The latest on the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines

By Joshua Berlinger, Kara Fox and Christopher Johnson, CNN

Updated 9:39 PM ET, Fri April 2, 2021
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3:50 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021

Florida governor signs executive order that bans mandated use of Covid-19 vaccine passports

From CNN's Gregory Leoms

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference on March 22, in Melbourne, Florida.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference on March 22, in Melbourne, Florida.  Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an Executive Order Friday banning the mandated use of Covid-19 passports in the state.

The Order, effective immediately, says vaccines are available but not mandated in the state and cites freedom and privacy concerns as the primary basis for the action. 

“Individual Covid-19 vaccination records are private health information and should not be shared by a mandate,” the Order says. “So-called Covid-19 vaccine passports reduce individual freedom and will harm patient privacy.”

The Order says the implementation and enforcement of vaccine passports would “create two classes of citizens based on vaccinations.”

The order prohibits any government entity or business from requiring a vaccine passport.

DeSantis signaled earlier this week that he would not support vaccine passports.

"It's completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society," said DeSantis Monday during a news conference.

1:46 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021

The Netherlands pauses use of AstraZeneca vaccine for those under 60

From CNN's Amy Cassidy and James Frater

Vials of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine are seen on March 20, in Ede, Netherlands.
Vials of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine are seen on March 20, in Ede, Netherlands. Piroschka van de Wouw/ANP/AFP/Getty Images

The Netherlands will pause administering the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in people under 60 years old as a “precautionary measure,” according to a government news release Friday.

It cited five cases of blood clots among women aged between 25 and 65 who had received the shot, reported by Lareb, the country's medicines watchdog.

The statement acknowledged the ongoing European Medicines Agency (EMA) investigation into whether a causal link exists between the vaccine and thrombotic events. 

“There can be no doubt whatsoever about the safety of vaccines. The crucial question is still whether this concerns complaints after vaccination, or due to vaccination,” Hugo de Jonge, Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport said.

He continued “we must err on the side of caution, which is why it is wise to press the pause button now, as a precaution. But only for people under the age of 60.”

The Netherlands has so far distributed around 400,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, the government said. 

The move follows Germany’s decision to halt the vaccine for under 60s on Tuesday.

AstraZeneca said in a statement that investigations by both the UK's Medicines and Products regulatory agency (MRHA) and the EMA were not able to establish a causal relationship between the vaccine and clotting events, adding, "however, the EMA concluded that for very rare cases of serious cerebral thromboembolic events with thrombocytopenia a causal link with the vaccine is not proven but deserves further analysis."

1:23 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021

Major League Baseball postpones Mets vs. Nationals opening series over Covid-19 concerns

From CNN's Kevin Dotson

Gates leading into Nationals Park remain closed on Opening Day April 1, in Washington, DC.
Gates leading into Nationals Park remain closed on Opening Day April 1, in Washington, DC. Win McNamee/Getty Images

The remaining two games of the Washington Nationals’ season-opening series with the New York Mets have been postponed due to ongoing Covid-19 issues within the Nationals team, Major League Baseball announced Friday.

Games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at Nationals Park have been postponed, a day after the postponement of the two teams’ season opening game yesterday.

At least three Nationals’ players have tested positive for Covid-19, the team said Thursday. The team says a fourth player is considered a “likely” positive. None of the players were identified. On Wednesday, it was announced that one player on the Nationals had tested positive and that four other players were placed in quarantine.

No make-up dates for the postponed games was provided. Major League Baseball says it will provide scheduling updates as they become available

1:02 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021

Alabama will allow Covid-19 vaccinations for 16 and older starting April 5

From CNN's Gregory Lemos

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey holds a press conference after touring a drive-thru Covid-19 vaccination clinic in Camden, Alabama, on Friday, April 2.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey holds a press conference after touring a drive-thru Covid-19 vaccination clinic in Camden, Alabama, on Friday, April 2. Jake Crandall/The Montgomery Advertiser/USA Today Network

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said Friday that, beginning April 5, the state will allow individuals 16 and older to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.

“Truly, this vaccine is our ticket back to normal life. We are so close to getting COVID-19 in the rearview, and until then, we should all keep wearing our masks, get vaccinated and use the common sense the good Lord gave us,” the Republican governor said in a press release.

