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The Review & Preview: What southern Coloradans need to know this week

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Posted at 5:45 AM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 10:22:02-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — With so much information being announced daily about the COVID-19 pandemic, here is a review and preview of what is going on in Southern Colorado as it pertains to the virus:

The Review

First Americans receive initial doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine

Following Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA and a formal recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first Americans began receiving Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.

Pfizer's vaccine requires two doses, which need to be taken 21 days apart.

CDC gives 'OK' to begin inoculations of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, shots could start Monday morning

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have given the green light to begin administering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Americans age 18 and older. Inoculations using Moderna’s version of the vaccine could begin Monday morning.

This COVID-19 vaccine was developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, and it can be stored at warmer temperatures than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Both vaccines have shown to be more than 90% effective.

Statewide 5 Star program not what local leaders expected

Friday marked the start of a fourth consecutive week of Level Red restrictions in the Pikes Peak Region. There was hope earlier this month that a new statewide 5-Star variance program might provide small businesses here, restaurants in particular, with a little bit of relief.

On Wednesday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced the approval of a statewide 5-Star variance program. However, elected officials and business leaders in El Paso County said the plan delivers much less than what they were expecting.

Congress reaches agreement on $900 billion COVID-19 relief package

Leaders in Congress say they have reached a deal on a $900 billion long-awaited COVID-19 relief package, according to multiple reports. The announcement comes Sunday evening, as both the House and Senate prepare to vote.

Exact details are not released yet. It is expected to include $300-a-week in supplemental jobless benefits, direct payments of $600 for individuals, more than $300 billion in small business loans and more than $80 billion for schools, as well as billions for help with vaccine distribution.

The bill's text must be finalized, then given to the House and Senate for a vote. Then it will head to President Donald Trump to sign. Lawmakers are hoping to move the process along quickly Sunday night.

The Preview

Looking ahead to Christmas week, we will continue to track the progress and pitfalls of distributing the vaccine across the country and here in Colorado.

This week, Alasyn Zimmerman will have a story on how the COVID-19 vaccine works and what's the difference between all of the candidates. She'll take an in-depth look at the science of the vaccine and the timeline to get it to the general public.

With COVID-19 impacting us through the Christmas holiday, we will be bringing you stories on how virtual celebrations are being conducted to ring in the holiday and what sacrifices people are making this holiday season. We'll also have stories on how people are helping those less fortunate and on frontline workers managing the holidays and keeping us all safe.

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With The Rebound Colorado, News5's team will be here to answer your questions, bringing you expert advice to balance the books, pay the bills, and rebuild savings accounts. E-mail us any time at rebound@koaa.com with your suggestions, feedback, frustrations, ideas, suggestions, and anything else you need.

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