January 25 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Adam Renton, Zahid Mahmood, Lauren Said-Moorhouse and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, January 26, 2021
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11:21 p.m. ET, January 25, 2021

CVS plans to start on-site vaccinations in 11 states next month

From CNN Health's Lauren Mascarenhas

Crates are stacked up outside of CVS Pharmacy during the coronavirus pandemic on May 1, 2020 in New York City.
Crates are stacked up outside of CVS Pharmacy during the coronavirus pandemic on May 1, 2020 in New York City. Cindy Ord/Getty Images

CVS pharmacies will begin offering on-site vaccinations in 11 states in February, Dr. David Fairchild, associate chief medical officer at CVS Health said Monday.

CVS partnered with the federal government to vaccinate residents and staff in long-term care facilities. It announced Monday that it completed first-round doses in all participating facilities. Fairchild said CVS will soon begin vaccinating other eligible people.

In an interview hosted by the American College of Physicians and Annals of Internal Medicine, Fairchild said CVS will begin dispensing vaccinations at 272 retail locations across 11 states in February.

“We're definitely prepared and want to play a large role in helping to get the vaccine out there,” he added. “Our internal goal is to have a capacity to perform 25 million shots a month or more.”

Fairchild said locations are distributed across the country geographically and across the social vulnerability index.

“We worked with an outside organization to help identify where our stores fell in terms of this vulnerability index, and our stores are pretty much distributed evenly across that index, so that's a good thing in terms of assuring equity,” he noted.

Fairchild noted that vaccine eligibility varies by states, and the CVS digital screening tool will account for that.

“We can schedule first doses, and we also have the ability to have people come in just for their second dose if they got their first dose somewhere else,” he said. “And of course, the vaccinations are done in a way that's no cost to them even if they do not have insurance.”

10:38 p.m. ET, January 25, 2021

UK to offer genomic expertise in identifying Covid-19 variants 

From CNN’s Sharif Paget in Atlanta and Max Foster in the UK

The United Kingdom announced on Tuesday it will offer its genomics expertise in identifying new variants of the coronavirus to countries that do not have the resources to do so, according to a statement released by the country's Department of Health and Social Care.

"Countries will be offered UK capacity to analyze new strains of the virus through the launch of the New Variant Assessment Platform," the statement read. 

The platform will initially be led by Public Health England (PHE), which is working with National Health Service Test and Trace and the World Health Organization's SARS-CoV-2 Global Laboratory Working Group.

The department said the UK has carried out more than half of all SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences submitted to the global database, a capability which helped PHE’s scientists detect the variant in Kent late last year.  

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to deliver remarks on Tuesday regarding this announcement and outline his vision for a collaborative global health system to ensure the world is better prepared against future threats.

"Not only will this Platform help us better understand this virus and how it spreads, but it will also boost global capability in this important field, so we’re all better prepared for whatever lies ahead," Hancock is expected to say.
10:55 p.m. ET, January 25, 2021

Variant first spotted in Brazil might become "more dominant," Fauci says

From CNN Health Andrea Diaz

Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Dr. Anthony Fauci. Source: CNN

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to the President, said the new variant of coronavirus called P.1 identified in Minnesota in someone who had recently traveled from Brazil, could become "more dominant."

"If it has the capability of spreading more efficiently, likely it might actually get more and more dominant, but we have to wait and see," Fauci told CNN's Erin Burnett Monday night.

Additionally, Fauci said that they are paying close attention to this new variant as well as to the strain also recently found in California.

"Up until recently, we haven't had a comprehensive genomic surveillance, which the CDC is really increasing together with a little bit of collaboration, in fact, a lot of collaboration with the NIH, that will get a much better feel for what is circulating in our own country," said Fauci.

Vaccines vs. variants: Current vaccines for Covid-19 that are currently being administered are likely to be effective against the new variants, Fauci said.

"The good news is the vaccines as they exist now still would be effective against the mutants. The sobering news ... as you get more and more replication, you can get more and more of evolution of mutants, which means you always got to be a step ahead of it," Fauci said.

