States’ Hospital Vax Threats; Beefed-Up U.K. Lockdowns; Moderna Ramps Up Production

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A South African coronavirus variant is potentially more problematic than Britain’s, according to the U.K. health minister. (CNBC)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he won’t get a COVID-19 vaccine until it is available “for my group” in Black, Hispanic and poor communities statewide. Cuomo did not specify what his group constitutes. (NPR)

As of Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. EST, the unofficial U.S. COVID-19 toll was 20,824,710 cases and 353,628 deaths — up 184,856 and 2,038, respectively, from Monday at the same time.

New York and Florida are threatening to punish hospitals for not distributing the vaccines efficiently. New York will fine hospitals that don’t administer the vaccines within a week of receipt and withhold further doses; Florida will transfer doses to faster-moving hospitals. (Reuters)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reinstated lockdowns in England and Scotland as the new virus variant has caused a national surge in cases and hospitalizations; Germany and Japan are among other countries considering similar measures. (CNN, AP, Reuters)

Moderna expects to manufacture at least 600 million doses of its vaccine this year, up 100 million from its previous forecast. (Reuters)

Former CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, called for existing vaccine supplies to be administered as quickly as possible without regard to the availability of second doses.

Despite their inclusion in phase 1a for shots, many primary care doctors can’t get them. (STAT)

The Wisconsin pharmacist arrested on charges of sabotaging more than 500 vaccine doses is apparently a vaccine conspiracy theorist. (New York Times)

The Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency is ordering paramedics to triage patients before transport, as hospital ICUs are now overwhelmed. (NPR)

In other news:

  • Ryan Basen reports for MedPage’s enterprise & investigative team. He has worked as a journalist for more than a decade, earning national and state honors for his investigative work. He often writes about issues concerning the practice and business of medicine. Follow

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