Pfizer has told the Trump administration it cannot provide substantial additional doses of its coronavirus vaccine until late June or July because other countries have rushed to buy up most of its supply, according to multiple individuals familiar with the situation.
That means the U.S. government may not be able to ramp up as rapidly as it had expected from the 100 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine that it purchased earlier this year, raising questions about whether it can keep to its aggressive schedule to vaccinate most Americans by late spring or early summer.
Trump administration officials denied there would be availability issues in the second quarter, citing other vaccines in the pipeline — most immediately, Moderna’s, also expected to be approved in coming weeks. Both vaccines are two-dose regimens, so the 100 million doses purchased of each would cover 50 million people each. […]
But several officials knowledgeable about the contracts said that supplies from other companies may be insufficient to fill the gap.
Last summer, Pfizer officials had urged Operation Warp Speed to purchase 200 million doses, or enough of the two-shot regimen for 100 million people, according to people knowledgeable about the issue who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the situation. But the Warp Speed officials declined, opting instead for 100 million doses, they said. The New York Times first reported that federal officials passed on the opportunity when Pfizer offered to sell more doses.
When the St. Clair County Health Department shut down Reifschneider’s Grill & Grape in Freeburg last week for violating a statewide ban on indoor dining, its other location less than 20 miles away in Monroe County remained open.
The reason? The two counties — one controlled by Democrats and the other by Republicans — have different approaches to enforcing COVID-19 restrictions.
In a crackdown last week, Democratic-led St. Clair County yanked liquor and food licenses for seven bars and restaurants that still welcomed customers indoors. Monroe County, under GOP control, relies solely on education. It has not closed or suspended any businesses. […]
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has put the onus on local officials to carry out his executive orders. But just as COVID-19 is politically polarizing at the national level, questions about enforcement are enmeshed in local politics.
In the past week, Indiana has the nation’s second highest per capita COVID-19 spread, after Rhode Island, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That trend appears to show the state’s outlook is getting worse, even as cases and hospitalization rates hit all-time highs recently.
The CDC reported Indiana had 48,000 new coronavirus cases reported in the past week, or 103.1 per 100,000. Rhode Island, reported 8,100 new cases, or 110.6 per 100,000.
Indiana reported 124 new virus deaths Tuesday
Indiana has about half the population of Illinois and just as many or even more deaths. Whew.
* WICS TV…
New guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is offering new hope to families with loved ones in long-term care.
IDPH announced an essential caregiver position in these facilities for the first time after months of deliberation.
Family members can go through testing protocols and enter facilities to take care of their loved ones as long as there isn’t an ongoing outbreak.
In a guidance document, IDPH specifies the essential caregivers “must be screened, tested, and provided PPE in accordance with the health care personnel guidance in the facility’s COVID-19 plan.”
* Chicago Tribune live blog headlines…
Chicago alderman’s Ann Sather restaurant facing possible $10K fine for indoor dining violation
Mexican restaurants pivot to COVID-19 test sites to increase access for communities in need
AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine about 70% effective, new results show, but questions remain about protection for those over 55
US regulators post positive review of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine data
Funeral Tuesday for Chicago cop who died in November, as medical examiner rules death was from COVID-19
U. of C. study highlights child care barriers in Chicago’s Latino communities.
* Sun-Times live blog headlines…
Pritzker anticipates ‘surge on top of a surge’ of COVID cases during holiday season
U.S. productivity increased at 4.6% rate in third quarter
7-year-old raises money for Lurie Children’s Hospital’s pandemic gear
Autopsy confirms CPD officer died of COVID-19 at his South Side home
Distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine: Let’s stop inequality before it happens. Again.
* NBC Chicago live blog headlines…
COVID-19 by the Numbers: Coronavirus Metrics From Each of Illinois’ Healthcare Regions
Arlington Heights School Board Votes to Keep Students on Hybrid-Learning Plan
Pritzker Says Next 4 Weeks Could Be ‘Most Crucial Month’ of Entire Coronavirus Pandemic
‘It’s Likely Too Early’ to See Full Impact of Thanksgiving on COVID-19 Metrics, Pritzker Says
Director of LaSalle Veterans’ Home Terminated, Nursing Director Placed on Leave Amid COVID-19 Outbreak