COVID-19 live updates: Moderna president hopeful for herd immunity by mid-year


(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 103 million people worldwide and killed over 2.2 million of them, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Latest headlines:
-New CDC reports show who got COVID-19 vaccines in program’s 1st month
-More than 6 million newly diagnosed US cases in January, 1 in 12 Americans have now tested positive
-Europol warns of fake COVID-19 test certificates
-Moderna president hopeful that US can achieve herd immunity by mid-year
-Variants detected at refugee accommodation center in Germany, officials say

Here’s how the news is developing today. All times Eastern.

Feb 01, 8:18 pm
Hospitalizations on decline in US

There are 93,536 people currently hospitalized with the coronavirus, the COVID Tracking Project reported Monday.

The number represents a decline in hospitalizations over the last couple of weeks. The number reached as high 130,000, according to the data.

“Compared to last week, the number of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 is down by 10% or more in 38 states,” the Tracking Project tweeted.

ABC News’ Gabriel Ware contributed to this report.

Feb 01, 5:05 pm
Northeast winter storm throws wrench in COVID-19 vaccinations

New Jersey’s six mass vaccination sites will be closed Tuesday due to a winter storm that’s grounded planes and halted subways across the Northeast. New Jersey health care providers will reach out via text, email or phone to reschedule canceled appointments, according to the governor’s office.

Vaccination sites in New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Philadelphia and parts of Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia were also affected by the snowstorm on Monday.

ABC News’ Joshua Hoyos contributed to this report.

Feb 01, 3:28 pm
South Africa’s coronavirus czar calls unequal global vaccine distribution ‘disheartening’

South Africa’s coronavirus czar lamented unequal COVID-19 vaccine distribution between rich and poor countries, calling it “disheartening,” in an interview with ABC News. “The part of it that is most distressing is the way in which vaccines are being unevenly distributed,” said Salim Abdool Karim, chairman of the South African Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19.

No single country can vaccinate its own population and think that it can stay safe while new virus variants emerge in parts of the world without vaccines, he explained. “That simply is a recipe for disaster.”

Karim’s comments follow similar criticism from South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa last week, who accused wealthy countries of “hoarding” excess vaccine doses that they did not immediately need.

ABC News’ James Longman contributed to this report.

Feb 01, 1:33 pm
New CDC reports show who got COVID-19 vaccines in program’s 1st month

Two new reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention detail who received COVID-19 vaccines during the first month of the United States’ vaccination program. Of the 13 million Americans who got at least one dose between Dec. 14 and Jan. 14, 63% were women and 55% were 55 years old or older, according to the reports, which were released Monday.

The new data revealed a troubling trend in nursing home settings. While nearly 78% of residents got at least one vaccine dose, only 38% of staff members got vaccinated, which suggests barriers to vaccination for staff that “need to be overcome,” according to the CDC.

The racial breakdown of who got vaccinated is less clear. Since multiple jurisdictions aren’t reporting a breakdown by race, there’s missing data on about half of the people who were vaccinated. Based on the data that’s currently available, 60% of those people who received vaccines were white, 12% were Hispanic and 5% were Black, the CDC reported.

As the vaccination rollout continues, “it is critical to ensure efficient and equitable administration to persons in each successive vaccine priority category, especially those at highest risk for infection and severe health outcomes,” the CDC said.

ABC News’ Sony Salzman contributed to this report.

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