The first vaccine vial used in the U.S. is added to the Smithsonian’s collection.

The United States is racing through hundreds of thousands of vaccine vials a day, but one of particular importance has found its way into the Smithsonian’s collection, as museums attempt to chronicle the history of the pandemic.

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History announced on Tuesday that it had acquired the vial that contained the first vaccine dose administered in the United States after the shot received Food and Drug Administration authorization.

The vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which was used on Dec. 14 to inoculate Sandra Lindsay, a nurse at a Queens hospital, has been added to the museum’s collection, along with Ms. Lindsay’s white-and-blue scrubs, her vaccination record card and hospital identification badge.

Northwell Health, the New York-based health care provider that administered the vaccine, made the donation and also shared vials from doses of the Moderna vaccine and other inoculation supplies.

collect artifacts from the fight against the coronavirus, including diary entries, online schoolwork, photographs and first-person accounts.

The National Museum of American History welcomed another item of importance earlier this month when Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser on Covid-19, presented his colorful three-dimensional model of the coronavirus to the museum’s national medicine and science collections.

The museum, which is still closed to the public because of virus restrictions, has been collecting significant items from the pandemic for a future exhibition exploring American efforts to control and cure illnesses.

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Ukraine Blames Lagging Covid Vaccinations on Misinformation

First Ukraine got caught up in the geopolitics of vaccine distribution between Russia and the West, and struggled to get hold of any doses. Now that it has them, Ukraine faces a new challenge: finding enough people who are willing to be vaccinated.

The country is so plagued by misinformation about Covid-19 that vaccine hesitancy in Ukraine is among the worst in Europe, even among doctors and nurses.

That shows in the slow start for Ukraine’s vaccination program: So far, just over 23,000 people have received a dose, out of a population of 42 million.

Ukrainian news media have carried reports of opened vials of vaccine going to waste at hospitals because not enough willing doctors and nurses could be found to receive the doses.

released a study saying that Ukraine was suffering from an “infodemic,” with social media “flooded with false narratives” about the disease and vaccination.

Ukraine’s tense internal politics are partly to blame.

Opponents of President Volodymyr Zelensky have extended their criticism of him to the two vaccines his administration has put into use — one from Oxford-AstraZeneca and the other from Sinovac — both of which have been shown in clinical trials to be safe and effective.

A former prime minister, Yulia V. Tymoshenko, who now heads an opposition party, introduced a bill in Parliament that implicitly criticized the Zelensky administration’s choices by providing for the government to compensate Ukrainians for any side effects and “protect every Ukrainian from the negative consequences” of the two vaccines.

A former president, Petro O. Poroshenko, said that Ukrainian health care workers were refusing inoculation in the belief that the two vaccines were of poor quality. He used scatological language to describe the vaccines in a speech in Parliament.

The Ukrainian health minister, Maksym Stepanov, said in an interview that the political fight was eroding confidence in vaccination. “Politicians contribute to people’s distrust of vaccines,” he said.

one-third of doctors and nurses in the country have already been infected with the coronavirus, and the rest are evenly divided between those who want to be inoculated and those who say they have no intention of taking either of the available vaccines.

Mr. Stepanov said that the widely held negative attitudes were a result of “a lot of fake news spread by members of the anti-vaccination movement.”

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More U.S. States Expand Vaccine Eligibility

As vaccine production and deliveries and inoculations ramp up, a growing number of U.S. states are allowing ever more people to get vaccinated, providing optimism for those who have been waiting for their moment.

Anyone age 16 and older who lives or works in Alaska became eligible on Tuesday evening after the state became the first in the country to allow the maximum possible number of residents access to a vaccine. Next week, Texans age 50 and older will be eligible, the state’s health department announced on Wednesday, the same day Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia said that people in that state over 55 would be able to get a shot next week.

New Yorkers age 60 and older became eligible on Wednesday, with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo citing increased supply from the federal government. The governors of Minnesota and Ohio also said this week that they would open eligibility to larger groups of residents.

