Michigan tops 11,000 COVID-19 deaths

Coronavirus

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan added more than 4,000 new COVID-19 cases today with 83 deaths.

The death toll has topped 11,000 today.

If you are wondering about upcoming stimulus checks, there’s some good news on the horizon.

Top congressional leaders are nearing agreement on a long-delayed COVID-19 relief package, hoping to seal a deal as early as Wednesday that would extend aid to individuals and businesses and help ship coronavirus vaccines to millions.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a coauthor of a $908 billion bipartisan package, said leadership negotiators are close to agreement on legislation that would extend direct payments of perhaps $600 to most Americans. No. 2 Senate Republican John Thune of South Dakota confirmed the likely addition of direct payments in that range, as well as a $300-per-week bonus federal unemployment benefit to partially replace a $600-per-week benefit that expired this summer.

“We made major headway toward hammering out a bipartisan relief package,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

The bill would include a new round of stimulus checks, enhanced federal unemployment insurance benefits, and other avenues for delivering aid to states, localities, territories and tribes, according to two people familiar with the talks and authorized to characterize them. Their statement said that a GOP-sought provision shielding businesses from COVID-19-related lawsuits would be dropped.

“I think they’re basically now putting it all together,” Manchin told CNN. “We were able to break the gridlock.”

Other aides following the talks offered more cautious assessments. The emerging package is serving as a magnet for add-ons and the two sides continue to swap offers.

It is also apparent that another temporary spending bill will be needed to prevent a government shutdown at midnight on Friday. That is likely to easily pass.

With the COVID-19 vaccine being distributed across the U.S., you may have some questions regarding the vaccine.

6 News’ Brittany Flowers spoke with Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail on Wednesday to get some answers.

Q: Will people have to pay to get vaccinated?

A: There is no cost for the vaccine itself. “You may find that in some places you will get charged a administration fee. It shouldn’t be much, if it is, please let people know. There should not be a significant, huge charge. We have gloves, we have those alcohol wipes, we have people’s time. All of those things that come into actually giving you a vaccine outside of the vaccine itself and so that administration fee covers those costs,” Vail said.

Q: Why aren’t the vaccines recommended for children?

A: “The clinical trials were targeted to specific areas to get the vaccine out as quickly as possible, so for example, there hasn’t been a full and complete clinical trial on children under the age of 16 which is why the vaccine is not being recommended under the age of 16. So, typically what you would have seen is all of that being incorporated into  the clinical trial studies until it was fully able to be approved for everyone that it can be approved for, but this needed to get out.”

Q: How long does it take for the vaccine to become effective?

A: “Once you have a vaccine you need a second dose of the vaccine once you have the second dose of vaccine it was about two weeks before basically, we presume you’ve got full immunity from the vaccine after that second dose.”

The Moderna vaccine has shown to be 94.5 percent effective after two doses, while the Pfizer vaccine is 95 percent effective after two doses.

Q: Do I still have to wear a mask after I get vaccinated?

A: “Yes. Once you get the vaccine you still have to wear a mask. We’re looking at you know, 15, 20 weeks out before we vaccinate the whole population and we will all still be wearing masks and doing the other things while this vaccination process happens.”

Q: If the mRNA vaccine is a new technology, how do I know it’s safe?

A: “The comment that it’s an mRNA vaccine and hasn’t been used before, the technology has been around for years, it’s not brand new technology. There’s concerns that somehow or another it’s going to affect the DNA in your cells, that’s not true.”

The CDC says mRNA vaccines are being held to the same rigorous safety and effectiveness standard as all other types of vaccines in the United States. The only COVID-19 vaccines the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will make available for use in the United States (by approval or emergency use authorization) are those that meet these standards.

Q: Will the COVID-19 vaccine make me sick?

A: While there have been side effects reported with both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine, Vail said that is the body’s immune response doing it’s job. “To me, if I get a little bit of a response from a vaccine, I know it’s done it’s work. That small immune response, which could make you feel you know, slightly sick, not very good for a fairly short period of time and it will be minor, is really a sign that your immune response is doing what it’s supposed to do.”

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