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Florida women dressed as ‘grannies’ fail in vaccination attempt | Coronavirus pandemic News

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The women are accused of altering the birth years on their vaccination applications and were turned away.

Two women who dressed as senior citizens in an attempt to get COVID-19 vaccinations were turned away and issued trespass warnings in Orlando, Florida, officials said.

Dr Raul Pino, the state health officer in Orange County, where Orlando is located, said the women “dressed up as grannies” and disguised themselves on Wednesday with bonnets, gloves and glasses.

Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Michelle Guido told the Orlando Sentinel that the women, aged 34 and 44, altered their birth years on their vaccination registrations to bypass the state system, which prioritises people age 65 and older. It appeared that the women had gotten the first shot, but it was unclear where.

“Their names matched their registration but not their dates of birth,” Guido told the Sentinel.

Health Department officials asked deputies to issue trespass warnings.

Guido said the warning means they cannot return to the convention centre for any reason including a vaccine, COVID-19 test, convention or show. If they do return, they could face arrest.

Pino said the Health Department’s investigation will try to determine where they were vaccinated earlier and how they managed to get an appointment. He said the department will “try to figure out if there are any holes, any loopholes in the process that are allowing people to do that.”

“This is the hottest commodity that is out there right now, so we have to be very careful,” Pino told reporters.

With limited supplies of the vaccine available, some are taking extreme measures to obtain the shots. Last month, a Canadian couple was charged after travelling to an Indigenous region and falsely posing as local residents in order to receive the vaccine.

“How dare these two privileged multi-millionaires … lie to medical professionals, putting our community at risk, to jump the queue?” White River First Nation Chief Angela Demit asked in a statement shared on social media.



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US says it has jabbed 82 million people, topping the world | Coronavirus pandemic News

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But coronavirus rates have plateaued over the past week, raising concern over yet another surge in cases and deaths.

The United States has administered 82 million coronavirus vaccine shots, White House officials announced on Friday, more than any other country in the world.

During a coronavirus task force news conference, health officials said 55 percent of Americans aged 65 and older have now received at least one shot, up from 8 percent just six weeks ago.

“Altogether we’ve administered more than 82 million shots, more than any country in the world,” said Andy Slavitt, White House senior adviser for the COVID-19 response team.

But the US has also suffered more deaths than any other country in the world – more than 518,000 Americans have lost their lives to the disease.

President Joe Biden has set a goal of 100 million vaccines administered during his first 100 days in office [File: Evan Vucci/AP Photo]

US President Joe Biden who took office in January has promised to make tackling the pandemic a top priority for his administration and has set a target to vaccinate 100 million Americans by early May – to coincide with his 100 days in office. He has said the country is well under way to meeting that goal.

Officials say 450 vaccination sites have been set up around the country which has sped up the effort and they have plans to open up more sites as vaccine supplies increase over the next weeks.

In an effort to further boost the campaign, last week the US gave emergency approval to use a third vaccine produced by drugmaker Johnson & Johnson. Biden has also announced that the US will manufacture the J&J vaccine, a shot that requires only one dose, further speeding up the effort.

But even with the vaccination campaign well under way, officials said deaths and infection rates have plateaued in recent days, indicating that the nation could be at risk of yet another surge.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said amid the rapid spread of new variants across the country, Americans need to ‘double down’ on protection measures of wearing masks, maintaining social distance and frequent hand washing [File: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rochelle Walensky, said over the past week, there have been daily 60,000-70,000 new coronavirus cases, and 1,900 Americans have been dying every day.

“The current numbers remain concerning,” Walensky said, “cases and deaths are still too high, and have now plateaued for more than week.”

Amid the rapid spread of new variants, which have been detected in 48 US states, she urged Americans need to “double down” on protection measures of wearing masks, maintaining social distance and frequent hand washing.

“I know that the idea of relaxing mask wearing and getting back to every day activities is appealing,” she said, “but we’re not there yet.”

Several states have in recent days announced the easing of coronavirus restrictions on businesses and have lifted statewide mandates to wear masks. Health officials have responded with concern and urged Americans to continue to wear masks and follow precautions set under federal guidelines.

Biden blasted the decisions by state governors on Thursday, calling it “a big mistake” and “the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking.”

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor said the current numbers are an indication of a likely fourth surge in cases.

“When you have that much viral activity in a plateau it almost invariably means that you are at risk for another spike,” he said.

During the briefing on Friday, officials also announced that the CDC is working on publishing guidance for fully vaccinated individuals, indicating which activities they may or may not be able to resume.



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