Minnesota’s governor, Tim Walz, said his state “moved quickly to use more vaccine from the federal government” and was set to meet its goal this week of vaccinating 70 percent of people 65 and older in the state. That allowed him to expand eligibility to the state’s next two phases at the same time — and “weeks ahead of schedule.”

conditions that confer access in one state may not do so in another.

The pace of vaccinations has picked up to the point where the daily average of individual shots has reached about 2.17 million a day. On March 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 2.9 million shots had been delivered.

Should the pace hold or even increase, the adult American population of about 260 million could be fully vaccinated within months, either by Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine or by the two-dose series made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. About 62.5 million Americans have received at least one dose and about 32.9 million of that number have been fully vaccinated, according to the C.D.C.

President Biden has steadily moved up the nation’s inoculation timeline as the vaccine makers have increased production — in Johnson & Johnson’s case, by entering a partnership with a longtime rival, Merck. After announcing last week that the U.S. would have enough vaccine available by the end of May for every American adult, on Wednesday, Mr. Biden said that he was directing the federal government to secure an additional 100 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

The White House said that the additional doses could help the country begin to vaccinate children after the necessary clinical trials are completed. The doses could also, if necessary, be used as boosters or be reformulated to combat emerging variants of the virus.

some clinics in the Navajo Nation, which underwent harsh lockdowns this summer and suffered from a surge in cases, anyone 16 and older can get a vaccine. And in Gila County, Ariz., any resident over the age of 18 can walk into a clinic and get a shot.

But vaccine hesitancy remains a potential obstacle to the nation’s energized vaccination campaign. Health officials in Alaska have said that hesitancy, combined with confusion about eligibility, had left unfilled appointments, which may have factored into the governor’s decision to swing the doors to the vaccine wide open.

While Alaska has fully vaccinated 16 percent of its population, the highest rate in the country, according to a New York Times database, the state ranks 46th in vaccine administration, having used only 69 percent of its supply.

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E.U. Exports Millions of Covid Vaccine Doses Despite Supply Crunch at Home

BRUSSELS — The European Union exported 34 million doses of coronavirus vaccines in recent weeks to dozens of countries, even as it faced shortages at home that contributed to its vaccine rollout trailing far behind drives in the United States, Britain and Israel.

The E.U. has come under fierce criticism for “vaccine nationalism” and protectionism, which intensified last week when Italy blocked a small shipment of doses to Australia, stepping up a tug of war over badly needed shots.

But export numbers, recorded in detailed, closely held documents seen by The New York Times, show that the European Union, far from being protectionist, has in fact been a vaccine exporting powerhouse.

That news, E.U. officials conceded privately, was bound to outrage European citizens in 27 nations who are still waiting for their shots while watching Americans, Britons, Israelis and others race past them into resuming a safer and more normal public life, and economic activity.

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Whether to reveal the extent of E.U. exports has been hotly debated in the corridors of the European Commission, the bloc’s executive branch, which is at the heart of procuring the vaccines and has suffered the biggest political blow for the underwhelming rollout.

But several senior E.U. officials argued that revealing the immense export efforts that are keeping countries around the world vaccinated and helping the world economy restart might help Europe’s reputation after last week’s dispute.

Italy was able to block the shipment to Australia last week under a new emergency rule that allows any E.U. member to halt exports of the vaccines produced in the bloc.

Italy’s decision was a bold, if symbolic move to push the bloc to make more demands of pharmaceutical companies. (The companies have contracts with countries around the world, but the details of the deals are often secret, making it difficult to know what deliveries have been promised to various countries.)

approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for use in its 27 countries, but the hopes that it would boost its sluggish immunization rollout were quickly crushed: the company revealed major production problems, and slashed delivery promises for the first quarter of the year.

black-market offers of extra doses, and several are tapping vaccines not yet authorized in the bloc, including Russia’s Sputnik V.

Hopes that supply woes could be eased in the second quarter of this year largely hinge on AstraZeneca’s production picking up and a robust delivery plan by Johnson & Johnson, whose Covid-19 vaccine is set to be authorized by the E.U. regulator on Thursday.

