This is our daily update of the latest COVID-19 news for Thursday, December 17, 2020. Previous daily updates can be found here, and up-to-date stats are here.
New York City is in Phase 4 of reopening now, including zoos, botanical gardens, museums, and gyms. Citing rising hospital admissions, Governor Andrew Cuomo suspended indoor dining in NYC starting Monday, December 14. After to be shut down for several weeks, public schools in NYC partially reopened on December 7 for 3K-5th grade students, with students with special needs returning on December 10. Certain parts of Staten Island remain under a zoned closure.
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Here’s the latest:
Two health workers at a hospital in Juneau, Alaska, needed treatment for allergic reactions shortly after receiving the Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, marking the first known side effects in the United States.
Early last week, two health workers in the UK also experienced severe allergic reactions, resulting in a delay in the rollout there. The UK has advised people with a history of severe allergies not to receive the vaccine.
One of the employees of the Alaska hospital was a woman with no history of allergies. She was admitted to an intensive care unit and was in hospital on Wednesday evening.
The other person experienced “puffiness in their eyes, light-headedness and a scratchy throat” 10 minutes after receiving the vaccine Wednesday, according to a statement from Bartlett Regional Hospital.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all people who receive the vaccine be observed for 15 minutes.
“We expected these things and we had all the right systems,” said Charlee Gribbon, an infection prevention expert, in the statement.
Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, said, “While we think this is incredibly rare, and the CDC and FDA told us this is the only known case in the US to date, reporting problems is just as much. important when reporting successes. “
Thank you the team and Bartlett who did a great job dealing with a Pfizer vaccine side effect. While we think this is incredibly rare, and the CDC and FDA told us this is the only known case in the US to date, reporting concerns is just as important as reporting successes.
– Anne Zink (@annezinkmd) December 17, 2020
The Food and Drug Administration acknowledged the incident and said it partnered with Pfizer and the CDC to better understand what was happening.
In a late-stage study with 44,000 participants, the Pfizer vaccine was found to be safe and about 95 percent effective.
At a press conference at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens on Wednesday, New York City officials said no side effects had been seen in the more than 1,600 hospital workers vaccinated so far, but they were closely monitoring information from around the country and CDC.
Dr. Dave Chokshi, the city’s health commissioner, said individuals experienced some of the most common side effects that emerged in those in the study: pain or pain in the injection area, fatigue, and muscle aches.
He described the reactions as “mild side effects”.
Alaska officials described that the woman who is currently hospitalized is doing well. They added that she is still encouraging others to get the vaccine.