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Daily Briefing – 240

Post: Jan. 26, 2021

Vaccine Update- Allocation to States Will Rise 16 Percent

The total week 6 federal allocation of vaccine delivery to providers was complete Sunday. Delivery of the week 7 allocation from the federal government does not begin until the middle of this week. As of 11am yesterday, New York’s health care distribution sites have received 1,304,050 first doses and administered 93 percent or 1,210,339 first dose vaccinations.  President Biden announced yesterday that allocations to states will go up 16 percent and that this allocation will be consistent for the next three weeks.

In the Mid-Hudson Region 179,475 FIRST and SECOND doses have been distributed, 122,017 have been administered (68%)

COVID and “Winter Cluster Plan” Update

Governor Cuomo issued a press release yesterday morning providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Saturday, January 23rd.

Hospitalization tracking data for the Mid-Hudson region and the rest of the State are below.  

Hospitalizations Statewide:

  • Patients Currently in Hospital   =  8,831
  • COVID Hospitalizations as Percent of Population =  .005%
  • Percent of Hospital Beds Available = 32%

Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 

  • Patients Currently in Hospital in Region   =  1,071
  • COVID Hospitalizations as Percent of Region Population =  .005%
  • Percent of Hospital Beds Available in Region  = 40%

ICU Beds Statewide

  • Total ICU Beds   =  5,878
  • Occupied ICU Beds =  4,274
  • Percent of ICU Beds Available  = 26%

ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 

  • Total ICU Beds   =  689
  • Occupied ICU Beds =  418
  • Percent of ICU Beds Available  = 37%

Other Data

  • Statewide Transmission Rate (R0):  .91
  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 6.79%
  • Mid-Hudson Positivity Rate: 8.10

Useful Websites:

Moderna on Track to Deliver 200 Million Doses of its COVID Vaccine to U.S. Government by End of June

Moderna Inc. said Tuesday it is on track to deliver 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the U.S. government by end-March and to deliver 200 million doses by end-June. The Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech said it has already delivered more than 30 million doses of the vaccine to the U.S. government. About 10.1 million doses of the vaccine have by now been administered in the U.S., the company said, citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

The U.S. government has an option to purchase up to 300 million doses of the Moderna vaccine. The vaccine has also been authorized for use in Canada, Israel, the European Union, the U.K. and Switzerland. 

Read more at MarketWatch

Biden Sets Sights on 1.5 Million Vaccinations a Day

President Joe Biden said he was hopeful that the U.S. could ramp up its capacity to administer 1.5 million shots daily. That would be a significant jump from the policy of 100 million shots in 100 days that he made a tenet of his nascent administration. “We’re trying to get out a minimum of 100 million vaccinations in 100 days, and move in the direction where we’re well beyond that in the next 100 days, so we can get to the point where we reach herd immunity in a country of over 300 million people,” he said.

By the end of former President Donald Trump’s time in office, the nationwide rate has hovered around that million-shots-a day mark.

Read more at Politico

FEMA Supports Vaccine Distribution: COVID-19 Response Update

FEMA is helping identify and fill resource gaps, using federal funding to accelerate state vaccination efforts and working to establish vaccine sites, in alignment with President Joseph R. Biden’s COVID-19 response plan. FEMA established a new Interagency Vaccination Task Force in FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center and is deploying FEMA staff to vaccination sites in support of state requests. This new task force is developing data dashboards to track personnel movement and vaccine distribution.

Read more at FEMA

Coronavirus: Vaccine Supply Fears Grow Amid EU Export Threat

The European Union threatened to block exports of AstraZeneca’s covid-19 vaccine manufactured within its borders. The British drug firm has told the EU it will not be able to supply all of the doses it originally promised because of production problems. The bloc’s health commissioner called that “unacceptable”. The EU’s vaccination program lags others in the rich world; it has yet to approve the AstraZeneca jab.

Responding to the EU’s comments, the UK’s Minister for Covid Vaccine Deployment Nadhim Zahawi said on Tuesday that supplies were “tight” and warned against what he called “the dead end of vaccine nationalism”, adding: “No-one is safe until the whole world is safe.”

Read more at the BBC


Germany’s Handelsblatt reported that AstraZeneca’s vaccine is barely (as in 8%) effective for people over the age of 65. The company has strenuously denied this, and scientific experts appear to be on its side. The British government is reportedly furious at the slur on its national champion, and the German government has denied the report that said its officials came up with the 8% estimate; they suggest somebody got confused. Quick takeaway: wait for better data before getting alarmed, and let’s see what the European Medicines Agency decides this week about the AZ jab.

Read more at ABC News

IMF Raises Global Economic Growth Forecast but Says Outlook Remains Uncertain

Global output is projected to grow 5.5% this year, up from the IMF’s October forecast of a 5.2% increase. Last year’s estimated contraction of 3.5% was smaller than October’s forecast for a 4.4% contraction. China was the only major economy to grow last year, expanding by 2.3% amid effective containment measures and forceful economic support, the IMF said.

The stronger-than-expected recovery masks significant disparities between high-skilled workers and their less-educated counterparts, the IMF’s chief economist, Gita Gopinath, said in a December interview. Similarly, rich countries are faring better than poor ones as the global pandemic nears its first anniversary.

Read more at the WSJ

Congress Renews Employee Retention Tax Credit

The ERTC was slated to expire on Dec. 31—but Congress extended the ERTC until June 30, 2021. The expansion also increased the credit percentage from 50% to 70%; increased the amount of qualifying wages per employee from $10,000 for the year to $10,000 per quarter; changed the gross receipts test from a 50% quarterly decline when compared to the prior-year quarter to a 20% decline; and increased the full-time employee threshold from 100 to 500 employees.

Read more at the IRS website

Johns Hopkins: US Has Passed Peak Cases

It is becoming more clear that the US has passed a peak in terms of daily incidence, and the current average is less than what it was prior to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The peak in terms of reported incidence was 248,706 new cases per day on January 8. In addition to daily incidence, we are beginning to observe an associated decrease in hospitalizations at the national level.

This trend is evident at the regional and state levels as well. All 4 regions have reported decreasing daily incidence since approximately January 8-10, including a further decrease in the Midwest, which has reported a steady decline in daily incidence since mid-to-late November.  Looking at mortality at the state level, 21 states (plus Washington, DC) are reporting decreasing daily mortality over the past week, compared to 11 with increasing mortality and 18 holding relatively steady (-10% to +10%).