Fauci said the antibodies that are induced by both the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccine seem to be effective in blocking the variant first found in the UK. He said the evidence also indicates vaccines will protect people against infection with variants first spotted in South Africa and Brazil.

"When you're dealing with South Africa and Brazil -- but mostly South Africa, we haven't looked at Brazil as carefully as South Africa -- although it's been diminished somewhat it's still well within the cushion range of being an effective vaccine," Fauci said.

Additionally, Fauci said surveillance needs to increase so that scientists can stay on top of mutations in the virus.

CNN's Erin Burnett speaks with Dr. Anthony Fauci:

9:44 p.m. ET, January 25, 2021

100 million doses in 100 days remains US target despite Biden's hopes, White House official says

From CNN's MJ Lee

The Biden administration's official goal still remains 100 million vaccine shots in their first 100 days in office, despite the US President expressing optimism that the total number could be even higher, a White House official told CNN.

President Joe Biden said that he was hopeful that the United States could soon be administering 1.5 million coronavirus vaccines a day -- 50% more than the 1 million doses per day goal he had been promising since before inauguration.

But the White House is still aiming for the original goal, which the administration still views as “ambitious but achievable,” the official said. However they also anticipate that plenty of things could go wrong given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic. 

The official stressed that the hope now was to surpass that original goal of 100 million vaccine shots in the first 100 days.

Describing Biden as an “optimist,” the official also said the President has been pushing his Covid team to aim for progress beyond their initial goal of 100 million vaccines doses in 100 days.

Read more about Biden's vaccine hopes:

9:16 p.m. ET, January 25, 2021

Mexico's richest man is recovering from Covid-19, his son announces on Twitter

From CNN’s Kiarinna Parisi, Sharif Paget and Tatiana Arias

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helú listens to a question during a news conference in Mexico City, on October, 16, 2019.
Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helú listens to a question during a news conference in Mexico City, on October, 16, 2019. Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images

Mexico’s richest man, Carlos Slim Helú, is recovering from Covid-19, according to his son, Carlos Slim Domit.

Slim Domit announced on Twitter late Monday afternoon that his father “had shown a favorable response to Covid after (experiencing) a week of mild symptoms”. Domit also said his father “preventively” went to the National Institute of Nutrition for “clinical analysis, monitoring and due treatment.”  

Billionaire businessman Slim Helú, 80, heads a global telecoms conglomerate that includes mobile companies Telmex, América Móvil and Grupo Carso. 

The family’s namesake nonprofit Carlos Slim Foundation and AstraZeneca signed an agreement in October of last year to help manufacture and distribute the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine at no profit across Latin America, with an initial supply of some 150 million doses and first shipments expected in the first half of 2021. 

Details of the agreement are published on the Carlos Slim Foundation website.

8:50 p.m. ET, January 25, 2021

0.01% of people tested positive for coronavirus after two vaccine doses, Israeli data shows

From CNN Health’s Elizabeth Cohen

An Israeli man receives his second Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine from a medical professional at a vaccination center set up on a mall parking lot in Givataim, Israel, on Wednesday, January 20.
An Israeli man receives his second Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine from a medical professional at a vaccination center set up on a mall parking lot in Givataim, Israel, on Wednesday, January 20. Oded Balilty/AP

About 0.01% of a large group of people who received two doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine tested positive for coronavirus after their second shot -- and those patients had only a mild illness, according to preliminary data from an Israeli health care system. 

Maccabi Healthcare Services found that out of approximately 128,600 people who received two doses of the vaccine, 20 became infected and tested positive more than a week after their second dose.

Maccabi did not test all patients after receiving their second dose. Instead, they tested an unspecified number of people who developed symptoms or who were exposed to someone with Covid-19.  

The clinical trials for Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine showed it to be about 95% effective. 

The press release stated that the data is “preliminary” but that “the numbers are very encouraging.” 

