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U.S. States Granted $200 Mln To Prepare For Covid-19 Vaccine

uscoronavirus sept24 lt

President Donald Trump announced that his administration is awarding $200 million of CARES Act funding to all 50 states to prepare to distribute a coronavirus vaccine to high-risk residents.

Addressing a news conference at the White House, Trump said four vaccine candidates in the United States have reached the final stage of clinical trials, with Johnson & Johnson being the latest. He said his government also continues to accelerate lifesaving therapies.

"We're seeing promising results that our monoclonal antibody treatments -- which help the immune system fight the virus and help very significantly -- can reduce hospitalizations now by more than 70 percent," he told reporters.

Regarding reopening of schools, Trump said research shows encouraging results, noting, "Brown University conducted a study of more than 550 schools across 46 states and found that only 0.076 percent of students had confirmed cases of the virus -- that's a tiny percentage -- and 0.15 percent of teachers had confirmed cases."

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said the Department of Health and Human Services has the ability to begin distributing and administering safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines "as soon as they are authorized and available."

CDC Director Robert Redfield said the agency is working closely with state and local jurisdictions to refine and update vaccination plans in preparation for the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine program.

He added that the amount each jurisdiction receives is determined by a population-based formula.

With 1,095 additional deaths reported in the last 24 hours, the coronavirus death toll in the United States reached 201,884, as per Johns Hopkins University's latest data.

With the addition of 37,330 coronavirus-related cases in the same period, the total number of infections in the country reached 6,933,548.

A Republican governor who rejected calls to introduce state rules requiring people to wear masks as a protective measure against contracting coronavirus has tested positive for the disease. Missouri Governor Mike Parson and his wife tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the CDC said in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) that between June and August, adults in the age group of 20-29 years had the highest rate of COVID-19 infections, accounting for 1 of every 5 cases in the United States. This is contrary to the early trend of the pandemic spreading among older adults.

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