Associated Press – US panel endorses widespread use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

A U.S. government advisory panel endorsed widespread use of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine Thursday, putting the country just one step away from launching an epic vaccination campaign against the outbreak that has killed close to 300,000 Americans.

Associated Press – Congress stuck, McConnell resists state aid in COVID-19 deal

An emerging $900 billion COVID-19 aid package from a bipartisan group of lawmakers has all but collapsed after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republican senators won’t support $160 billion in state and local funds as part of a potential trade-off in the deal.

The New York Times – Social inequities explain racial gaps in pandemic, studies find

When Dr. Gbenga Ogedegbe began to research coronavirus infections among Black and Hispanic patients, he thought he knew what he would find. Infected Black and Hispanic patients would be more likely to be hospitalized, compared with white patients, and more likely to die.

The Atlantic – The vaccine is here. Now for the hard part.

In a historic moment during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, an FDA advisory committee voted today in favor of authorizing the first vaccine against COVID-19. The formal implementation of this recommendation, which would allow the vaccine to be given to anyone 16 or older, is expected to follow imminently.

Kaiser Health News – Farmworkers, firefighters and flight attendants jockey for vaccine priority

With front-line health workers and nursing home residents and staff expected to get the initial doses of COVID vaccines, the thornier question is figuring out who goes next.