January 9 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Brett McKeehan and Kara Fox, CNN

Updated 12:24 AM ET, Sun January 10, 2021
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3:44 p.m. ET, January 9, 2021

More than two million new US Covid-19 cases and 24,000 deaths in 2021

From CNN's Chuck Johnston and Hollie Silverman

More than two million new Covid-19 cases and 24,000 deaths have been reported in the first nine days of 2021 in the US, according to the Johns Hopkins University Covid tracker.

As of 3 p.m. ET Saturday, a total of 2,003,618 new Covid-19 cases had been reported in January.

An additional 24,260 deaths have also been reported.

Since the start of the pandemic there have been at least 21,978,182 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 370,119 people have died in the country.

So far today, Johns Hopkins University has reported 115,409 new cases and 1,346 new deaths.

CNN is tracking Covid-19 cases and deaths in the US here:

4:10 p.m. ET, January 9, 2021

Houston to administer 3,600 vaccines at Minute Maid Park site on Saturday 

From CNN's Melissa Alonso 

A dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine is administered to a staff member at the Ararat Nursing Facility in the Mission Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles on January 7, in Los Angeles.
A dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine is administered to a staff member at the Ararat Nursing Facility in the Mission Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles on January 7, in Los Angeles. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Houston health officials expect to inoculate about 3,600 people at one location on Saturday, triple what the city has done "on any given day," said Mayor Sylvester Turner.

The Houston Health Department partnered with the Astros Foundation to operate Minute Maid Park as a Covid-19 vaccination site on Saturday after the department’s Bayou City Event Center clinic closed for "an unrelated weekend event," said a health department statement.  

The Minute Maid Park site is open only to people who already had scheduled appointed at the Bayou City Event Center, the statement said. 

"We are going to be able to do up to about 3600 today, which will be significantly more than we have done", Mayor Turner said.

The city's health department opened up approximately 1,000 additional appointments for Saturday's vaccination clinic and in about 20 minutes the slots were booked, Turner said. 

The new appointments were made available because of an additional 1,000 doses of vaccine delivered to the health department on Friday.

"That was unexpected in terms of the timing, we expected it to come in next week," Turner said. 

"We've already seen 727 people, which is more than we see in a day at the Bayou Center," said Stephen Williams, Director for the Houston Health Department. 

Vaccines will be administered to 1A and 1B groups which include health workers, residents over 65 years old and people 16 years of age and older with comorbidities, Turner said. 

4:24 p.m. ET, January 9, 2021

Biden making an “unnecessary bet” by planning to release all available Covid-19 vaccine doses, says FDA vaccine adviser

From CNN Health’s Lauren Mascarenhas

Courtney Senechal unpacks Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for use at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center in Boston, Massachusetts on December 24, 2020.
Courtney Senechal unpacks Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for use at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center in Boston, Massachusetts on December 24, 2020. Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is making an “unnecessary bet” by planning to release all available Covid-19 vaccine doses immediately, Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, said Friday.

Both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines require two doses 21 and 28 days apart, respectively. Second doses are currently on hold by the federal government and released according to the vaccine schedule for people to complete their two dose regimen.

Biden will aim to release every available dose of the coronavirus vaccine when he takes office, but it’s unclear whether this plan can guarantee the on-time administration of second doses.

Concerns over second shot: “I think what the Biden plan is doing is, they're making a big bet, and I think an unnecessary bet,” Offit said Friday in an interview on PBS News Hour. 

“What they're saying is, ‘I'm going to put all the first doses out there,’” Offit said. “Now, they're assuming that they're going to be able to mass-produce, mass-distribute and mass-administer that second dose in a timely manner.” 

Offit said he’s worried that people may receive their second dose late – or not at all.

Both vaccines have shown to provide between 50-80% efficacy in the weeks following the first dose. But Offit warned “That was just for a few weeks. That's when you have just gotten the vaccine and you have an immune response. You don't know whether that's also true for two months later, three months later. It's probably not true."

