This is an email from Your Coronavirus Update, a newsletter by Medium Coronavirus Blog.
Health care expert Andy Slavitt, a regular Blog contributor, will be headed to the White House to serve as a senior advisor on Covid-19. Slavitt spends his days talking to the top health and science experts about Covid-19 and distills those findings for his followers. Right now, he’s hopeful that with vaccines and new leadership, the U.S. can finally get control of the virus.
“2021 can be an extraordinary year if we make it so,” he writes. “Little by little, step by step, it’s time we defeat this. With better leadership, the country will have an opportunity to decide how quickly and how aggressively to support progress.”
It’s a hopeful message. The kind of message that you’ll want to bookmark and revisit whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. Read it here.
Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog
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A quick vaccine update
The U.S. government tells states to vaccinate people 65 and older: As my colleague Yasmin Tayag reports, to speed up vaccination, the Trump administration on Tuesday ordered all states to start vaccinating people 65 and older. Many have embraced this as a welcome change, as the previous allocation guidelines led many vaccine doses to go to waste. However, the Washington Post also reports that although the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said it would be releasing Covid-19 vaccine doses held in reserve for second shots, no reserve of vaccines actually exist.
Pfizer says its vaccine works against the new variant: As worrying new variants of the coronavirus spread, many have raised concerns that the available vaccines will not confer protection against them. A welcome bit of good news comes from Pfizer, which on January 8 said that its vaccine protects against a key mutation found in the variant known as B.1.1.7, or U.K. variant.