What We're Reading: Fauci Warns of Holiday Travel Uptick; UK to Clear Vaccine Candidate; SC Offering Free HIV Testing

Anthony Fauci, MD, warns of potential upticks in cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) after holiday travel; the United Kingdom is set to give the first approval to Pfizer, BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate; health officials from South Carolina to offer free HIV testing.

Fauci Warns of Uptick in COVID-19 Cases After Holiday Travel

Yesterday, the nation’s top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, MD, warned of potential upticks in cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) after many Americans refused to adhere to warnings by public health officials against traveling this past holiday week. Reported by The Hill, Fauci urged travelers to be safe when returning home and encouraged them to quarantine if possible and get tested. This past Wednesday, the travel rate reached its highest level since March, with approximately 1.1 million passengers going through airport security.

UK Set to Be First to Clear Pfizer, BioNTech Vaccine

Reported by Bloomberg, the United Kingdom (UK) could give the first approval to Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, as early as this week. The UK has ordered doses of the 2-shot vaccine to immunize approximately 20 million people, although it is noted that it will not be available right away. The first injections are said to potentially take place starting December 7.

Free HIV Testing Available Across South Carolina

As part of World Aids Day on December 1, health officials from South Carolina are offering free HIV testing, as well as testing for other sexually transmitted diseases and Hepatitis C at local health clinics statewide. Reported by The Associated Press, health officials estimate that over 20,000 people in South Carolina are living with HIV, with 1 in 6 noted to be unaware of their status. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control additionally plans to hold a panel discussion tomorrow, called "Ending the Epidemics" that will include information on preventing the spread of HIV and how those infected live with the virus.