April 13 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Lauren Said-Moorhouse, Samantha Tapfumaneyi, Melissa Mahtani, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 2:19 AM ET, Wed April 14, 2021
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3:12 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

UK hits Covid vaccination target, PM praises the "precious" protection vaccines offer

From CNN’s Arnaud Siad and Sarah Dean

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves number 10, Downing Street in London, on April 12.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves number 10, Downing Street in London, on April 12. Leon Neal/Getty Images

The United Kingdom has reached its Covid-19 vaccination target of offering doses 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," said Prime Minister Boris Johnson. "That means more than 32 million people have been given the precious protection vaccines provide against Covid-19.”
“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 by April 15.

The UK has now administered nearly 40 million doses, and fully vaccinated 7.4 million people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

2:46 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

Recording reveals Bolsonaro asked senator to investigate governors and mayors for handling of the pandemic

From CNN's Rodrigo Pedroso in Sao Paulo

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro speaks at the Planalto Palace, Brasilia, Brazil, on March 31.
President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro speaks at the Planalto Palace, Brasilia, Brazil, on March 31. Mateus Bononi/Getty Images

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro asked a senator to expand a parliamentary inquiry into the federal government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, to include mayors and governors, according to a recording of the conversation.

Sen. Jorge Kajuru published a recording of his conversation with Bolsonaro on social media, which Bolsonaro condemned on Monday. Bolsonaro said he did not know he was being recorded, and called for the full conversation to be released, which Kajuru then did.

The phone call: In the recording, Bolsonaro said that if the inquiry is not expanded, then only the federal government and its allies will be investigated.

"If the scope does not change, the inquiry will simply investigate Pazuello, investigate our guys, to make a dirty report. You have to make lemonade out of a lemon. For now, there's only a lemon out there," Bolsonaro said to the senator, referring to former health minister Eduardo Pazuello.

In the full recording, Bolsonaro also cursed opposition leader Sen. Randolfe Rodrigues, calling him "a punk" and saying if the commission didn't change the scope, he would have to “kick his ass."

The investigation: Last week, Supreme Court judge Luis Roberto Barroso ordered a parliamentary inquiry to be opened by the Brazilian Senate on the federal government's actions on handling the pandemic.

The inquiry would examine the possibility Bolsonaro and other federal, state and local leaders made omissions that led to hospital systems collapsing at the beginning of the year. Several Covid-19 patients reportedly died in the city of Manaus due a lack of oxygen.

Barroso's order is expected to be voted on by the Court on Wednesday.

2:46 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

US official: Health authorities are taking reports of blood clots and J&J vaccine "seriously"

From CNN's Elizabeth Cohen

An Army medic removes vials of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine from a box at a vaccination site in Orlando, Florida, on April 10.
An Army medic removes vials of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine from a box at a vaccination site in Orlando, Florida, on April 10. Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/Sipa USA

US health agencies are working to assess whether the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine is associated with a very small increased risk of rare blood clots, a federal official told CNN.

"The CDC and the FDA are taking these concerns about blood clots and the J&J vaccine seriously and are diligently assembling data," the official said.

An expert outside the government who is familiar with the situation agreed that health officials are taking the matter seriously.

"The CDC is very concerned and they're very working hard on this and monitoring this closely," said the expert, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the issue.

Cases so far: There have been "four serious cases of unusual blood clots" reported after people received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to European health authorities.

Some of the types of blood clots observed are relatively common, such as deep vein thrombosis, so it wasn't surprising that among roughly 20,000 participants who received the vaccine, some would experience those clots.

What made FDA scientists take note, however, is that in the trial, about the same number of people received a placebo -- a shot of saline that does nothing -- as received the vaccine. However, when comparing the two groups, more study participants developed clots after receiving the vaccine than the placebo.

The link is "not clear: Like their US counterparts, the European authorities say they're still investigating these cases and that "it is currently not clear" whether there's a causal association between the vaccine and the clots.

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