Slaoui Floats Half-Dose Vax; Oxford/AZ Vax Debuts in Britain; COVID Santa?

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Chief Operation Warp Speed adviser Moncef Slaoui suggested giving adults 18-55 two half-doses of the Moderna vaccine to help speed up the rollout. (CNBC)

As of Monday at 8:00 a.m. EST, the unofficial U.S. COVID-19 toll is 20,639,854 cases and 351,590 deaths, up almost 1.6 million cases and 18,450 deaths versus a week ago.

About 4.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the U.S. as of Jan. 2, according to CDC data.

A Milwaukee pharmacist accused of destroying more than 550 doses of COVID-19 vaccine was arrested. In total, 57 patients received the spoiled doses. (NPR)

Oops: in West Virginia, 42 people accidentally received Regeneron IV monoclonal antibody treatment instead of a COVID-19 vaccine. (KIRO 7)

And a holiday-themed, air-powered, inflatable costume may be responsible for 44 staff members testing positive for COVID-19 at a California hospital. (New York Times)

Airlines can do little to prevent people with COVID-19 symptoms from boarding planes, as many passengers simply lie on their health screening forms. (Los Angeles Times)

Britain began administering the Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, and new guidelines will also permit “a mix-and-match” of two different COVID-19 vaccines, if one of the vaccines is out of stock, unavailable or if the first product is “unknown.” (Reuters)

In Belgium, 26 retirement home residents died with COVID-19 after a visit from a volunteer dressed as Santa Claus, who tested positive shortly afterward. (CBS News)

Talk show host Larry King, age 87, was hospitalized with the virus in Los Angeles. (CNN)

Another politician, Virginia state Sen. Ben Chafin (R) died of COVID-19 at age 60. (The Hill)

And actress Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann on “Gilligan’s Island,” also died of the virus at age 82. (Washington Post)

In other news:

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    Molly Walker is an associate editor, who covers infectious diseases for MedPage Today. She has a passion for evidence, data and public health. Follow

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