Biden’s Covid vaccine push crashes into reality

Link: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/07/07/biden-covid-vaccine-push-498479

Excerpt:

After falling short of its goal of administering at least one dose of the vaccine to 70 percent of adults by July 4th (it reached 67 percent) the White House is now turning its attention to the toughest populations in the country. That includes places like barber shops in Englewood, which are part of the “Shots at the Shops” effort by the White House. It’s also sending “surge teams” to some of the lowest vaccinated spots in the country, enlisting trusted messengers like church leaders to go door-to-door. And they’ll add mobile vaccination units at places like music festivals, sporting events or neighborhoods with low vaccination rates.

…..

It’s all in an effort to target the stubbornly resistant, or hard-to-reach populations as fear grows that the virus could reemerge thanks to the highly contagious Delta variant.

Much of the coverage of those populations has focused on Trump supporters who have resisted vaccination as a matter of political identity. And data show that vaccination rates do tend to overlap with partisan leanings. But there are other hard-to-reach communities, including young people, Black and minority groups that traditionally vote Democratic.

Author(s): Natasha Korecki

Publication Date: 7 July 2021

Publication Site: Politico

China admits its vaccines aren’t very good

Link: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/04/11/china-covid-vaccines-480802

Excerpt:

In a rare admission of the weakness of Chinese coronavirus vaccines, the country’s top disease control official says their effectiveness is low and the government is considering mixing them to get a boost.

Chinese vaccines “don’t have very high protection rates,” said the director of the China Centers for Disease Control, Gao Fu, at a conference Saturday in the southwestern city of Chengdu.

Author(s): Associated Press

Publication Date: 11 April 2021

Publication Site: Politico

The big hole in America’s plan to fight Covid-19 variants

Link: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/04/07/covid-variants-drug-manufacturing-479902

Excerpt:

Vaccine makers like Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson coped with intense global demand for their original shots by manufacturing millions of doses while the vaccines were still in clinical trials. But that is not an option now, because the companies are still racing to fulfill orders for their existing Covid-19 vaccines — and some, including Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, are struggling with major production setbacks. Pumping out second-generation shots would require factories to switch over manufacturing lines now used for the first wave of vaccines, and in some cases fire up new production processes.

The potential manufacturing gap is the latest challenge to President Joe Biden’s promise to bring the pandemic to a close. South Africa has already rejected AstraZeneca’s vaccine because an early trial showed it wasn’t effective against the B.1.351 strain that dominates there and has now reached the United States. Another variant spreading in America — P.1, first found in Brazil — has raised similar concerns about its ability to evade some of the vaccines now in use globally. Biden administration officials are working overtime to understand how the variants’ spread could alter vaccination strategies. But the lack of manufacturing capacity is limiting America’s options.

Author(s): SARAH OWERMOHLE

Publication Date: 7 April 2021

Publication Site: Politico

Facebook political ad ban blocks pro-vaccine messages

Link: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/02/21/facebook-ad-pro-vaccine-ban-470304?mc_cid=ca5c411eb5&mc_eid=983bcf5922

Excerpt:

Facebook’s efforts to police online ads for vaccine misinformation are unintentionally blocking messages from cities, health care providers and community and faith-based groups promoting Covid shots.

Paid-for messages from at least 110 groups aimed at raising awareness of how the vaccines work or where to get inoculated were flagged and sent to Facebook’s register of political messages, a POLITICO review of barred ads dating from last September shows.

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Facebook acknowledged that it’s misidentified some ads and said it was restoring two — from the Centers for Disease Control and the Forsyth County, N.C. department of public health — to the ad rotation.

Author(s): DARIUS TAHIR

Publication Date: 21 February 2021

Publication Site: Politico

Coverup claims engulf Cuomo as scandal over nursing home deaths grows

Link: https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2021/02/12/coverup-claims-engulf-cuomo-as-scandal-over-nursing-home-deaths-grows-1363353

Excerpt:

The administration’s handling of nursing homes is now a full-blown scandal — a stunning reversal for Cuomo, whose early handling of the pandemic and high-profile daily press briefings earned him soaring approval ratings, an Emmy and a book deal.

Now, many fellow Democrats want to write an epilogue.

As Cuomo headed to Washington Friday to meet with President Joe Biden on pandemic response, at least 14 Democrats from the left flank of the state Legislature called for a repeal of the governor’s emergency powers — enacted nearly 11 months ago — that have given him nearly unilateral authority during the pandemic. And momentum appears to be growing in the Legislature to exert more oversight.

Author(s): SHANNON YOUNG and ANNA GRONEWOLD

Publication Date: 12 February 2021

Publication Site: Politico