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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6:29 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Fauci says he would not hesitate to eat outdoors or go to a baseball game 

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during an interview on April 12.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during an interview on April 12. CNN

Though risk assessment will vary person-to-person, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Monday he “would not hesitate” to eat outdoors or go to a baseball game in current Covid-19 conditions.  

“At an outdoor restaurant right now, where we are, I would not hesitate to do that, but the fact is I just haven’t done it,” Fauci told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, adding that his “crazy obligations and jobs” make it hard to sit down at a restaurant. 

Fauci added that attending baseball games is also something he’s personally comfortable with now. 

“I would not hesitate to go to an outdoor baseball game. I will wear a mask because I’m out there in the community, my risk would be extremely low,” Fauci said. “I’m someone that is a bit risk averse, but I would not hesitate to sit in an open stand and watch the Nats play.”

 

6:01 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

UK government hits Covid-19 vaccination target

From CNN’s Arnaud Siad and Sarah Dean

Sonia Akbar prepares to administers the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine to a patient at a pop up vaccination centre at the Pakistani Community Centre on April 9 in Derby, England.
Sonia Akbar prepares to administers the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine to a patient at a pop up vaccination centre at the Pakistani Community Centre on April 9 in Derby, England. Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

The United Kingdom has reached its Covid-19 vaccination target of offering a dose to all adults over 50, the clinically vulnerable and social care workers, the British government said in a statement on Monday.

“We have now passed another hugely significant milestone in our vaccine programme by offering jabs to everyone in the nine highest risk groups. That means more than 32 million people have been given the precious protection vaccines provide against Covid-19,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

“We will now move forward with completing essential second doses and making progress towards our target of offering all adults a vaccine by the end of July,” he added.

The statement said the target had been reached ahead of schedule, with the government having pledged to offer a first dose to priority cohorts 1 to 9 by April 15.

Nearly 40 million vaccines have now been given in total, with adults under 50 expected to begin to be invited in the coming days, the statement added.

5:27 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Ireland will limit AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for people 60 and older

From CNN’s Arnaud Siad and Vasco Cotovio

A health care worker fills a syringe with a dose of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine at the Pentland Medical Practice on January 7 in Currie, Scotland.
A health care worker fills a syringe with a dose of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine at the Pentland Medical Practice on January 7 in Currie, Scotland. Russell Cheyne/WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is to be recommended only for people aged 60 years and older in Ireland, according to a revised advice from Ireland’s National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) on Monday.

The new advice reads: “Vaxzevria COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca is not recommended for those aged under 60 years including those with medical conditions with very high or high risk of severe COVID-19 disease.”

It also recommends not giving a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine “to anyone who developed unusual blood clots with low platelets after the first dose."

However, it says people aged under 60 years with a very high risk or high-risk medical condition should receive their second dose 12 weeks later as scheduled, while those aged under 60 years without a very high risk or high-risk medical condition should have the scheduled interval between doses extended to 16 weeks to “allow further assessment of the benefits and risks as more evidence becomes available.”

Commenting on the new advice, NIAC Chair Karina Butler said:

“NIAC realises the need to balance the significant benefits of a national vaccination programme with the very rare risk of these reported events. While this is an extremely rare condition, consideration must be given to the fact that it has a very high risk of death or severe outcome. As the risk/benefits of Vaxzevria COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine may vary by age and as alternative COVID-19 vaccines are available NIAC has revised the recommendations for use of this vaccine.”

“All the authorised COVID-19 vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca and the newly approved Janssen, are highly effective in preventing hospitalisation and severe COVID-19 disease. Vaccination with Vaxzevria COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine is highly effective and substantially reduces the risk of severe COVID-19 disease across all age groups,” she added.

The decision by NIAC follows the announcement by the European Medicines Agency that it had found a possible link between the vaccine and the occurrence of rare blood clots.

4:25 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

New York governor issues guidance for graduation ceremonies starting May 1

Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference at Suffolk County Community College on April 12 in Brentwood, New York.
Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference at Suffolk County Community College on April 12 in Brentwood, New York. Michael M. Santiago/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new updated guidance for graduation and commencement ceremonies organized by schools, colleges and universities.

Effective May 1, indoor and outdoor graduation and commencement ceremonies will be allowed with limited attendee capacity, depending on the event size and the location.

Outdoor Events:

  • Large-scale ceremonies of more than 500 people at outdoor venues will be limited to 20% of capacity, applicable to venues with a total capacity of 2,500 or more. 
  • Medium-scale ceremonies of 201 to 500 people at outdoor venues will be limited to 33% of capacity. 
  • Small-scale ceremonies of up to 200 people or 2 attendees per student at outdoor venues will be limited to 50% of capacity. Proof of recent negative test result or proof of completed immunization is optional.

Indoor Events:

  • Large-scale ceremonies of more than 150 people at indoor venues will be limited to 10% of capacity, applicable to venues with a total capacity of 1,500 or more. 
  • Medium-scale ceremonies of 101 to 150 people at indoor venues will be limited to 33% of capacity.
  • Small-scale ceremonies of up to 100 people or 2 attendees per student at indoor venues will be limited to 50% of capacity. Proof of recent negative test result or proof of completed immunization is optional.

"We're once again approaching the end of the academic year which means we need strict rules in place to ensure commencement ceremonies are done safely in the context of the ongoing pandemic," Cuomo said. 

"With more people getting vaccinated every day, we are so close to the light at the end of the tunnel, but we all need to continue being vigilant and I am urging everyone to celebrate smart," he added.