With two doses administered both vaccines have been shown to be over 94% effective.

“We know that that second dose is critical to inducing an excellent immune response and likely a longer-lasting immune response,” he said. “I think putting it all out there initially and hoping you can get that second dose in time – I think disrupts the program and may do far more harm than good.”

The FDA has said it does not plan to make changes to Covid-19 vaccine dosing regimens.

3:31 p.m. ET, January 9, 2021

With ICUs filled, Los Angeles doctor says the holiday Covid-19 surge has yet to arrive

From CNN Health’s Lauren Mascarenhas

After administering oxygen, County of Los Angeles paramedics load a potential Covid-19 patient in the ambulance before transporting him to a hospital in Hawthorne, California on December 29, 2020.
After administering oxygen, County of Los Angeles paramedics load a potential Covid-19 patient in the ambulance before transporting him to a hospital in Hawthorne, California on December 29, 2020. Apu Gomes/AFP/Getty Images

According to Dr. Anish Mahajan, chief medical officer at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, intensive care units in the Los Angeles area already filled even before the expected Covid-19 surge after the holidays.

“It takes two to three weeks for patients to get sick enough to need the hospital after they've gotten the virus, and Christmas was only two weeks ago, and we're already full,” Mahajan told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield Saturday on CNN Newsroom.

Mahajan said the situation in Southern California is dire, citing historic numbers of hospitalized Covid patients.

Los Angeles County deaths surge: The number of people dying of Covid-19 in Los Angeles County in a day is now equivalent to the number of homicide deaths the city saw in an entire year, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday.

"Yesterday we had 259 deaths, that's one more than all the homicides in 2019 in L.A. city combined," he said at a Thursday new conference. "In a single day, equal to a year of homicides."

Los Angeles County reported 318 Covid-19 related deaths on Friday, the most ever in a single day. Nearly 12,000 L.A. County residents have died from the virus in the past year.

“We don't have any more ICU capacity,” Mahajan told CNN. “All of the hospitals in the region are putting ICU patients in unusual places in the hospital just to find room for them.”

The prospect of what might unfold over the next seven to 10 days is “extremely worrying” for hospital staff, Mahajan added.

2:54 p.m. ET, January 9, 2021

Jordan to start Covid-19 vaccination program next week

From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq

Empty bottles of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in a at the Emile Muller hospital in Mulhouse, eastern France, on January 8.
Empty bottles of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in a at the Emile Muller hospital in Mulhouse, eastern France, on January 8. Sebastien Bozon/AFP/Getty Images

Jordan will start its Covid-19 vaccination program on Wednesday, according to a statement from the country's government.

"The Minister of Health, Dr. Natheer Obeidat, announced the start of the national vaccination program against coronavirus on Wednesday morning, with the arrival of the first quantities of the Sinopharm vaccine at midnight "Saturday" and the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine on Monday night," the statement read.

The program, which takes into account "priorities adopted globally," will target the most affected groups, including the elderly who suffer from chronic diseases, and the most vulnerable groups represented by medical and health personnel, the statement read.

Jordan has 305,959 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 4,009 Covid-19-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

3:17 p.m. ET, January 9, 2021

Pfizer “ready to release millions of doses each day” in response to Biden proposal, says spokeswoman

From CNN Health’s Amanda Sealy

A syringe to be used for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to be given to French firefighters on January 8, in Avignon, France.
A syringe to be used for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to be given to French firefighters on January 8, in Avignon, France. Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images

Pfizer is "ready to release millions of doses each day" to meet the plans of the incoming Biden administration, a spokeswoman for the company has said.

"Rest assured that Pfizer is working around the clock to manufacture and is ready to release millions of doses each day, ” said Amy Rose, Vice President of Global Media Relations for Pfizer.

Her comments came in response to whether the company would be ready to meet the demand of the incoming Biden administration’s plan to release all doses of coronavirus vaccines right away.

President-elect Joe Biden will aim to release every available dose of the coronavirus vaccine when he takes office, a break with the Trump administration's strategy of holding back half of US vaccine production to ensure second doses are available. 

