Australia to Begin COVID-19 Vaccine Program

The FDA gives Moderna the green light to increase vaccine vials by 40%.

An original version of this article was published by sister publication Contagion.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine administration has increased throughout the world in the last week.

On Feb. 15, Australia received its first doses of vaccines , with the rollout expected to begin next week on Monday and the first 1.4 million recipients being frontline healthcare workers, quarantine and border workers, and aged care and disability staff and residents.

The country acquired 142,000 doses of Pfizer’s BNT162b2, with the first shipment of 62,000 being set aside for second doses.

Late last week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave Moderna the okay to increase the amount of vaccine they put in their vials by 40%.

This allows the company to up the doses in each vial from 10-14, increasing the US stock much faster than anticipated. However, the FDA did state that they would need the company to submit more data showing an immediate 20% increase would not compromise the vials.

Additionally, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced its guidance for the reopening of schools safely. The agency laid out a mitigation strategy involving 5 key steps. The strategies include required masking, physical distancing, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, and contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the health department.

United States52.88 million15.81 per 100
China40.52 million2.82 per 100
United Kingdom15.6 million22.98 per 100
India8.29 million0.6 per 100
Israel6.44 million74.43 per 100
Brazil5.24 million2.46 per 100
United Arab Emirates5.06 million51.11 per 100
Germany4.15 million4.95 per 100
Russia3.9 million 2.67 per 100
Turkey3.83 million4.54 per 100

Data Table per Our World in Data (Feb 14, 2021, 12 AM EST)

The US saw another 64,000 new cases of COVID-19 this past Sunday alone, with 1,084 pandemic-related deaths. This comes as investigators have identified several troubling new variants of the virus that have been spreading across the country.

California5,820,38814.82 per 100
Texas4,133,74714.07 per 100
Florida3,467,85615.95 per 100
New York2,925,18615.12 per 100
Illinois1,854,22814.63 per 100
Pennsylvania1,822,32714.23 per 100
Ohio1,691,92514.47 per 100
North Carolina1,617,43515.42 per 100
Michigan1,604,97316.23 per 100
Georgia1,437,71813.54 per 100

Data Table per CDC COVID-19 Tracker (Feb 14, 2021, 6 AM EST)

For more information on COVID-19 vaccination research, distribution, and assessment, check out some of these recent Contagion stories:

AstraZeneca Vaccine Preprint Does Not Bode Well for COVID-19 Variant Response

Experimental Antiviral Effective at Treating and Preventing COVID-19

Establishing a Successful Global Immunization Strategy Against COVID-19