It was a mixed bag with the launch of the vaccine in Washington state, but authorities say the availability of the shots is improving day by day.
Yesterday’s blizzard didn’t help, forcing some vaccination sites to close and slowing the presence of those who stayed open. Nevertheless, progress has been made both domestically and abroad. Oxford University has announced that it will be testing its coronavirus vaccine in children six years and older to expand coronavirus vaccine studies to include the youngest age group.
We update this page with the latest news about the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the Seattle area, the US and the world.
Click here to see the live updates from the past few days and all other coronavirus reports. Here’s how we are tracking the daily spread in Washington and the world.
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Living in Wuhan one year after COVID-19 appeared
A year ago in Wuhan, China, these streets were a barren landscape of fear. Wuhan’s residents shrank inside and were not allowed to walk as a virus claimed thousands of lives. Hospitals were overwhelmed, patients struggled to breathe in waiting rooms and parking lots, while relatives called for help online and on government hotlines, which were often unavailable.
Only a few in Wuhan – a factory town on the Yangtze – want to remember this time. Similar scenes were repeated around the world as COVID-19 spread and more than 2.3 million people have died so far. But here, where the pandemic began, life has returned to familiar rhythms.
Read this Los Angeles Times mailing from Wuhan, a year after COVID-19 came out.
– Alice Su, Los Angeles Times
Japan officially approves its first COVID-19 vaccine
Japan on Sunday officially approved its first COVID-19 vaccine and announced that it would begin nationwide vaccination within days but months behind the US and many other countries.
The Japanese Ministry of Health announced that it had approved the vaccine co-developed and supplied by Pfizer Inc.
The announcement came after a government body confirmed on Friday that the final results of clinical tests conducted in Japan showed the vaccine had similar efficacy to tests overseas.
Read the whole story here.
– Mari Yamaguchi, The Associated Press
The U.S. health service called on to respond to a pandemic is still waiting for vaccinations
Hundreds of state health workers who have been asked to respond to the pandemic and possibly administer vaccines are still waiting for the opportunity to self-vaccinate for failing, according to three officials who spoke on condition of anonymity were authorized to discuss the problem.
Two months after federal officials approved the first coronavirus vaccine for use, there is still no plan in place to allocate vaccine supplies to the U.S. Public Health Service mandated corps, a 6,000-strong force deployed to care for coronavirus patients to vaccinate completely. Set up vaccination centers on behalf of the Federal Government and perform other health tasks. Instead, members of the corps have been told to visit military treatment facilities like the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center – where some officers have been turned away in order to persuade staff not to be eligible for the vaccine – or to try to get into states shoot where you were deployed.
The corps is a uniformed government service, just like the military, and the chiefs of the Department of Health have stated that all of its members should be eligible for shooting according to the Pentagon’s vaccination priority list.
Read the whole story here.
– Dan Diamond, the Washington Post
Seattle Times staff and news services