Yet there are concerns that Johnson & Johnson could also be slashing supply to the bloc, prompting a request to the United States government for a loan of 10 million doses.

Officials in the United States and the European Union said the request had been denied.

Noah Weiland contributed reporting from Washington and Rebecca Robbins from Bellingham, Wash.

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E.U. Exports Millions of Vaccine Doses Despite Supply Crunch at Home

BRUSSELS — The European Union exported 25 million doses of vaccines produced in its territory last month to 31 countries around the world, with Britain and Canada the top destinations, just as the bloc saw its own supply cut drastically by pharmaceutical companies, slowing down vaccination efforts and stoking a political crisis at home.

The bloc — whose 27 nations are home to 450 million people — came under criticism last week, when Italy used an export-control mechanism to block a small shipment of vaccines to Australia. The move was criticized as protectionist, and in sharp contrast to the European Union’s mantra of free markets and global solidarity in the face of the pandemic.

The issue of vaccine production and exports has also created a bitter dispute between the European Union and Britain, a recently departed member, amid accusations that the bloc wants to deprive the country of vaccine doses out of spite, in part because Britain is doing so much better with its rollout.

The tensions culminated in a diplomatic spat on Wednesday after a top E.U. official accused the United States and Britain of bringing in an “outright ban” on exports — a charge that the British government vehemently denied.

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black-market offers of extra doses, and several are tapping unauthorized vaccines, including Russia’s Sputnik V, which is still under review for use in the bloc.

Hopes that these woes could be eased in the second quarter of this year have largely hinged on AstraZeneca’s supply picking up and a robust delivery plan by Johnson & Johnson, whose Covid-19 vaccine is set to be authorized by the E.U. regulator on Thursday.

Yet there are concerns that Johnson & Johnson could also be slashing supply to the bloc, prompting a request by the bloc to the United States government for a loan of 10 million doses. Officials in the United States and the European Union said the request had been denied.

Noah Weiland contributed reporting from Washington.

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Alaska Is First State to Offer Vaccines to All Residents 16 and Over

All individuals 16 and older who live or work in Alaska are now eligible to receive the vaccine, Gov. Mike Dunleavy said on Tuesday evening, making it the first state to allow all of its residents access to the vaccine.

Alaska has fully vaccinated 16 percent of its population, the highest in the country, according to a New York Times database.

“If Alaskans had any questions about vaccine eligibility and criteria, I hope today’s announcement clears it up for you,” said Adam Crum, the commissioner of the state health department. “Simply put, you are eligible to get the vaccine.”

Mr. Dunleavy encouraged all “Alaskans that are thinking about” getting vaccinated to do so, adding that the vaccine “gives us the ability now in Alaska to far outpace other states.”

New York Times database. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that about 61.1 million people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, including about 32.1 million people who have been fully vaccinated by Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine or the two-dose series made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Some parts of Alaska have reached 90 percent vaccination rates among seniors, the governor said in a statement. In the Nome Census Area, over 60 percent of residents 16 and older have received at least one shot.

“We want to get our economy back up and running. We want to get our society back up and running,” Mr. Dunleavy said. “We want to put this virus behind us — as far as possible, as soon as possible.”

The Pfizer vaccine is available to individuals 16 and older in Alaska, the governor said, while the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines are available to people 18 and older.

vaccine eligibility beginning on Wednesday, allowing anyone older than 60 to be inoculated.

New York State is also opening vaccination eligibility next week to a large number of public-facing workers, including government employees, nonprofit workers and essential building services workers. Those people can begin to get vaccinated on March 17.

New York will join a handful of other U.S. states that allow vaccinations for all people over 60; the majority have set their minimum age eligibility requirement at 65 years old.

Mr. Cuomo, in an appearance in Syracuse, pointed to expected increases in supply from the federal government as the reason behind expanding vaccine eligibility.

Among the workers eligible to get vaccinated next week are public works employees, social service and child service caseworkers, government inspectors, sanitation workers, election workers, Department of Motor Vehicle employees and county clerks.

