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India Grapples With Serious Covid Problem

KHN Morning Briefing

More than a dozen hotels and wedding banquet halls were ordered to be converted into covid-19 centers attached to hospitals as India goes past 14 million covid cases. In other global news, Germany will prosecute vaccine line-jumpers, and the E.U. shifts its efforts to the Pfizer vaccine.

States Push To Reopen Businesses And Schools

KHN Morning Briefing

Officials in Nevada want Las Vegas back to normal by June 1, and California’s governor urges all school systems to open schools again. Meanwhile, a Florida county wants to do away with the requirement that masks be worn inside public places.

‘Breakthrough’ Covid Cases In Already-Vaccinated Are As Expected

KHN Morning Briefing

The CDC notes that nearly 6,000 covid ‘breakthrough’ infections are proof that vaccinations do work, but not with 100% efficiency. Meanwhile, reports say 300 million vaccine doses could be in the US by July, sparking hoarding worries.

Study Links Filling Aircraft Middle Seats With Higher Covid Risk

KHN Morning Briefing

Keeping those seats empty more than halves the risk of covid exposure. Separately, a study links inactivity with an increased risk of covid death, and worries rise that pandemic loneliness is increasing risks to health and lifespans.

Covid Surges, Variants Spread, But States Shrug At Shutdowns

KHN Morning Briefing

As North Dakota notes its covid variant case count has doubled this month, and the unexpected rise of infections in Maine’s small towns confounds expectations, the AP reports that more state shutdowns to prevent the virus spreading are unlikely.

How The J&J Pause Affects The Total Vaccination Effort

KHN Morning Briefing

The suspension of the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine slows down the already-slow vaccination efforts, and some state officials worry it will add to vaccine hesitancy. The Biden administration said it is accelerating use of other vaccines.

J&J Vaccine In Limbo As Deadlocked CDC Panel Delays Vote

KHN Morning Briefing

The Johnson & Johnson covid vaccine pause will likely last at least another week after the vaccine experts that advise the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention delayed any decision. Many members said they need more information and data to assess safety protocols.

Covid Variants Ravage Canada and Latin America

KHN Morning Briefing

For the first time, Canada has more daily covid cases, as a percentage of its population, than the United States. Hospitals are stressed as more patients arrive.

J&J, AstraZeneca Face Headwinds In Europe

KHN Morning Briefing

Johnson & Johnson will delay its European vaccine rollout, Denmark says it found a link between AstraZeneca’s vaccine and rare blood clots and the EU Commission intends to end contracts for both companies’ vaccines.

Montana’s Governor Bans Vaccine Passports

KHN Morning Briefing

In other covid news across the states, Baltimore’s vaccination efforts are reaching more vulnerable residents, a report highlights how having covid relates to getting medical parole and young Minnesota wrestlers catch covid at a South Dakota event.

Ohio Abortion Law Upheld By Appellate Court

KHN Morning Briefing

A federal appeals court ruling backing an Ohio law that prohibits abortions because of fetal Down syndrome also challenges Supreme Court decisions. In other non-covid news from around the country, more syphilis in California, more overdoses in Maryland and more groundwater contamination elsewhere.

Medicaid Expansion To Undocumented Immigrants Pondered

KHN Morning Briefing

Connecticut legislators consider extending Medicaid coverage to undocumented immigrants in that state while in Virginia, legal immigrants get coverage. Also, Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion is in jeopardy while a ballot initiative is launched in Mississippi.

Moderna Vaccine Gives 90% Protection Against Covid For 6 Months

KHN Morning Briefing

Clinical trial data also says that Moderna’s vaccine is 95% effective at stopping severe disease for half a year after full vaccination. The company highlights its vaccine has no links to blood clots. Meanwhile, Pfizer is upping production of its version.