April 12 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Zamira Rahim and Samantha Tapfumaneyi, CNN

Updated 2:50 AM ET, Tue April 13, 2021
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2:42 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Global Covid-19 cases increase for the 7th consecutive week, WHO chief says 

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a daily press briefing on COVID-19 virus at the WHO headquaters on March 11, 2020, in Geneva.
Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a daily press briefing on COVID-19 virus at the WHO headquaters on March 11, 2020, in Geneva. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

There have now been seven consecutive weeks of increasing Covid-19 cases and four weeks of increasing deaths globally, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said during a news briefing in Geneva Monday. 

“In January and February the world saw six consecutive weeks of declining cases,” Tedros said. “We have now seen seven consecutive weeks of increasing cases and four weeks of increasing deaths. Last week was the fourth highest number of cases in a single week so far.”

Several countries in Asia and the Middle East have seen large case increases, he said. 

Increases are occurring despite more than 780 million vaccine doses being administered globally, he said, adding that vaccines are a vital and powerful tool, but not the only one. 

He emphasized that public health measures – mask wearing, physical distancing, ventilation, hand hygiene, surveillance, testing, tracing and isolation – work to stop infections and save lives. 

“Confusion, complacency and inconsistency in public health measures and their application are driving transmission and costing lives,” Tedros said. “It takes a consistent, coordinated and comprehensive approach.” 
11:49 a.m. ET, April 12, 2021

"There has never been a better time than now" to get vaccinated, White House tells seniors

From CNN's Betsy Klein

White House
White House

In the days before all 50 states are set to expand vaccine eligibility to all American adults on April 19, the White House made a plea for seniors and others currently eligible to get vaccinated. 

There has been “significant progress” vaccinating seniors, White House senior Covid-19 adviser Andy Slavitt said at Monday’s briefing, pointing to the fact that 78% of Americans over 65 have had their first shot. 

But, Slavitt said, “By this time next week, all adults across the country will be eligible for their vaccines. This mean that there has never been a better time than now for seniors and those eligible to get their shots,” calling on seniors to get an appointment “today.”

 “If you have someone in your life, particularly a senior, who has not gotten a shot yet, reach out and see what help they need,” he added.

Slavitt said that 120 million Americans have now been vaccinated, including over 72 million fully vaccinated.

At least 46% of adults have had at least their first shot, with 28% of adults fully vaccinated, he said. 

11:50 a.m. ET, April 12, 2021

New York governor announces colleges and universities will get Covid-19 vaccine allocations

From CNN's Lauren del Valle

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during an event in Brentwood, New York, on April 12.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during an event in Brentwood, New York, on April 12. Office of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the state's colleges and universities will get direct allocations of Covid-19 vaccines to administer vaccinations directly to their student populations. 

"Let's use the schools as the base for the vaccine — makes all the sense in the world. We have the staff at the school, we have the students at the school. Let's vaccinate them at the schools. State University of New York, the SUNY system, will take the lead in being a model for vaccinating students on colleges on campuses," Cuomo said at an event at Suffolk County Community College. 

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said the goal is to vaccinate students by the end of the spring semester before they return to their families.  

"Vaccinating college students statewide before they return to their hometown communities at the end of the semester is the next step in this thought process it is the best way for students to protect themselves, their families and their communities," Zucker said. 

11:47 a.m. ET, April 12, 2021

White House touts "record pace" of US vaccinations and outlines news steps to boost vaccinators

From CNN's Betsy Klein

A health care worker administers a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic targeting Central American Indigenous residents at CIELO, an Indigenous rights organization, on April 10 in Los Angeles.
A health care worker administers a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic targeting Central American Indigenous residents at CIELO, an Indigenous rights organization, on April 10 in Los Angeles. Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Biden administration outlined new steps to continue to increase vaccinations and vaccinators, including a new mass vaccination site as one of the steps toward getting more shots in arms.

“We’re excited to announce today a new federally-run mass vaccination site in Central Point, Oregon,” White House senior Covid-19 adviser Andy Slavitt said at Monday’s Covid briefing.

He noted that President Biden had set a goal on March 29 of adding a dozen such new sites by April 19.

“We are on track to meet the President’s goal this week, ahead of schedule. And by next week, we will have opened a total of 36 mass vaccination sites with a combined capability of administering 124,000 shots per day,” Slavitt said.

The administration is also on track to reach its goal of expanding the number of pharmacies in the federal pharmacy program, Slavitt said, with nearly 40,000 up and running by next Monday.

Additionally, there are 8,500 federal personnel acting as vaccinators or supporting vaccinations, including 4,400 active duty troops. That will increase to 6,000 active duty troops in the coming week, Slavitt said. 

Slavitt touted “record pace” of vaccinations, despite “uneven supply from Johnson & Johnson,” pointing to a Saturday record of 4.6 million shots administered.

11:43 a.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Fauci says breakthrough Covid-19 infections happen because no vaccine is 100%

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

White House
White House

Breakthrough coronavirus infections – which occur even though someone has been vaccinated – are inevitable because no vaccine is 100% effective, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

"We see this with all vaccines, in clinical trials and in the real world. No vaccine is 100% efficacious or effective, which means that we will always see breakthrough infections, regardless of the efficacy of the vaccine," Fauci said during a virtual White House briefing on Monday.