Appointments will open for people over 60 years old starting at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Mr. Cuomo said. People over 65 became eligible for a vaccine in January.

Elsewhere, Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota announced Tuesday that the state would expand eligibility to more than 1.8 million Minnesotans this week, including essential workers in industries like food service and public transit, and people 45 and older with at least one underlying medical condition. The announcement is “weeks ahead of schedule,” the governor said in a statement, as the state is set to reach its goal of vaccinating 70 percent of Minnesotans 65 and older this week.

In Ohio, residents 50 and older, as well as people with certain medical conditions who had not yet been eligible, will be eligible to receive a vaccine this week, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday.

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NY Will Allow Anyone Over 60 to Get Vaccinated Starting Wednesday

New York will lower its age threshold for Covid-19 vaccine eligibility beginning on Wednesday, allowing anyone older than 60 to be inoculated, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Tuesday.

“That means people, like as old as I am, will now be eligible for the vaccine,” Mr. Cuomo, 63, said at an appearance in Syracuse.

The state will also expand its eligibility requirement the following week to open vaccination to a large number of public-facing workers, including government employees, nonprofit workers and essential building services workers. Those people can begin to get vaccinated on March 17.

Mr. Cuomo pointed to expected increases in supply from the federal government as the reason behind expanding vaccine eligibility.

Among the workers eligible to get vaccinated next week are public works employees, social service and child service caseworkers, government inspectors, sanitation workers, election workers, Department of Motor Vehicle employees and county clerks.

Appointments will open for people over 60 years old starting at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Mr. Cuomo said. People over 65 were made eligible for a coronavirus vaccine in January.

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Elderly, Vaccinated and Still Lonely and Locked Inside

TORONTO — Devora Greenspon is among the lucky ones. She is one of the 1.4 percent of Canadians who has received two shots of a coronavirus vaccine. So have 90 percent of the residents in her nursing home.

How has it changed her life?

“It’s like it never happened,” says Ms. Greenspon, 88, who is still sequestered mostly in her room. Her walks have been confined to the corridor; she has not been allowed to leave the center for nonmedical reasons since October.

Long-term care homes, as they are called in Canada, were prioritized for the first precious doses of vaccines, to few objections — they were ground zero for the pandemic’s cruel ravage. Around 66 percent of the country’s terminal Covid-19 victims lived in nursing homes, among the highest rates in the world.

But while the vaccines have given the majority of nursing-home residents protection from death by the virus, so far they have not offered more life. Some residents have compared their lives to those of prisoners and caged animals.

game night or choir practice. And some homes are permitting indoor visits under U.S. federal guidelines put in place in September that allow them if a home has been virus-free for 14 days, and county positivity rates are below 10 percent, regardless of the home’s vaccination rate.

But elsewhere, homes are about to reach a full year of being closed to visitors, despite the plummeting of coronavirus cases.

AARP and other advocacy organizations have called on the U.S. government to ease visitation guidelines as vaccines are rolled out in nursing homes. Many note that with vaccinations, the likelihood of residents contracting and dying from Covid-19 is lower, but the harm to residents from social isolation continues unabated.

Ms. MacKenzie noted that the extended periods of isolation are having detrimental effects on residents’ health in Canada as well.

large survey of nursing-homes residents and their families by Ms. MacKenzie’s office found the majority reported a marked decline in cognitive function and emotional well-being, and almost half reported their physical functioning had worsened. The survey also found that the proportion of residents on antipsychotic medication — traditionally prescribed to manage behaviors like agitation related to dementia — had increased by 7 percent over six months.

The question of how to care for the country’s senior population during a pandemic isn’t unique to Canada and the United States. Many nursing homes around the world banned visits as the coronavirus arrived around a year ago. Soon after, geriatricians sounded the alarm about the rapid decline in health and well-being of residents, triggering a debate about the balance between protection and quality of life, as well as the rights and autonomy of residents. As a result, many jurisdictions reintroduced some sort of visitor policy, as the first wave subsided.

Many are calling for a similar discussion to happen again in Canada.

