What the hell is going on with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine?

The problem child of COVID-19 vaccines was back in the news this week. After South Africa suspended the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine’s use when it failed to slow the spread of the predominant B.1.351 variant, vaccination using this vaccine has been suspended and then resumed in many European countries following reports of blood clots in some people who received it.

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Teachers can get vaccinated in every state, but we don’t know how many are

As of this past Monday, K-12 teachers in every state are now eligible for vaccination. Teachers were already prioritized in most of the country, but Biden directed the remaining states to adjust their priority lists last week. The federal government also pulled teachers into the federal pharmacy program, previously used for long-term care facilities. But there’s one big problem: we have no idea how many teachers have actually been inoculated.

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National Numbers, March 14

The U.S. is now vaccinating about 2.5 million people per day. One in four adults has received at least their first shot. And we crossed the 100-million dose mark on Friday, far earlier than President Biden’s 100-day goal. Meanwhile, cases, deaths, and hospitalizations continue to decline.

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J&J vaccine authorized, VRBPAC has fantastic hold music

Yesterday, the FDA gave the Janssen—did you know it’s pronounced yahn-sen? I didn’t—vaccine Emergency Use Authorization, allowing it to join the likes of Pfizer and Moderna in the exclusive club of vaccines that may now be distributed in the U.S. Welcome, Janssen. (As a total coincidence I’m wearing my shirt that just says “Vaccines!” on it as I write this.) But the addition of a new vaccine in circulation also brings data reporting questions with few easy answers.

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Diving into COVID-19 data #1: Workshop recap

Our first workshop happened this week! Drew Armstrong, Bloomberg News’s senior editor for health care, talked about his work on the publication’s Vaccine Tracker; and Arielle Levin Becker, director of communications and strategic initiatives for the Connecticut Health Foundation, discussed how to navigate COVID-19 race and ethnicity data. Thank you to everyone who attended—we had a great turnout!

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How to talk about COVID-19 vaccines

I wrote a tipsheet on covering COVID-19 vaccines for The Open Notebook. The piece provides tools and resources specifically for writers on the vaccine beat—both those who have been covering the pandemic for months and those who are now incorporating vaccine news into other aspects of their reporting. But this advice also applies more broadly to anyone simply talking about vaccines.

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