June 9 coronavirus news

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, Mike Hayes and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:03 PM ET, Wed June 9, 2021
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11:09 a.m. ET, June 9, 2021

J&J says its working to extend the shelf-life of its Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas and Lauren Mascarenhas

An Army nurse holds a vial of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine in Orlando.
An Army nurse holds a vial of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine in Orlando. Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Speaking during the Wall Street Journal Tech Health event on Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky said the company is working to ensure its vaccines can be used and deployed effectively.

“We’re working very hard, both at the federal level at the local level, to do everything we can to make sure that these vaccines can be used and deployed in the very best possible way,” Gorsky said. 

He said that he was proud of the progress in vaccinating Americans. 

“We still have work to do, there’s still education and there’s still information that needs to take place,” he said.

“It’s going to take more effort. I think we’re finding out now, the good news was we got a lot of vaccines out to meet this initial surge in demand and now making sure we get the very best possible deployment and allocation and the distribution system gets even more agile, more flexible, not only here in the United States, between states, but in fact around the world will be work that we need to continue to stay focused on in the weeks and months ahead.”

Gorsky's comments follow a statement the company released yesterday, saying it is working to extend the shelf-life of its Covid-19 vaccine, amid reports that doses may expire before they are used in the US.

“We continue to work with the U.S. government and health authorities to support the use of our vaccine, which continues to play an important role, including among those who wish to be fully vaccinated with one shot,” Johnson & Johnson told CNN in a statement Tuesday. “We also continue to conduct stability testing with the goal of extending the amount of time our COVID-19 vaccine can be stored before expiry.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in a new release Tuesday that 200,000 doses of the state’s J&J vaccine are set to expire before the end of the month, and the state is unable to share the doses with other states or countries.

Of the 21.4 million J&J doses delivered in the US, about 11 million have been administered, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The J&J vaccine can currently be stored for up to three months at refrigerator temperatures.

11:37 a.m. ET, June 9, 2021

J&J CEO confident Emergent Biosolutions will be authorized to produce their Covid-19 vaccine soon

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, on June 9.
Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, on June 9. Wall Street Journal Tech Health

Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, said it would be inappropriate to speculate on when Emergent Biosolutions will be authorized to manufacture the company’s Covid-19 vaccine, but he is confident it will happen soon.

“We’re actively working with regulators as we speak. I think that we’ve had a great partnership with them throughout this process and it would be inappropriate for me to speculate” on pinpointing a date or time, Gorsky said during the Wall Street Journal Tech Health Event on Wednesday. He added that he was “confident that we will be able to get that status in the near future.” 

Testifying before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus crisis last month, Emergent CEO Bob Kramer said the he expected the plant to resume production of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine drug substance “within a matter of days.” 

Some background: Emergent stopped manufacturing the vaccine substance after an inspection found there was cross contamination between the J&J vaccine and the AstraZeneca vaccine the facility was making at the same time. Emergent has since stopped making the AstraZeneca vaccine substance at its Baltimore facility.

The FDA had also been evaluating over 100 million doses of the J&J vaccine Emergent manufactured, which be made available to the public if production is authorized. 

11:04 a.m. ET, June 9, 2021

Olympic athletes will likely be subject to tracking upon arrival in Japan

From CNN's Selina Wang and Junko Ogura in Tokyo

The Olympic rings are displayed by the Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo on June 3.
The Olympic rings are displayed by the Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo on June 3. Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

All athletes and support staff traveling to Japan for the Summer Games are likely to be subject to disclose their movements through GPS data on their phones, if required, Japan’s Olympic officials said.

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said all stakeholders traveling into the country for the Games would be subject to tracking after being repeatedly asked by journalist about the matter.  

Muto conceded this would likely include athletes, but said they would come back with a firm answer. 

Earlier in the week, Tokyo 2020 officials disclosed that foreign media traveling into the country would be subject to disclosing their movements through phone GPS data and would have to disclose their intended itineraries in advance to try and stem interaction with the general public. Game organizers said Wednesday that real time surveillance would require significant man power and it would be mainly used if there was a case confirmed from Games.

The Games are set to begin next month, but Japan is currently battling a fourth wave of coronavirus infections and a state of emergency in Tokyo and other prefectures remains in place until the end of June.