3:59 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Puerto Rico stops all in-person learning for two weeks due to rise in Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Meridith Edwards

All public and private schools in Puerto Rico must stop all in-person learning for two weeks due to a rise in Covid-19 cases, according to a statement tweeted by Puerto Rico's Secretary of Health Carlos Mellado López.

The decision comes just a little more than a month after some schools on the island reopened for in-person learning for the first time since the pandemic hit, for K-3 students and high school seniors.

"Although we do not have outbreaks in schools, we must have precautionary measures before the incidence and positivity of the past seven days, which raised the level of risk to a critical one for three consecutive days under the protocol of the Department of Health," Mellado López said.

There will be no face-to-face instruction starting Monday until at least April 26. The decision was made by Gov. Pedro Pierluisi and Puerto Rico's Education Secretary Elba Aponte.

"We urge the public and call for prudence and to continue with the protection protocols," the statement said.

There are more than 800 schools and nearly 300,000 students in Puerto Rico's public school system, according to the National Center of Education Statistics' data from the 2019-2020 school year.

4:29 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Brazilian lawmakers ask UN to help speed up Covid-19 vaccine delivery

From CNN's Rodrigo Pedroso in Sao Paulo

Senator Rodrigo Pacheco is seen after being elected president of the Senate, in Brasilia, on February 1.
Senator Rodrigo Pacheco is seen after being elected president of the Senate, in Brasilia, on February 1. Sergio Lima/AFP/Getty Images

Presidents of the Brazilian Congress and Senate announced Monday that they asked United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to help accelerate the delivery of vaccines to the country.

"I spoke today, on the phone, with the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres to explain the serious health situation in the country. I spoke of the need to increase the flow of vaccine delivery to the country, " wrote Arthur Lira, president of the Congress.

Rodrigo Pacheco, head of the Senate, also said he spoke to Guterres and reinforced the need for doses from COVAX to arrival in Brazil.

"I reinforced the request for help from the UN so that the country becomes a priority for the international consortium Covax Facility to anticipate vaccine deliveries," wrote Pacheco.

Guterres tweeted on Saturday saying, “More countries are beginning to receive vaccine supplies, but most people in low- and middle-income nations are still waiting. Vaccine equity is a moral test of global solidarity. COVAX – the @UN-led initiative to ensure equitable access, must be funded and supported.”

The Brazilian health ministry registered at least 1,803 new deaths and 37,017 cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the country registered 353,137 deaths and 13,482,023 cases of Covid-19.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro meanwhile has shrugged off criticisms that he is "genocidal" in his opposition to Covid-19 restrictions as the country reached new records in cases. The President has repeatedly opposed lockdowns and restrictive measures, and criticized governors and mayors with insulting language for implementing them.

3:38 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

11 US states have already vaccinated 50% of adults with at least one dose of vaccine, CDC data shows

From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

A soldier prepares to vaccinate a man at an East Boston Neighborhood Health Center Vaccination Clinic in Boston on February 16.
A soldier prepares to vaccinate a man at an East Boston Neighborhood Health Center Vaccination Clinic in Boston on February 16. Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images

Almost 190 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States, according to data published Monday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC reported that 189,692,045 total doses have been administered – about 80% of the 237,796,305 doses delivered.

That’s about 2.6 million more doses reported administered since yesterday, for a seven-day average of about 3.2 million doses per day.

More than 36% of the population – nearly 121 million people – have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, and more than 22% of the population – about 74 million people – are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.

Among adults, 46.5% have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, and 28.6% are fully vaccinated.

The US is on track to reach half of the adult population with at least one dose by the end of the week, according to a CNN analysis of CDC data.

Eleven states have already reached this threshold:

  1. New Hampshire: 64%
  2. New Mexico: 57.6%
  3. Connecticut: 55.3%
  4. South Dakota: 54.2%
  5. Massachusetts: 54.1%
  6. New Jersey: 53.5%
  7. Maine: 52.6%
  8. Vermont: 51.7%
  9. Minnesota: 50.8%
  10. Wisconsin: 50.3%
  11. Rhode Island: 50%

Data published by the CDC may be delayed, and doses may not have been given on the day reported.

12:36 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

Sweden's Covid-19 ICU occupancy reaches highest point since first wave of pandemic

From CNN’s Arnaud Siad

The number of people with Covid-19 in intensive care units in Sweden has hit its highest point since the first wave, according to data from the Swedish Intensive Care Registry on Monday.

There are currently at least 393 people in intensive care with Covid-19 across the country.

That topped the 389 who were treated in ICUs in early January, but was below the number in intensive care during the first wave of the pandemic in spring 2020, when the total reached as high as 558.

12:16 p.m. ET, April 12, 2021

White House says pediatricians' offices will likely administer Covid-19 vaccines for children

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Covid-19 vaccinations for children aged 12 to 15 may be available as soon as early fall and will likely be administered through pediatricians' offices, according to the White House.

"As it relates to kids, there is a well-established route of vaccinations through the pediatrician's office," Andy Slavitt, the White House's senior adviser for Covid-19 response, said during a virtual White House briefing on Monday. "That's important both for teens and younger kids, because it's an important point of trust for parents and teens."

Clinical trial results of Pfizer/BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine have shown it is well tolerated and its efficacy is 100% among children ages 12 to 15, the companies announced in late March. 

On Friday, Pfizer requested an emergency use authorization amendment to expand use of its coronavirus vaccine in the US to people ages 12 to 15. Currently, the vaccine is authorized for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration in people ages 16 and up. 

"We would hope that children in high school will be able to be vaccinated by the time we get to the early fall season,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said during Monday's briefing.