(Bloomberg) -- U.S. health officials offered conflicting estimates of when Americans should expect coronavirus vaccines to be widely available. Preparations are underway to ensure that vaccines will be shipped to administration sites within 24 hours of clearance by federal regulators.
AstraZeneca Plc’s trial remains paused in the U.S. pending a regulatory review of an incident in which a participant became ill. But symptoms probably weren’t related to the shot itself, according to documents sent to participants. Eli Lilly & Co. gained after an experimental antibody treatment showed promising results.
The global economic slump ignited by the pandemic won’t be as sharp as previously feared this year, according to the OECD, which upgraded its outlook in response to rebounds in activity since lockdowns eased.
Global Tracker: Cases pass 29.6 million; deaths exceed 936,000Trump vaccine promises defy lessons of pharmaceutical historyVirus risks a decade of health, education gains, World Bank saysCalifornia to release theme-park reopening guidelinesU.S. Supreme Court to hold arguments by phone for new termA Carnival cruise ship spread the virus to the world
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California ‘Turning the Corner’ After Summer Surge (4:28 p.m. NY)
Governor Gavin Newsom said California is “turning the corner” in suppressing the coronavirus after a surge in summer infections. The state added 2,950 cases yesterday, compared with a seven-day average of 3,348, he said at a briefing. The rate of positive tests is stable at an “encouraging” level of 3.6%, he said.
“We’re reaching levels of transmission that are lower than we’ve seen in many months, but we still need to keep our guard up,” Mark Ghaly, California’s secretary of health and human services, said at the briefing. Newsom also warned that the state has yet to see the full effects of potential spread from gatherings during Labor Day weekend.
The most-populous state yesterday cleared three more counties -- Marin, Tehama and Inyo -- to move out of the most restrictive tier for businesses. With the outbreak improving, Newsom said that he will be making announcements “soon” about efforts to open theme parks and amusement areas.
Fines Approved for Failing to Boost Testing (4:05 p.m. NY)
Silicon Valley health-care providers can be fined up to $5,000 per violation per day for failing to increase coronavirus testing, Santa Clara County officials said Wednesday, putting a fire under a three-month-old order pushing for testing to reduce Covid-19 spread.
HCA Healthcare, Sutter’s Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, and Stanford are among the health systems subject to fines for noncompliance with Santa Clara County’s new order. Failing to provide a test within a calendar day for essential workers, including teachers, and for those exposed to a positive case, or failing to provide results within three calendar days costs $5,000 a day per violation, county Counsel James Williams told reporters.
The revised order “makes it really clear who needs to be tested and why,” said county Health Director Sara Cody said. “Testing should not be a barrier.” The order takes effect Sept. 25.
U.S. Cases Rise 0.4% (4 p.m. NY)
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 0.4% as compared with the same time Tuesday to 6.61 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was below the average daily gain of 0.6% over the past week. Deaths rose by 0.5% to 196,349.
Florida reported 671,201 cases, up 0.4% from a day earlier, in line with the average increase in the previous seven days. Deaths reached 12,939, an increase of 1.2%, or 152.Arizona reported 695 new virus cases, a 0.3% increase to 209,907 that was above the 0.2% average from the prior seven-day period. The state recorded 27 new Covid-19 deaths, pushing the statewide toll to 5,371.Montana experienced a 2% increase in the number of cases from the same time yesterday, bringing the total to 9,431, according to the data from Johns Hopkins and Bloomberg News.
Jersey Shore Parties Eyed in Infection Spike (3:30 p.m. NY)
New Jersey health officials warned of the novel coronavirus spreading among younger residents, citing a climbing rate of positive tests among those ages 14-24 and a massive gathering this week outside the home where MTV’s “Jersey Shore” was filmed.
Positivity among 14-to-18-year-olds has more than doubled, to 7% from 3% in August, Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said at a Trenton news conference. The increase was even greater among the 19-to-24 set, to 7.1% from 2.7%. Governor Phil Murphy said the latest figures are roughly three times higher than for the general population statewide.
Ireland Infections Spreading Exponentially (1:45 p.m. NY)
There are indications the coronavirus is spreading exponentially in Ireland, health ministry adviser Philip Nolan told reporters in Dublin, adding he was “more concerned” than any time since April. The country is now seeing about 54 cases per 100,000 of population versus three at the end of June, while hospitalizations are rising. The virus is now concentrated in Dublin, Nolan said. Ireland reported 254 more virus cases Wednesday, with three deaths.