The vaccine is given as two doses 21 days apart.

Pfizer’s current contract with the federal government is to supply the US with 200 million doses.

"Pfizer is confident in our ability to deliver 200 million doses of our vaccine to the U.S. government by July 31st. We are committed to collaborating with the Biden Administration on common-sense solutions to the challenges in vaccine distribution so that as many Americans as possible have access to our vaccine as quickly as possible," the company said in a statement on Friday.

The company says it produced 50 million doses last year with 20 million going to the US and began producing those doses in late October.

2:39 p.m. ET, January 9, 2021

At least 21,959,850 Covid-19 cases in US; at least 370,082 reported deaths

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

A nurse wearing personal protective equipment works in a Covid-19 intensive care unit at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital on January 6, in the Willowbrook neighborhood of Los Angeles.
A nurse wearing personal protective equipment works in a Covid-19 intensive care unit at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital on January 6, in the Willowbrook neighborhood of Los Angeles. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

There have been at least 21,959,850 cases of coronavirus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University's (JHU) tally of cases, and at least 370,082 people have died from coronavirus.  

So far today, JHU has reported 97,077 new cases and 1,309 new deaths.  

Friday saw the second highest number of new Covid-19 cases reported in the US in a single day, according to JHU data. The top five days for new cases were:

  1. January 2, 2021: 301,858
  2. January 8, 2021: 283,204
  3. January 7, 2021: 280,229
  4. January 6, 2021: 249,735
  5. December 18, 2020: 249,524

At least 22,137,350 vaccine doses have been distributed and at least 6,688,231 doses of the vaccine have been administered, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.  

CNN is tracking Covid-19 cases and deaths here:

2:22 p.m. ET, January 9, 2021

How Florida is failing its most vulnerable seniors with Covid-19 vaccine rollout

From CNN's Rosa Flores and Denise Royal in Miami

A healthcare worker administers a Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine at the John Knox Village Continuing Care Retirement Community on January 6, in Pompano Beach, Florida.
A healthcare worker administers a Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine at the John Knox Village Continuing Care Retirement Community on January 6, in Pompano Beach, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Wendy Walsh has gone from frustrated to angry about the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine in Florida. She wants her mom protected, fearing that if the 92-year-old gets the virus, it's essentially a death sentence.

It's like a ticking time bomb -- you're just waiting," Walsh told CNN.

Her mom, Marie Schreiner, lives in an assisted living facility in the Tampa area that recently went into lockdown because of a Covid-19 case. Walsh says she has made hundreds of phone calls to government agencies seeking information about how to get the vaccine but has gotten nowhere.

Like thousands of Floridians desperate for the lifesaving shot for themselves or an elderly loved one, she is left wondering who is in charge and why some of the most vulnerable are still waiting. Florida has recorded more than 1.4 million cases of coronavirus and more than 22,000 deaths since the pandemic began, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. State data shows about 83% of deaths were of people 65 or older.

The Covid-19 vaccine distribution in Florida started out smoothly four weeks ago, with frontline healthcare workers getting the first shots. A week later, seniors living in long-term care facilities began getting the vaccine. That's when Walsh thought her mom would get one.

Read the full story.

2:03 p.m. ET, January 9, 2021

CDC working to confirm disinfectants are effective against new Covid-19 variants

From CNN Health’s Lauren Mascarenhas

A man sprays disinfectant on seats inside a waiting room at Mo Chit Bus Terminal in Bangkok on January 6.
A man sprays disinfectant on seats inside a waiting room at Mo Chit Bus Terminal in Bangkok on January 6. Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/Getty Images

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working to confirm certain disinfectants are effective against new Covid-19 variants, according to a statement on the CDC website.

In a collaboration with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the CDC is looking into whether the disinfectants designated by the EPA for use against Covid-19 still work against new variants of the virus, like those first identified in the UK and South Africa.

The CDC says it will provide updates as new information becomes available.