Who gets the coronavirus vaccines first? The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices – which advises the CDC – made its recommendation last night.
It voted 13-to-1 to have healthcare workers and nursing homes receive the first available coronavirus vaccine doses. The CDC director will likely approve this recommendation today.
The states are actually responsible for distributing the coronavirus vaccines. States are not required to follow the panel’s recommendations . . . but they usually do. The final decisions, though, will rest with the governors.
Of course, before anything happens, the FDA must give emergency-use authorizations for the coronavirus vaccines.
Let’s assume that everything goes well. What is the approximate timeline for when you could receive a vaccine?
December and January: Coronavirus vaccines will be given to healthcare workers and also to workers and residents of nursing homes.
February and March: The next priority groups will get vaccinated. These fall into two groups. First, essential workers like first responders and teachers as well as people in the food and transportation industries.
The second group is people over the age of 65 (and especially people over 75).
April, May, etc.: Anyone else that wants a vaccine will be able to get one.
If enough Americans become vaccinated, our lives will return to close to what they were. If not enough people get vaccinations, the virus will continue to be a problem, though a smaller one.
The Big News
Vaccines and ‘Superhuman’ Immunity
Vaccines for some pathogens (such as tetanus) generate stronger immune responses and better protection than does natural infection. Scientists at the Scripps Research Translational Institute are exploring whether a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 might cause such “superhuman” immunity. More research is needed, obviously. But considering the early results for the leading vaccines, there is great hope.
China Blew It
Leaked documents reveal China’s equivalent of the CDC was underfunded and mired in bureaucracy. That led to a Covid mess. The numbers of cases and deaths were low-balled. Tests were inaccurate, diagnosis was slow and early cases were likely counted as flu. These mistakes were not just mistakes that happen when you’re dealing with a novel virus. Some were bureaucratic and politically-motivated errors. These had global consequences.
Why California Is in Trouble
California is in worse shape than many states in the Covid epidemic. Its healthcare system is not up to the task. The state has one of the lowest number of hospital beds relative to its population, among all states. It has just 1.8 hospital beds per 1,000 people. Only two states have fewer beds for residents, Washington and Oregon.
Antibody Protection Lasts at Least 6 Months
A research team from Japan’s Yokohama City University said that most people infected with the novel coronavirus have sufficient antibodies to prevent reinfection, even after six months. The team’s study of 376 people found neutralizing antibodies in 97% of those with mild or asymptomatic infections, and in all of those with moderate or severe infections.
Dogs and Covid Therapy
A therapy dog is helping children in a Spanish special-needs school. The teachers use face masks because of Covid. So, the children cannot see them smile. With the presence of the dog, students have become more responsive and collaborative, with faster reactions. So, the dog has become a key tool for teachers.
The Coronavirus Numbers
Here are the numbers from Wednesday at 8 a.m. ET from Johns Hopkins University:
- 63,995,700 Infected Worldwide
- 1,483,227 Deaths
- 13,726,304 Infected in the U.S.
- 270,691 Deaths in the U.S.
The disagreements continue between the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin thinks state and local lockdowns are the biggest threat to economic growth. Meanwhile, the Fed chairman, Jerome Powell, thinks rising coronavirus infection rates are the biggest challenge to the U.S. economy.
“A full economic recovery is unlikely until people are confident that it is safe to re-engage in a broad range of activities,” Powell said.
Markets, though, are already factoring in a strong recovery.
Just look at copper, the world’s most important industrial metal. It hit a seven-year high yesterday at $3.50 per pound.
Copper has risen 25% this year, boosted by supply disruptions, hopes for a wave of “green” economic stimulus as well as China’s rapid recovery from the pandemic.
China is the world’s second-biggest economy and largest user of copper. It has imported a record amount of refined copper this year due to voracious commercial demand.
I am a fan of copper as one of the best ways to gain exposure to a rollout of more wind, solar, batteries and electric cars.
Keep in mind that, on average, an electric car contains more than three times as much copper as an internal combustion car. Copper is also used in wind turbines and to connect renewable sources of generation to the grid.
Yours in Health & Wealth,