Officials Cite Conflicting Vaccine Timetables (12:46 p.m. NY)
Top U.S. health officials offered conflicting estimates Wednesday of when Americans should expect coronavirus vaccines to be widely available, with one saying in an interview that every American could be able to get a shot by the end of March.
That timetable, offered by Paul Mango, deputy chief of staff for policy at the Department of Health and Human Services, is more ambitious than those of drug company executives, most public health experts and some other top U.S. health officials. It follows comments by President Donald Trump during a televised town hall event hosted by ABC News Tuesday that a vaccine could be approved in three or four weeks.
Illness Unlikely Linked to Shot, Oxford Says (11:37 a.m. NY)
Symptoms that prompted the University of Oxford and partner AstraZeneca Plc to pause trials evaluating their experimental coronavirus vaccine probably weren’t related to the shot itself, according to documents sent to participants.
Hungary Outbreak Seen Lasting Months (11:30 a.m. NY)
Hungary will strengthen social distancing rules to combat the spread of the coronavirus, whose current wave may only peak around December or January, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said. Orban reiterated the plan to keep the economy functioning in a Facebook video Wednesday, while tightening rules in the following areas:
Wearing masks will become obligatory in cinemas, theaters, health facilities and customer-facing offices, while existing mask regulations for public transport and shopping will be enforced more strictly.Entertainment venues such as bars to close by 11 p.m.Price of Covid tests to be capped at 19,500 forints ($64).Hungary to maintain restrictions on inbound travel.
Americans May Get Vaccine by April, HHS Official Says (11:06 a.m. NY)
Every American should be able to obtain a coronavirus vaccine by April, a senior Trump administration official said in an interview. The U.S. is likely to approve one or more vaccines in November or December, though October is possible, Paul Mango, deputy chief of staff for policy at the department of Health and Human Services, said Wednesday.
Florida Cases Rise Slightly (11:05 p.m. NY)
Florida reported 671,201 cases Wednesday, up 0.4% from a day earlier, in line with the average increase in the previous seven days. That’s a daily change of 2,355 cases, according to the health department report, which includes data through Tuesday. On a seven-day rolling basis, new cases totaled 19,053, the highest in a similar period since the Sept. 7 report.
Deaths among Florida residents reached 12,939, an increase of 1.2%, or 152. Deaths often trail infections by weeks, and generally take even longer to be reflected in the data.
U.S. Vaccines to Be Shipped Within 24 Hours of Approval (10:42 a.m. NY)
Preparations are underway to ensure that vaccines against Covid-19 will be shipped to administration sites within 24 hours of clearance by U.S. regulators, health officials said. Federal officials issued guidance to states Wednesday that are designed to speed the path of coronavirus shots to the population, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield said in a press conference.
Hundreds of thousands of doses of various candidates, funded by the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed program, have already been produced in hope that one or more will prove successful in the clinic. State officials have indicated that they want to make sure that the shots are fully tested and deemed safe and effective before they’re used widely.
Big Ten to Start Football Next Month (10:04 a.m. NY)
The Big Ten college football league said Wednesday it plans to start games the weekend of Oct. 23-24 after postponing the season in August due to virus safety concerns. The league will require student athletes, coaches, trainers and others who are on the field for practices and games to undergo daily antigen testing, according to a statement. Each school will also have a chief infection officer oversee collection and reporting of data.
Lilly Drug Shows Promise, Lifting Shares (7:21 a.m. NY)
Shares of U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly gained after an interim analysis of a mid-stage study found one of three doses of an experimental neutralizing antibody treatment tested against Covid-19 was able to lower the viral load in patients. The therapy, called LY-CoV555, was also able to cut the rate at which infected patients were hospitalized.
British Airways Says 10,000 Jobs May Be Lost (6:07 a.m. NY)
British Airways, the flagship U.K. carrier expecting to cut as many as 10,000 jobs, has seen 7,200 people leave as of last Friday, Chief Executive Officer Alex Cruz told lawmakers in London. The company remains in discussions with some labor groups, he said, and has rowed back on a plan to fire and rehire staff on new contracts.
The pandemic has reversed decades of growth in the aviation industry, shutting down flights and triggering a slump that could see traffic diminished for years.
Russia to Sell Sputnik V Vaccine to India (6 a.m. NY)
Russia agreed to sell 100 million doses of its Sputnik V vaccine to India.
Russia’s sovereign wealth fund will cooperate with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, a local drugmaker, on clinical trials and distribution of the vaccine, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
Iran Reports Surge in Cases (5:56 a.m. NY)
Iran recorded its biggest jump in cases since June 4 with 2,981 new infections in the past 24 hours. The number of fatalities rose by 179 overnight, up from 140 a day earlier.
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