“If we really don’t allow people more civil and social liberty, and allow them to meaningfully engage in social activities in some way, these people are going to give up, as many of them have already done,” said Dr. Nathan Stall, a geriatrician at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

Betty Hicks, 82, broke her hip a couple months before her nursing home went into lockdown and she never regained her ability to walk, says her daughter Marla Wilson. Without the regular visits from her large family, the mother of eight deteriorated quickly, losing nearly 20 pounds and the ability to even pick up a phone, her daughter says.

Now that Ms. Hicks has been vaccinated, like everyone else in her nursing home, the argument that she’s locked up for her own safety seems painfully weak, her daughter says.

“You always hear people say, ‘Oh they lived a long life,’” said Ms. Wilson. “Right now, they aren’t living. They are existing.”

While overprotective government regulations have prevented long-term care homes from adjusting their restrictions, they are only partially responsible, said Dr. Samir Sinha, co-chair of the National Institute on Ageing and director of geriatrics at Toronto’s Sinai Health System and University Health Network.

Many facilities have been so focused on preventing outbreaks that they’ve been unwilling to develop creative ways of keeping their residents mentally and physically stimulated, he said.

“The majority of nursing homes across the country have found an excuse to not do something,” he said. “You even have these homes who are marketing it, ‘We’re going above and beyond to keep you safe.’ We translate that to mean, ‘We are locking you in your room for good.’ They are actually violating people’s human rights.”

And for many residents, Dr. Sinha pointed out, time is running out: The average stay in a Canadian nursing home, to put it gingerly, is just two years.

“I’d like to take them on a bus to Niagara Falls, or anywhere, even if we can’t get off the bus. When can we do that?” said Sue Graham-Nutter, the head of two nursing homes in Toronto where 98 percent of residents have been vaccinated. She is haunted by last spring’s outbreak that killed many of her residents, but she worries many more will die before they are afforded some basic joy.

“They want to go and hang out with their friends,” said Ms. Graham-Nutter, the chief executive of Rekai Centres. “When can we do that?”

Lawyers say the rules restricting residents from leaving breach rights laid out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. “Long-term care residents should be able to come and go like everybody else,” said Jane Meadus, a lawyer at the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly, a legal clinic for seniors. “Does the fact you live in long-term care give you less charter rights?”

Few of her clients are willing to challenge their home’s restrictions, however.

“They are afraid the home will somehow retaliate, or try to remove them from the home,” said Ms. Meadus. “We are talking about institutions that have a lot of power over a very vulnerable population.”

Jonathan Marchand is one exception. Last summer, he slipped out of his care home near Quebec City and moved into a makeshift cage erected near the provincial legislature, to stage a protest. Mr. Marchand, a 44-year-old network engineer, suffers from muscular dystrophy and requires a ventilator to breathe. For years, he’s fought to leave the institution and spend the government money to hire his own caregivers at home.

The pandemic gave him another powerful argument. After five nights sleeping in his motorized wheelchair and on a cot, he returned to the facility, with a government promise to work on a pilot project for community living.

Since then, he has not been allowed to leave the property except for medical reasons, he says. While he calls the rules unjust and unfair, he understands why they are there — because of the devastation an outbreak from variants could wreak.

“Long-term care facilities were the first things to close down; they will be the last thing to open up,” he said. “I think they will be very cautious in opening up, and I can’t blame them for it.”

Still, some people have decided not to wait for the rules to change, but to relish the small joys vaccination provides.

Suzanne Charest rushed to an Ottawa hospital last month after being notified by her father’s nursing home that he had suffered what seemed like another heart attack. He was in so much pain, she said, he talked frantically through the night, as if it might be their last time together. Thankfully, it was a false alarm.

The next day, after he was back in the nursing home, Ms. Charest, who like her father has been vaccinated, did something she hadn’t done in almost a year.

She hugged him.

Catherine Porter reported from Toronto. Reporting was contributed by Allison Hannaford in North Bay, Sarah Mervosh in New York and Danielle Ivory in New Jersey.

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