January 14 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Florence Davey-Attlee, Ed Upright and Hira Humayun, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, January 15, 2021
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4:18 p.m. ET, January 14, 2021

NIH: Not enough data to say whether ivermectin can help patients with coronavirus

From CNN Health’s Maggie Fox

There’s not enough data to say whether an antiparasitic drug called ivermectin can help patients with coronavirus, the National Institutes of Health said Thursday.

A few doctors have heavily promoted the drug, but most mainstream medical professionals have been cautious about its use. Because there’s no cheap drug on the market specifically designed and approved to fight coronavirus, doctors have been trying out existing drugs.

There is reason to experiment with ivermectin, NIH said.

“Ivermectin has been shown to inhibit the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture. However, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies suggest that ivermectin doses up to 100-fold higher than those approved for use in humans would be required to achieve the plasma concentrations necessary to duplicate the drug’s antiviral efficacy in vitro (in a test tube),” it said in a statement posted Thursday.

The drug "demonstrates potential anti-inflammatory properties in some in vitro studies, properties which have been postulated to be beneficial in the treatment of COVID-19," the statement also said.

But so far, no one has shown it helps actual patients.

“Results from adequately powered, well-designed, and well-conducted clinical trials are needed to provide more specific, evidence-based guidance on the role of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19,” it concluded.

4:27 p.m. ET, January 14, 2021

West Virginia leads the nation in terms of first Covid-19 vaccine doses administered per capita

From CNN’s Deidre McPhillips

CNN
CNN

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice credited a “practical” approach to vaccine rollout, as well as a break from the federal model, in his state’s success in administering vaccine doses.

He said that as of Monday, every vaccine dose the state received had been administered, or was assigned to be administered to an individual in the next day or so.

“We’ve absolutely not gone with the federal model,” Justice told CNN’s John King on Thursday. Instead of utilizing chain drug stores to administer the vaccine, the governor said they’ve relied on partnerships with local pharmacies as well as their state health department and national guard to get the job done.

West Virginia’s “practical approach” also prioritizes vaccinating older residents, through a program called Operation S.O.W., for “save our wisdom.”

West Virginia leads the nation in terms of first doses administered per capita, according to data published by the CDC on Thursday. More than 6,600 first doses have been administered per 100,000 residents – nearly double the national rate.

“It’s as simple as mud. If you can get shots in arms, you’re going to save lives,” Justice said. “We don’t need to sit around trying to develop systems or meeting with committees or whatever. We needed to act. We needed to move.”
4:10 p.m. ET, January 14, 2021

Instacart to offer $25 stipend for workers to take time off and get vaccinated

From CNN's Sara O'Brien and Shannon Liao

Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg/Getty Images/FILE
Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg/Getty Images/FILE

Instacart, the on-demand grocery delivery platform, said it will provide some financial assistance for its essential workers to ensure they can take time off work to get a vaccine for the coronavirus.

The company said Thursday that beginning February 1, it will have a “vaccine support stipend” of $25 available for in-store employees and its independent contractors who have been vaccinated. To be eligible, its independent shoppers must have shopped and delivered at least five batches for the company in the past 30 days.

“Our goal with the introduction of our new Vaccine Support Stipend is to ensure that, when the time comes, Instacart shoppers don’t have to choose between earning income as an essential service provider or getting vaccinated,” said Apoorva Mehta, founder and CEO of Instacart in a statement.

Read more here.

3:47 p.m. ET, January 14, 2021

More than 11 million people in the US have gotten their first Covid-19 shot

From CNN's Michael Nedelman

People line up in their cars to receive their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a drive-thru vaccination event for residents 65 and older at Dewey O. Boster Park and Sports Complex on January 7,  in Deltona, Florida.
People line up in their cars to receive their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a drive-thru vaccination event for residents 65 and older at Dewey O. Boster Park and Sports Complex on January 7, in Deltona, Florida. Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Just over 11 million people have received their first coronavirus shots, and more than 30 million doses of vaccine have been distributed, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

However, the US is still lagging far behind its target of having vaccinated 20 million people by the end of 2020.

The Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed announced changes Tuesday aimed at speeding up the vaccine administration process, including the release of more doses of vaccine and urging states to vaccinate anyone 65 and older, and younger people with chronic conditions that might make them more vulnerable to severe disease.

8:43 p.m. ET, January 14, 2021

Refugees in Jordan start receiving Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN's Jomana Karadsheh, Kareem Khadder and Mohammed Tawfeeq

Jordan has started giving Covid-19 vaccines to refugees free of charge, making it one of the world’s first countries to start providing vaccinations to United Nations registered refugees, according to a UNHCR statement on Thursday. 

