New cases of COVID-19 are on the decline across much of the country, but almost all states opposing this trend have lower vaccination rates. And the COVID-19 variants could lead to a drop in cases in the United States after months of decline if more people do not get vaccinated.
That’s the warning in a recent briefing from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which released an influential virus model throughout the pandemic. The briefing also says vaccines will need to effectively tackle the variants for the United States to escape a seasonal wave in the fall.
Experts said some states are seeing increased immunity due to the high rates of natural spread of the disease, which has so far killed nearly hundreds of thousands of Americans.
“We are definitely getting some public benefit from our previous cases, but we’ve paid for it,” said Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi state health official. “We paid for it with deaths.”
Only eight states – Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Wyoming – saw their seven-day moving averages for infection rates rise from two weeks earlier, according to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University. All except Hawaii had vaccination rates below the US average of 43% fully vaccinated, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Meanwhile, more than 70% of Americans – vaccinated and unvaccinated – are now comfortable getting together with friends, up from just over 40% in March, according to a CBS poll released on Friday.
But 29% of Republicans who responded to the poll say they have no plans to get the vaccine, while just over 20% of independents say the same. The main reasons? 50% say they are waiting to see what happens.
Also in the news:
►Iowa man convicted of following a man to a car and assaulting him after being ordered to remove the mask from his face in November was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Wednesday .
►Sen. Ron Johnson was slapped on Friday with a week-long suspension from uploading videos to YouTube after the company said it violated the website’s COVID-19 “medical disinformation policies”.
►The Food and Drug Administration has ruled that at least 60 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine should be discarded due to manufacturing issues, a person familiar with the situation told the Washington Post.
►British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday joined calls for further investigation into allegations that COVID-19 originally leaked from a Chinese lab, but has said for now that he does not believe not that that was what started the global pandemic.
The numbers of the day: The United States has more than 33.46 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus and at least 599,700 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: Over 175 million cases and over 3.79 million deaths. More than 143.9 million Americans have been fully immunized, or 43.4% of the population, according to the CDC.
What we read: Effective COVID-19 vaccines were developed in less than a year. But half a century after the country declared war on cancer, and 40 years after the first reported case of HIV / AIDS, there is no way left to prevent either disease, or many others. again. Read the full story.
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Novavax COVID-19 vaccine proves to be more than 90% effective
A COVID-19 vaccine made by Novavax of Gaithersburg, Md., Is more than 90% effective at preventing infections and completely protecting trial participants from serious illness, according to a company study.
From late January to late April, the company tested its vaccine on nearly 30,000 volunteers in the United States and Mexico, giving one person a placebo for every two people who received the active vaccine.
Of the 73 people infected with COVID-19 during the trial, only 14 had received the active vaccine and none of them became seriously ill, according to company data. It has been shown to be effective in people over 65, as well as those with health conditions that put them at additional risk, and has been tested in a diverse group.
The two-dose vaccine was also found to be safe, with side effects comparable to other COVID-19 vaccines, including pain at the injection site, headache, and fatigue, all of which went into effect. a day or two.
The company said it plans to seek federal authorization this summer to distribute its vaccine in the United States. With nearly 145 million Americans already fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Novavax injections will likely be used as boosters in the United States, but as two-dose primary vaccines elsewhere in the world.
– Karen Weintraub
Wisconsin’s positivity rate is declining; Lowest hospitalizations in New Jersey since the start of the pandemic
Wisconsin’s seven-day average positivity rate fell to 1.1%, the lowest score since the State Department of Health Services began recording the statistic.
The average COVID-19 cases fell again to the lowest mark since early spring 2020. The seven-day average of daily cases fell to 121, down 388 cases from a year ago one month and the lowest mark since March 27, 2020.
Meanwhile, the number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in New Jersey hit its lowest point on Friday – 385 – since records of the pandemic began to be made public in March 2020.
The overnight low was less than 5% of the peak on April 14 last year, when 8,270 patients were hospitalized and facilities rushed to convert cafeterias and doctors’ lounges into intensive care areas. Without these emergency measures, the state would have missed more than 250 beds.
And Friday’s low also slipped below the summer nadir of 389 patients, reached in September.
“New Jersey could finally put the worst of the pandemic behind us,” said Cathleen Bennett, CEO of the State Hospital Association.
– Drake Bentley, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel; Lindy Washburn, NorthJersey.com
Here come the kindergartens. Schools will have their hands full
School districts across the United States are hiring additional teachers in anticipation of what will be one of the largest kindergarten classes ever as enrollments rebound in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Educators are also preparing that many students will be less prepared than usual due to lower preschool attendance rates. A report found that the number of 4-year-olds attending preschool increased from 71% before the pandemic to 54% during the pandemic, and low-income children were much less likely to attend in-person classes .
“The kindergarten teacher’s job has become much more difficult,” said Steven Barnett, co-author of the report and co-senior director of the National Institute for Early Childhood Education Research at Rutgers University.
Houston judge rules hospital can fire workers who refuse vaccination
A Houston judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by hospital workers suspended and threatened with termination after refusing a COVID-19 injection – a move that could have a ripple effect across the country.
The case involved Houston Methodist, the first hospital system in the country to require all its employees to be vaccinated. Federal Judge Lynn Hughes ruled on Saturday that federal law did not prevent employers from issuing the warrant.
After months of warnings, Houston Methodist had put more than 170 of its 26,000 employees on suspension without pay on Monday. They were told they would be made redundant if they were not vaccinated by June 21.
The hospital had made it clear that it meant what it said: it fired corporate risk manager – Bob Nevens – and another manager in April when they missed the deadline anymore. early for the bosses.
– David Heath