Week 49: Johnson & Johnson vaccine rolls out

Positive COVID-19 cases continue downward trend as year under state of emergency nears
March 4, 2021

The state is getting 8,000 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

About 5,000 of the Johnson & Johnson doses will be administered during two appointment-only events this weekend for people on the state’s waiting list. The first will be Saturday, March 6, at Seaford High School and the second Sunday, March 7, at the Division of Motor Vehicles facility in Delaware City.

Gov. John Carney calls the new vaccine a game changer.

To date, 77,000 Delawareans — about 8 percent of the population — have received both doses of the Pfizer and Moderna two-shot vaccine and another 142,000 Delawareans have been given their first shot,

No more Johnson & Johnson vaccines will arrive in Delaware before April, officials said, but the state will continue getting shipments of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine.


Biden: Enough vaccine for all adults

On March 2, President Joe Biden announced there would be enough COVID-19 vaccine available by the end of May to provide vaccinations to every adult in America who wants one. In addition, he said a national effort is underway to vaccinate as many educators as possible in March.


Merck joins effort to make vaccine

As Johnson & Johnson rolls out its one-shot vaccine this week, Merck announced it had received federal funding of up to $268 million to adapt and make available a number of existing manufacturing facilities for the production of COVID-19 vaccines and medicines.

Merck has also entered into agreements with Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, to support the manufacturing and supply of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. Merck will use its facilities in the United States to produce drug substance, formulate and fill vials of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.


U of D sees large spike in cases

As hospitalizations and positive COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Delaware, the University of Delaware saw a dramatic spike with 324 positive cases last week, which is three times the previous high of 134 cases in mid-November.

Because of the increase, dining halls and food courts will be closed to in-person service with only grab-and-go items available, the two main student centers and the Carpenter Sports Building will be limited to 25 percent of capacity and all guests are banned from dorm rooms.

Although only 17 percent of classes are in-person – up from 9 percent in the fall – more than 3,800 students live in college dorms, which is 55 percent occupancy.


States, cities ease restrictions

Some state and city officials are starting to modify and remove COVID-19-related restrictions. Next week in Texas, face coverings will no longer be mandatory and all restrictions on occupancy limits on businesses and restaurants will be removed.

In Massachusetts, restaurants can allow 100 percent occupancy and in Michigan, family members who have tested negative are allowed to visit nursing homes. In Chicago, tens and thousands of children returned to in-person school classes this week and city officials reopened playgrounds and city parks.

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