Of the 20 patients who tested positive, 50% suffer from chronic illnesses. All of the 20 patients experienced a mild illness with symptoms including headaches, cough, weakness or fatigue. No one was hospitalized. 

Out of a population of just over 9 million people, Israel has given first vaccine doses to about 2.5 million people, and second doses to about 1 million people.

8:24 p.m. ET, January 25, 2021

Anti-curfew rioters clash with Netherlands police for third straight night

From CNN’s Mick Krever

Police in the Netherlands have deployed teargas and water cannons in an attempt to control anti-lockdown rioting in several cities across the country on Monday, a spokesperson for the national police said on Dutch television Monday evening.

This is the third consecutive night of confrontations with police in the Netherlands. A national, nightly curfew designed to reduce social contact came into effect in the country on Saturday, and runs from 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.

Police in several cities reported mostly young people setting off fireworks, throwing stones, and looting stores.

Groups of rioters have been “seeking confrontation with the police, and in a number of locations have been looting, especially in Rotterdam,” police spokesperson Willem Woelders said.

He said that police had deployed water cannons, and used tear gas in Haarlem and Rotterdam. Police had already made at least 151 arrests, Woelders said. At least 250 people were arrested on Sunday, police said.

“Tonight we are on the street again to enforce the curfew,” police said in a statement on Twitter. “If you deliberately do not adhere to it and you commit or call for criminal offenses, know that we can arrest you for this later.”
7:35 p.m. ET, January 25, 2021

Close to a quarter of New York City first responders infected in first wave of pandemic, study indicates

From CNN's Maggie Fox

Health workers carry a patient to an ambulance on April 11, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
Health workers carry a patient to an ambulance on April 11, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Close to a quarter of all first responders in New York City appear to have been infected with coronavirus during the first wave of the pandemic, researchers reported Monday. 

Antibody tests of more than 22,000 police, fire, emergency medical technicians, corrections and other workers between May and July showed 22.5% of them had antibodies indicating a previous infection with coronavirus, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-led team reported.

That’s close to the population as a whole in the hard-hit city, the team reported in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. But there were some telling differences from one type of worker to another—and some big surprises.

The study found that the percentage of police and firefighters with antibodies was similar to the overall seroprevalence of the population.

Seroprevalence is the number of people in a specific population who test positive for a disease.

"Seroprevalence was highest in correctional staff (39.2%) and emergency medical technicians (38.3%) and lowest in laboratory technicians (10.1%) and medicolegal death investigators (10.8%),” the team wrote.

Across the city as a whole just under 20% of residents had antibodies to the virus in tests done over the same time period. 

“We found that seroprevalence for police and firefighters was close to that of the general population,” the researchers wrote. “Among healthcare workers, EMTs had a seroprevalence of 38.3% and the strongest association with seropositivity after adjustment."

One surprise finding: People who said they always wore gloves were more likely to have antibodies to the virus. This could be for two reasons: people may not take their gloves off properly, and infect themselves while doing so, or people who use more protective equipment are doing so because they are already in high-risk situations, the researchers said.

6:50 p.m. ET, January 25, 2021

About 6% of the US population has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN’s Deidre McPhillips

Chief clinical officer John Corman MD at Virginia Mason administers a dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at the Amazon Meeting Center in downtown Seattle, Washington on January 24.
Chief clinical officer John Corman MD at Virginia Mason administers a dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at the Amazon Meeting Center in downtown Seattle, Washington on January 24. Grant Hindsley/AFP/Getty Images

More than 22.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the US, according to data published Monday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Nearly 6% of the US population – more than 19 million people – has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and about 3.3 million people are fully vaccinated. 

In Alaska, about 11% of the population has received at least one dose, followed by West Virginia where more than 9% of the population has received at least one dose, the data shows.

Nationwide, about 55% of the 41.4 million distributed doses have been administered.

States have 72 hours to report vaccine data, so data published by the CDC may be delayed – and may not necessarily mean all doses were given on the day reported.