. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows raised concerns with one provision of the guidelines which said vaccine trial subjects should be examined for two months following their final dose, a senior administration official told the Times.

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Johnson & Johnson Begins Final Stage of Testing for Its Single-Dose COVID-19 Vaccine

Johnson & Johnson began its final round of testing for its COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday.

The study is one of the most expansive to occur so far, involving 60,000 volunteers across the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Mexico and South Africa, the Associated Press reported. The vaccine is the latest to begin its final testing phase, joining candidates developed by Moderna and Pfizer, and is the only vaccine that would be administered as a single dose.

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Over 60 Percent of Americans Say They Will Not Get a First Generation Coronavirus Vaccine

Sixty-one percent of Americans surveyed now say that they would not get a first-generation coronavirus vaccine as soon as it available, an Axios-Ipsos poll shows.

The percentage is eight points lower than a month ago, a drop that is reflected among both Democrats and Republicans, the Ipsos index shows. The United States is approaching 200,000 coronavirus deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University database.

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Pharmaceutical Companies Sign Joint Pledge Promising a Safe Coronavirus Vaccine as Public Confidence Dips

Nine pharmaceutical companies signed a joint pledge Tuesday promising to prioritize safety and science regarding the development and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine.

The pledge is meant to counter declining public confidence in an eventual vaccine, Politico reported. An August CNN poll found that just over half of Americans would be willing to take a vaccine once developed, and a recent Politico poll found that over 60% of voters opposed the release of any vaccine that had not undergone full testing.

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Third Virus Vaccine Reaches Major Hurdle: Final U.S. Testing

A handful of the dozens of experimental COVID-19 vaccines in human testing have reached the last and biggest hurdle — looking for the needed proof that they really work as a U.S. advisory panel suggested Tuesday a way to ration the first limited doses once a vaccine wins approval.

AstraZeneca announced Monday its vaccine candidate has entered the final testing stage in the U.S. The Cambridge, England-based company said the study will involve up to 30,000 adults from various racial, ethnic and geographic groups.

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Millions of Potential Coronavirus Vaccine Doses Already Being Made, NIH Director Says

Millions of coronavirus vaccine doses are being manufactured, even before testing has been completed, the National Institutes of Health director said in an interview recently.

Doses of potential vaccines are being made to shorten the time it traditionally takes to develop a drug for public use, director Dr. Francis Collins told Intelligencer. Collins said he is “guardedly optimistic” that at least one vaccine will pass through the large phase of trials by December.

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