"As part of the national COVID-19 vaccination plan which started this week, anyone living on Jordanian soil, including refugees and asylum seekers, is entitled to receive the vaccine free of charge," the United Nations Refugee Agency said in its statement. 

 Jordan is host to a large refugee population including Palestinians, Syrians and Iraqis. There are 1.3 million Syrians refugees in the Kingdom according to the government, with more than 655 thousand registered with the UNHCR.  

Since the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in the refugee camps, nearly 2,000 camp residents have tested positive for the virus. 

The country received its first shipment of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine on Monday, two days after receiving their first batch of China’s Sinopharm vaccine. 

1:49 p.m. ET, January 14, 2021

French 6pm curfew extended nationally

From CNN's Barbara Wojazer in Paris

A picture taken on January 10, shows the deserted Place Kleber in Strasbourg, France, as a new curfew is in effect at 6 pm to fight against the spread of the new coronavirus.
A picture taken on January 10, shows the deserted Place Kleber in Strasbourg, France, as a new curfew is in effect at 6 pm to fight against the spread of the new coronavirus. Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images/FILE

All of France will become subject to a curfew from 6pm to 6am for at least 15 days from Saturday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced in a press conference on Thursday.

The measure "has proven to be effective,” he said. An 8pm curfew has been in place in the country since December 15th, and has already been extended to 6pm in some of the worst-hit areas.

The French government decided on an extended curfew to “avoid harsher measures" to stem the spread of coronavirus, Castex added.

However, “if we were to see a strong deterioration of the health situation in the coming days, we would decide on a new lockdown without any delay,” he warned.

The premier said that recent measures had been successful and that recent holiday celebrations had not led to an “epidemic flare-up”.

But while France's public health situation is “under control compared to our neighbors,” it remains “fragile,” particularly due to newly identified Covid-19 variants, Castex said. 

French residents will only be allowed outdoors after 6pm for professional or urgent reasons and will need to show a certificate providing such a reason.

1:10 p.m. ET, January 14, 2021

New York reports another 202 deaths

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

The state of New York added 13,661 more positive Covid-19 cases to its tally on Thursday, with the statewide positivity rate down slightly from the day prior at 6.42%, according to the Governor’s office.

The state also added 202 deaths, which is in the higher range of deaths reported in the state over the past few weeks. 

There are 8,823 patients hospitalized with 1,536 of those in the ICU, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office said in a release.

3:58 p.m. ET, January 14, 2021

HHS officials urge Americans to use Covid-19 monoclonal antibody treatments

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks to the media on December 21.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks to the media on December 21. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Covid-19 monoclonal antibody treatments are being "underutilized," according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. And now, HHS officials are urging the public to use these therapies to treat illness.

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized convalescent plasma and monoclonal antibody treatments for emergency use in Covid-19 patients.

"The bottom line is these medications work better, they work best when given early," US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said during a briefing on Thursday. 

"So if you have Covid symptoms or if you’ve had a high risk exposure, we need you to get tested right away," Adams said. "And if you test positive, we need you to ask your provider about monoclonal antibodies as a way of keeping you out of the hospital.” 

Dr. Janet Woodcock, therapeutics lead for Operation Warp Speed, said in Thursday's briefing that those medications "are being somewhat underutilized" and HHS hopes to change that.

"The antibodies are not in shortage," Woodcock said. 

"We want to keep people out of the hospital," she said. "We hope the changes that we’re making -- better public awareness and better provider awareness -- will drive more administration of these antibodies."

Last month, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said that the United States has "a surplus" of monoclonal antibody treatments from the companies Regeneron and Eli Lilly.

8:00 p.m. ET, January 14, 2021

UK bans arrivals from several Latin American countries due to Brazilian virus variant

From CNN's Schams Elwazer in London

A passenger is seen arriving at London Stansted Airport in London, England, on January 9.
A passenger is seen arriving at London Stansted Airport in London, England, on January 9. Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The UK has decided to ban arrivals from multiple Latin American countries “following evidence of a new variant in Brazil,” British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Thursday on Twitter. 

Starting Friday at 4 a.m. local time, arrivals to the UK will be banned from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. 

“Travel from Portugal to the UK will also be suspended given its strong travel links with Brazil -- acting as another way to reduce the risk of importing infections,” Shapps said, adding that hauliers transporting essential goods were exempt. 

He added that these measures would not apply to British and Irish citizens and other nationals who have UK residence rights, but arriving passengers would have to quarantine for 10 days.

All parts of the UK are currently under strict lockdown with international travel only allowed for a limited number of reasons. The country is in the midst of its worst wave of Covid-19 infections with record daily deaths reported on Wednesday.