In recent weeks there is mounting pressure from health experts, business leaders and the Japanese public to call off the Games. At least one International Olympic Committee member said he believes the Olympic Games will go ahead this year and says the option of canceling the event is "essentially off the table."

9:36 a.m. ET, June 9, 2021

About half of US states have scaled back daily Covid-19 data reporting

From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

About half of US states have stopped providing daily updates on key Covid-19 metrics, including new cases, deaths and hospitalizations, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

Most of those states have scaled back to five updates each week, but Alabama and Kansas have dropped down to three times a week and Florida to only once a week. 

“Real-time public health data is the most powerful weapon against a pandemic,” Beth Blauer, executive director of the Johns Hopkins University Centers for Civic Impact, wrote in a blog post published Monday. 

“Maintaining daily reporting will be necessary to ongoing virus tracking efforts and mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes state rollback of data reporting extremely concerning," the post continued.

Florida’s new weekly reports, which took effect this week, are also scaled back in terms of the information they provide. Testing information, for example, is no longer available. 

A note on Alabama’s Covid-19 data dashboard says that the less frequent updates follow decreases in cases, deaths and hospitalizations. 

But JHU’s Blauer says that daily data reporting allows for a clearer view of where things stand and more timely response to shifting trends. 

“The rollback of reporting frequency indicates that many states do not see this past year of investment in data infrastructure and public data reporting as a permanent fixture,” Blauer wrote. 

9:34 a.m. ET, June 9, 2021

CDC issues new travel advice for more than 120 countries

From CNN's Ryan Prior

People in Singapore relax on a breakwater with the Marina Bay Sands in the background on June 6.
People in Singapore relax on a breakwater with the Marina Bay Sands in the background on June 6. Joseph Nair/NurPhoto/Getty Images

As more people get vaccinated the spread of Covid-19 becomes more controlled, public health officials are issuing new travel advice for more than 120 countries.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its international travel guidance on Monday to give specific advice for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

The update includes moving 33 countries, including Iceland, Israel and Singapore, into the lowest risk category. 

The CDC's Covid-19 revised Travel Health Notice guidelines also seek to "better differentiate countries with severe outbreak situations" from countries in which Covid-19 is "sustained, but controlled."

The CDC’s threat levels are determined by the number of Covid-19 cases in a given country. At each level, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated, but its guidance for unvaccinated people varies by how severe the pandemic is in each country. 

  • The CDC recommends avoiding travel to countries at level 4, the highest threat level, which have more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the last 28 days. They include nations such as Brazil, India and Iraq.
  • For countries at level 3, such as Mexico, Russia, and Iran, the CDC recommends against nonessential travel for that those who are unvaccinated. These are currently reporting 100 to 500 cases per 100,000 residents.
  • At level 2, the agency recommends that unvaccinated travelers who are at severe risk for severe illness from Covid-19 should avoid visiting. These nations, such as Finland, Cambodia and Kenya, are currently reporting 50-99 cases per 100,000. 
  • Finally, countries at level 1, such as Australia and New Zealand, are considered the lowest risk destinations, and have reported less than 50 Covid-19 cases in the last 28 days. The CDC still recommends getting vaccinated before traveling to a low-risk location.
10:01 a.m. ET, June 9, 2021

Half of those 12 and older in the US now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, CDC says

From CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas

A health care worker administers a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to a child in Bingham Farms, Michigan, on May 19.
A health care worker administers a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to a child in Bingham Farms, Michigan, on May 19. Emily Elconin/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Less than a month after the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine was authorized for use in people as young as 12 years in the US, half of those 12 and older have now been fully vaccinated, according to data published Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

The CDC reported that 303,923,667 doses have now been administered, 81.7% of the 372,100,285 doses delivered. That’s 1,071,750 more doses reported administered since Monday, for a seven-day average of more than 1 million doses per day. 

The data shows that 140,411,378 people ­– about 50.1% of the eligible population of those 12 and older in the US – are now fully vaccinated. 

More than 171 million people ­– about 51.7% of the total US population – have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose and more than 141 million people – 42.3% of the population – are fully vaccinated.

Remember: Data published by the CDC may be delayed, and doses may not have been administered on the day reported.