This is an email from Your Coronavirus Update, a newsletter by Medium Coronavirus Blog.

The Latest: How Covid-19 infects the brain

Dear Reader,

Yesterday evening, a panel advising the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted in favor of a recommendation that the first people to get a Covid-19 vaccine be health care workers at high risk of Covid-19 infection and people living in long-term care facilities.

READ: 15 Reasons Why I Will Get a Covid-19 Vaccine

The director of the CDC will decide this week whether to accept the recommendation. States are not required to follow it, but typically they do.

As the New York Times reports, there are 3 million people living in long-term care facilities, and 39% of deaths from the virus have occurred in these facilities. There are also 21 million health workers, and states will have to decide who qualifies to get vaccinated first. Pfizer and Moderna estimate that they currently have enough doses to vaccinate 22.5 million Americans by the end of the year. Making sure the vaccine is effectively distributed will be a critical part of combatting Covid-19.

Scientists are also continuing to amass new research on the virus that causes Covid-19, including how it might infect the brain and cause a range of symptoms. You can read about that here. 🧠

  • Case count: There are over 13.7 million confirmed cases in the U.S. and over 63.9 million confirmed cases worldwide. So far, over 270,669 Americans have died from Covid-19.
  • The U.K. approves Pfizer coronavirus vaccine: Britain became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. According to a statement from the U.K. government, the vaccine will be made available across the country starting next week. A vaccine committee will now decide which priority groups will get the shot first.
  • Moderna to request emergency authorization from the FDA: The biotechnology company announced it would file for regulatory clearance on Monday. According to Moderna’s chief executive, the first injections may be given as early as December 21 if the process goes smoothly and approval is granted.

Follow our Medium Coronavirus Blog for regular updates, and read some of the essential stories we’ve curated below.

Be well,

Alexandra Sifferlin
Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog

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Health and science journalist. Former editor of Medium’s Covid-19 Blog and deputy editor at Elemental. TIME Magazine writer before that