As CNN has previously reported, Alabama originally said it was aiming for May 1 as the target date for all eligible residents to have the option to receive a shot.

According to the release, this expansion means nearly 4 million residents will be eligible for vaccination. The state receives around 115,000 doses a month, the release said.

To date, Alabama has given at least 1,724,463 vaccine doses according to the release. 

1:05 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021

More than 100 million people in the US have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, official says

From CNN’s Deidre McPhillips

A nurse prepares a syringe with the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at a senior center in San Antonio, Texas, on March 29.
A nurse prepares a syringe with the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at a senior center in San Antonio, Texas, on March 29. Sergio Flores/Getty Images

More than 100 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, White House Covid-19 Data Director Cyrus Shahpar tweeted Friday.

Nearly 4 million more doses have been reported administered since yesterday, for a record-high seven-day average of nearly 3 million doses per day, according to Shahpar's tweet. 

Full details are expected to be published on the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Covid-19 data dashboard this afternoon. 

12:33 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021

CDC will continue updating travel guidance as needed, director says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky speaks during a virtual White House briefing on Friday.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky speaks during a virtual White House briefing on Friday. White House

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will continue to monitor Covid-19 data and update its travel guidance as the science evolves, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a virtual White House briefing on Friday.

"The science on Covid-19 is constantly evolving. We will continue to monitor the evidence and provide updates as we learn more. With so many people still unvaccinated, it is important that everyone — regardless of vaccination status — continue to take prevention measures in public and adhere to our guidance on ways to reduce the spread of Covid-19," Walensky said. "Wear a mask, socially distance, avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and wash your hands frequently."

The CDC on Friday released highly anticipated updated travel guidance for people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, noting that people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can travel at low risk to themselves.

"While we believe that fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves, CDC is not recommending travel at this time due to the rising number of cases," Walensky said on Friday.

12:14 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021

CDC head: We believe vaccinated people can travel — but we don't recommend it

Despite issuing new guidance that says people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can travel at low risk to themselves, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says they do not recommend it.

"While we believe that fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves, CDC is not recommending travel at this time due to the rising number of cases," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House Covid-19 Response team briefing Friday.

The agency released updated travel guidance today explaining that as long as coronavirus precautions are taken, including mask wearing, fully vaccinated people can travel within the United States without first getting tested for Covid-19 or self-quarantining after. 

However, experts say the US appears to be entering into another surge in coronavirus cases this spring, which is partially due to more travel.

The US averaged 63,974 daily cases over the last seven-days, up 11% since last week.

The CDC, along with President Biden, are urging Americans to follow public health guidelines and get vaccinated.

Moments before the Covid-19 task force gave their briefing, President Biden pleaded with the public not to undo the progress being made to overcome the virus.

“Cases are going up again. The virus is spreading more rapidly in many places. Deaths are going up in some states. So I ask, I plead with you: Don't give back the progress we’ve all so — fought so hard to achieve,” Biden said. 

“We need to finish this job. We need every American to buckle down and keep their guard up in this home stretch,” he added.

12:23 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021

Russia says it has agreements with manufacturers in 10 countries to produce Sputnik V vaccine

From CNN's Amy Cassidy and Mary Ilyushina

A medical worker fills a syringe with the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine in Cailungo, San Marino, on March 29.
A medical worker fills a syringe with the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine in Cailungo, San Marino, on March 29. Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

Russia says it has agreements with 20 manufacturers in 10 different countries to produce its Sputnik V vaccine, chief of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said Friday.

In a televised interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said it was “truly the greatest achievement of Russian science,” adding that India and South Korea had already started to produce the vaccine, and many of the operations were expected to reach “full capacity by April.”

The RDIF is the body responsible for funding vaccine production and selling Sputnik V globally. 

12:01 p.m. ET, April 2, 2021

Go There: CNN answers your questions from Italy about the lockdown ahead of Easter

Italy is in a strict coronavirus lockdown this Easter with travel restricted between regions and new quarantines imposed. The Pope will celebrate Good Friday today with a mass to a nearly empty St. Peter's Basilica.

CNN correspondent Delia Gallagher was live from Rome earlier today answering viewers' questions.

Watch: