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COVID: Five Things You Need to Know

It is Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 and here are 5 Things You Need To Know About COVID-19. 

Update brought to you by Health and Housing Director, Kat Wortham.

First, a few quick snapshots of Santa Clara County’s status: 

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, or VMC for short, is now administering over 6,000 COVID-19 vaccines each day to healthcare workers and residents over 75 in the County to date.

As of January 14, 2021, the County’s Health System alone has administered 32,352 first doses and 6,594 second doses to eligible healthcare workers and to people who are 75 and older.

Altogether, the County is on track to vaccinate more than 30,000 residents per week.

This information comes at a time when vaccine rollout across the country, and especially in California, has been slow.

Interested in receiving news updates about vaccine distribution? Check below for a list of resources to track vaccine distribution locally and nationally.

Second, speaking of a slow rollout across the country, the Trump Administration announced last week that vaccines that have been reserved for administering second doses will now be released to speed up distribution efforts. 

This change comes after President-elect Biden made the announcement last week that his Administration will make all supplies of COVID-19 vaccines immediately available.

The change would allow for more people to receive the vaccine, arguing that more people having some protection is better than fewer people having the highest protection. This is in line with what the United Kingdom has recommended. 

A single dose of the Moderna vaccine was 80-90% effective after 14 days when studied. The Pfizer vaccine was not studied at one dose. 

The World Health Organization, or WHO, gave their sign off to countries who want to administer vaccines through one dose instead of two given the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. 

Third, Persons aged 75 and older are now able to receive their COVID-19 vaccine with most providers if they choose to.

This news came on Wednesday, January 15th off of the State and Federal governments announcing persons 65 or older were allowed to receive the vaccine.

However, due to limited supply currently, the County of Santa Clara and other local counties announced that interested persons 75 and older may now make an appointment to receive the vaccine.

The County advises members of Kaiser, Sutter and others systems to contact their provider to see about eligibility or an appointment. 

Please note – this situation is fluid and we expect more changes/guidance in the coming days and weeks. 

Have questions about Vaccine phases, distribution, and more? Visit the Vaccinate ALL 58 State website is up to answer your vaccine questions. 

Fourth, President-elect Biden introduced his proposed stimulus plan on Thursday, January 14th, 2021. 

He notably included: 

    • $1.4K direct payments to Americans making $75,000 or under.
    • An additional $400 in weekly unemployment benefits to extend through September 2021.
    • A hotly disputed $350B for state and local governments to aid in vaccine distribution efforts and help to pay for teachers, firefighters, police, and other public services.
    • A stand alone $20B for a national vaccination program aka a national vaccine response. The current response has been piecemeal and frustrating for most if not all. 
    • $15/hour federal minimum wage.

Biden takes office Wednesday, January 20th and stabilizing the economy while seeing an end to widespread COVID-19 concerns will be his top goals in his first 100 days. Biden will use the House-passed HEROES Bill from 2020 as his mechanism for these changes. The bill has yet to pass the Senate where it will need 60 votes. 

Fifth and finally, a negative COVID-19 test is now required for international flights into U.S. starting January 26th.

The CDC will now require a negative COVID-19 test from anyone entering the country from abroad starting January 26th. 

This includes U.S. citizens and is required for anyone over the age of 2.

The test can be taken up to 72 hours in advance of your entry into the U.S.

CDC still recommends a self-quarantine of 7 days even with a negative test result. 

Thanks for joining us for our first installment of 5 Things You Need To Know About COVID-19. Please check below for a list of resources by County. Have questions or follow up? Please reach out to me at [email protected]. Thank you. 

Resources: 

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