"Influenza is the most common of this, which mutates rapidly," he added. But "even if a vaccine fails to protect against infection, it often protects against serious disease."

Fauci added that, so far, data suggest current Covid-19 vaccines offer some protection against coronavirus variants.

11:41 a.m. ET, April 12, 2021

US racial and ethnic minority groups hospitalized more for Covid-19, study shows

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

A patient is seen lying on a bed in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center on January 1 in Houston, Texas.
A patient is seen lying on a bed in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center on January 1 in Houston, Texas. Go Nakamura/Getty Images

Racial and ethnic minority groups had higher rates of hospitalization for Covid-19 and sought emergency department care more when compared to White people, according to two new studies published Monday in the US Centers for Disease Control and Preventions Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 

 “Analysis of hospitalizations from a database including more than 3.7 million hospital discharges and approximately 300,000 hospitalized patients during March – December 2020 found that racial and ethnic minority groups experienced higher proportions of Covid-19 related hospitalization compared with White patients,” the first study said.

In every region, Hispanic patients represented the highest cumulative proportion of hospitalized patients with Covid-19.

Disparities in the proportion of hospitalized patients was largest early in the pandemic – from April to July – and became less pronounced as hospitalizations increased among White patients. Declining disparities are not necessarily reflective of reduced risk for minorities, but of increased risk for White patients, the authors said.

However, disparities remained at the end of the study period in all regions, particularly among Hispanics in the West. 

The researchers say that these disparities are driven by a higher risk factor for exposure to the coronavirus and a higher risk of severe disease.

The second study found that some racial and ethnic groups, including Hispanic, American Indian or Alaska Native and Black people, received emergency department care for Covid-19 at “disproportionately higher rates” compared to White patients. 

There were 282,220 Covid-19 emergency department visits from 13 states between October and December 2020 and racial/ethnic disparities were observed across age groups. 

Hispanic patients and American Indian or Alaska Native patients were more likely to seek emergency department care for Covid-19 than White people overall, as well as for each age group examined. Black people age 74 and older were more likely to seek emergency department care than White people, but no differences were observed for those under 75. 

The data used in the study came from 13 states, meaning that it may not be generalizable across the country. White people also represent a larger percentage of the population in the 13 states, compared with national population distribution. 

The authors say that it is important to prioritize prevention resources, management of underlying health conditions, safe school and work conditions, flexible leave policies and enhanced access to and acceptability of Covid-19 testing and vaccination to reach these disproportionately affected groups. 

11:06 a.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Go There: CNN is in India as millions gather for Hindu festival despite surging Covid-19 cases 

As many as five million religious pilgrims are expected to flock to the Ganges river as coronavirus cases soar in India. 

The country reported at least 168,912 new cases Monday, its highest single-day figure for the sixth consecutive day, according to a CNN tally of figures from the Indian ministry of health. CNN's Vedika Sud reported on the latest from New Delhi and answered viewers' questions.

Watch:

10:44 a.m. ET, April 12, 2021

New York City has administered over 5 million vaccine doses, mayor says

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

Northwell Health medical staff members prepare doses of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine at the Northwell Health pop-up coronavirus vaccination site at the Albanian Islamic Cultural Center in Staten Island on April 8 in New York City.
Northwell Health medical staff members prepare doses of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine at the Northwell Health pop-up coronavirus vaccination site at the Albanian Islamic Cultural Center in Staten Island on April 8 in New York City. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

New York City has administered five million vaccine doses, which the mayor said “keeps us well on target for our overall goal, five million fully vaccinated New Yorkers in June.” 

Mayor Bill de Blasio said over a half a million vaccinations were administered just last week, a record for the city, with a record breaking 104,000 administered on April 8 alone.

Approximately 5,106,027 doses have been administered since the beginning of the city’s effort, which is more than the entire population of the state of Alabama.

The city is kicking off a vaccination site in Times Square, the heart of Broadway, to assist the cultural community. De Blasio said the film and television community are “coming back strong,” adding, “We're going to welcome them to join the vaccination center in Times Square.” The city is working with the unions within the industry, he said.

Several more grassroots vaccination sites at senior centers, houses of worship, public housing and elsewhere come online this week in all five boroughs.

10:29 a.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Facebook will show vaccine eligibility notifications to US users by state

From CNN’s Brian Fung

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Facebook users will now receive notifications at the top of their news feeds advising them of their vaccine eligibility in states that have opened vaccination appointments to all adults, the company said in a blog post Monday. 

The move is modeled after Facebook's approach to voting information and is live now in states such as Alaska, Mississippi, Texas and Utah. 

Other state-specific notifications targeted to local users will begin rolling out as health officials expand eligibility to include the wider public, Facebook said. 

"When a state says the general public is eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, we’ll show a notification to people in that state that connects them with their state health department or our Vaccine Finder," the company said. 

In a sign of Facebook's immense potential influence over consumer behavior, the platform said West Virginia's health department reported significant increases in vaccine registrations following Facebook's decision to run state-based notifications there. 

The company has been showing this type of in-feed vaccine notification to users 65 and older since February.