Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, January 4: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world

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Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, January 4: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world

An Operation Warp Speed ​​official on Sunday suggested one possible way to get more for our vaccine: halving the dose of each shot of Moderna’s vaccine, potentially doubling the number of people who could get it.

Moderna’s studies showed that people between the ages of 18 and 55 who received two doses of 50 micrograms had an “identical immune response” to the standard doses of two 100 micrograms, said Dr. Moncef Slaoui.

The vaccine would still be dispensed in two doses four weeks apart, Slaoui said in an interview on CBS, and it would be up to the FDA to decide whether to continue the idea.

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.

Viruses, more than Brexit fallout, are worrying in and near Gibraltar

Fear of disruption following Britain’s exit from the European Union was replaced by coronavirus restrictions on border traffic between Spain and Gibraltar on Monday, the first working day on the UK’s only land border with mainland Europe.

FILE - This Thursday October 17, 2019, a file shows a view of the rocks of Gibraltar from the neighboring Spanish town of La Linea during a general election in Gibraltar.  (AP Photo / Javier Fergo, File)

FILE – This Thursday October 17, 2019, a file shows a view of the rocks of Gibraltar from the neighboring Spanish town of La Linea during a general election in Gibraltar. (AP Photo / Javier Fergo, File)

Only a portion of the vital workforce averaging 15,000 who crossed the fence between the Spanish town of La Línea de la Concepción and British territory on a normal day ventured into Gibraltar, which was locked under pressure late Saturday due to an increase in virus cases its limited health infrastructure.

According to the new regulation for staying at home, the 30,000 inhabitants of the British region on the southern tip of Spain are only allowed to go to work, sports, medical appointments or to buy essential items. Gibraltar authorities reported more than 1,300 new cases last month, more than double the number in early December, and are investigating whether the increase is related to the new virus variant that has spread rapidly in the UK.

Read the story here.

-The Associated Press

7:39 am

The vaccination campaign is gaining momentum worldwide

The campaign to overcome the coronavirus is picking up speed. The UK starts dispensing the second vaccine in its arsenal on Monday and India, the world’s second largest country, approves its first shots.

In the U.S., government officials reported that vaccinations sped up significantly after a disappointingly slow start. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said over the weekend that 1.5 million shots were administered in 72 hours, bringing the total to about 4 million.

The UK became the first country on Monday to use the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford and stepped up its nationwide vaccination campaign amid rising infection rates stemming from a new and apparently more contagious variant of the virus.

Read the story here.

-The Associated Press

7:37 am

The Greek Church urges priests to ignore the order to close the pandemic

Greece’s powerful Orthodox Church is rebelling against a government decree to temporarily close the places of worship to tighten virus restrictions before schools are scheduled to reopen.

The governing body of the Conservative Church issued a statement Monday instructing priests to receive worshipers during the Epiphany service on Wednesday. The Holy Synod said it does not “accept” the new restrictions, which will be in effect from January 3rd to 10th, and would send a letter of protest to the center-right government.

Read the story here.

-The Associated Press

7:26 am

Israel is vaccinating so quickly that it runs out of vaccine

Israel, which has vaccinated a higher percentage of its population against the coronavirus than any other country, is delivering shots so quickly that it exceeds its vaccine supply.

Health officials are making efforts to buy more cans, saying they could take a break to give younger citizens the first round of shots and the second, final, injections to the elderly.

The situation is essentially the opposite of that in many parts of the United States, where vaccines go unused as mass vaccination programs struggle to gain momentum.

Medical workers vaccinate medical members against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv as Israel launches COVID-19 vaccination campaign on December 20, 2020 in Tel Aviv, Israel.  Israel, which has vaccinated a higher percentage of its population against the coronavirus than any other country, is delivering shots so quickly that it exceeds its vaccine supply.  (Photographer: Amir Levy / Getty Images Europe)

Medical workers vaccinate medical members against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv as Israel launches COVID-19 vaccination campaign on December 20, 2020 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Israel, which has vaccinated a higher percentage of its population against the coronavirus than any other country, is delivering shots so quickly that it exceeds its vaccine supply. (Photographer: Amir Levy / Getty Images Europe)

The US vaccination rate is around 1 percent. Israel, with a much smaller population and socialized health care, has hit 12 percent of its population at the initial dose. Since the campaign launched on December 20, Israel has repeatedly exceeded its goal of 150,000 vaccinations per day.

Read the story here.

-The Washington Post

7:23 am

As infections mount after the vacation, Lebanon prepares for lockdown

A Lebanese woman wears a protective mask to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as she celebrates the New Year outside a pub in Beirut, Lebanon, on early Friday, January 1, 2021.  Lebanon ended the year with more than 3,500 newly registered coronavirus infections and 12 new deaths as Health Ministers appealed to Lebanese people to take precautions while celebrating to avoid what he described as wasting victims in fighting the virus.  (AP Photo / Hussein Malla)

A Lebanese woman wears a protective mask to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as she celebrates the New Year outside a pub in Beirut, Lebanon, on early Friday, January 1, 2021. Lebanon ended the year with more than 3,500 newly registered coronavirus infections and 12 new deaths when its health minister urged Lebanese people to take precautionary measures while they celebrated to avoid what he called a waste of victims in fighting the virus . (AP Photo / Hussein Malla)

Lebanon is preparing for a new nationwide lockdown as officials promised Monday to take stricter measures against the coronavirus after the holiday season, causing a surge in infections and unrest in the country’s already ailing health sector.

First aiders claim to have transported almost 100 patients a day, while hospitals report almost full occupancy of beds and intensive care units.

Nurses say they are overwhelmed and private hospitals have been drawn into the national response despite complaints that the financially troubled government owes them large sums of outstanding debt.

Read the story here.

-The Associated Press

7:21 am

South Africa is testing whether vaccines against variants work

Scientists in South Africa are urgently testing whether the vaccines against COVID-19 are effective against the country’s variant virus.

At Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, people will pass a sign stating a COVID test station on Tuesday, December 29, 2020. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has made the wearing of masks mandatory and has again banned the sale of alcohol and ordered the closure of all bars and beaches as part of new restrictions to help the country fight a coronavirus resurgence, including a new variant.  (AP Photo / Nardus Engelbrecht)

At Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, people will pass a sign stating a COVID test station on Tuesday, December 29, 2020. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has made the wearing of masks mandatory and has again banned the sale of alcohol and ordered the closure of all bars and beaches as part of new restrictions to help the country fight a coronavirus resurgence, including a new variant. (AP Photo / Nardus Engelbrecht)

The genomic studies come after UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock and other UK experts said they fear vaccines against the South African variant may not be effective.

“This is the most pressing question we are currently facing,” said Dr. Richard Lessells, an infectious disease expert who is working on the country’s genome studies for the variant.

“We are urgently doing experiments in the laboratory to test the variant,” Lessells told The Associated Press on Monday against the blood of people with antibodies and against the blood of people who have received vaccines.

The tests, known as neutralizing assays, will help determine the reliability of vaccines against the variant, he said.

Read the story here.

-The Associated Press

6:16 a.m.

Find out about the last 24 hours

– Kris Higginson

6:15 am

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Seattle Times staff and news services