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Experts Claim Americans ‘Don’t Realize How Lucky We Are’ In Terms Of Covid-19 Vaccines

About 53% of all Americans are currently inoculated with at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine while about 44% of the population is now fully vaccinated, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“We have a long way to go as a globe. The United States — we don’t even realize how lucky we are here because we’ve had access to the vaccine early on. We basically have people turning the vaccine away. We think the whole world behaves that way, but that’s not the case,” Dr. Suzanne Judd, an epidemiologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, said.

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All adults in America are currently eligible to receive one of the three vaccine options approved in the country; Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson. However, many other countries around the world only have one vaccine option available for their large populations of unvaccinated individuals. 

“There are whole countries where only 1% of the population has had access to the vaccine. That means the coronavirus will continue to spread in those countries and will be problematic in those countries.”

“It means travel restrictions could happen. It means that it may impact Americans in terms of how they interact through work with people from those countries. It definitely will continue to impact us, so we have to be aware that it’s a good 18 months away before there’s enough vaccine to really stop the spread of the virus worldwide,” Judd explained.

The CDC revealed that at least 13 states have hit their goals of getting 70% of their residents partially vaccinated, which has led to many governors lifting restrictions and mask mandates. However, there is still a large group of Americans who are refusing to get the vaccine. 

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According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, “7% of those who are unvaccinated said they will only get the shot if they are required, while 13% are still definitely not getting a vaccine.”

“The problem, though, is that mutant variants of the virus are able to form as the virus circulates for longer. So even with at least 70% vaccinated, there is still a risk.”

“That 30% that winds up in another state, say that the state makes it to 70% and there are 30% unvaccinated. It poses a risk to that 30%. We really want to get to the 70% target in all states. That’s what will make this virus go away and not stay with us. If we don’t, we’re going to wind up battling outbreaks basically,” Judd said. 

Vaccines are showing that they’re effective against fighting the new strains, but not as strongly as it fights the regular virus. 

“The initial variants, we were looking at 90% effective and maybe it’s more like 70% with the Delta variant, but that’s great. Honestly, that’s a public health win. 70% is not something to throw away and say ‘that’s not good enough.’ That’s so much better than 10, 15, 20%. Again, if we can get people vaccinated, we don’t have to worry about the Delta variant,” Judd claimed.

“It’s not just the United States that’s in this fight. It’s really a global fight, a global struggle, a global effort.”

Syrigne of Covid Vaccine

US Must Vaccinate More People To Avoid Covid Variant From Becoming Dominant, Fauci Says 

US health officials are trying to get more and more Americans vaccinated everyday to keep Delta, a Covid-19 variant first identified in India, from proliferating and becoming the dominant strain infecting individuals across the country. 

The variant has already become the most dominant strain in the United Kingdom, accounting for about 60% of the active cases in the UK. Initially, scientists were worried about the Alpha strain, formerly known as the B117 strain, from becoming dominant, but the Delta strain is showing to be more prevalent in those aged from 12 to 20-years-old. 

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In the US currently the Delta variant accounts for about 6% of the cases that scientists have been able to genetically sequence, but the actual number is likely much higher as it takes time to sequence the DNA in each new case. 

“In the UK the Delta variant is rapidly emerging as the dominant variant. We cannot let that happen in the United States.” 

President Joe Biden previously laid out a plan to get 70% of Americans vaccinated with at least one of their doses by the fourth of July. Currently about 63.7% of America’s adult population has received their first dose for those who received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, and 53% of Americans are fully vaccinated. 

The Delta variant is already thought to be present in 62 countries according to the World Health Organization. 

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“We continue to observe significantly increased transmissibility and a growing number of countries reporting outbreaks associated with this variant.”

The Delta strain in India has caused the healthcare system to practically crumble due to how overwhelmed they’ve become. The Indian government announced this week that the nation would be providing free Covid-19 vaccines to all adults in the country soon. 

Fauci also warned that the Delta variant, like most of the new variants that have appeared, is much more contagious than the initial variant that was spreading throughout the world last March. It also has become associated with a higher risk of hospitalization.

Studies have luckily shown that both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are effective against the Delta strain, according to the National Institutes of Health. According to their data two doses of the Pfizer vaccine proved to be 88% effective against the Delta variant while two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine proved to be 60% effective. 

Delays In Adolescents Receiving Their Covid-19 Vaccinations Could Hinder US Recovery

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, an expert epidemiologist, recently spoke to the press about how some US populations are seeing an amazing increase in vaccination rates, while other groups in the nation are experiencing lags in their distribution, especially among adolescents, which could lead to a major delay in the country’s recovery as a whole. 

Children currently account for 25% of all Covid-19 cases in America due to the fact that they’re not yet vaccinated. 

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“As we’ve gotten more and more of our seniors vaccinated, more and more people with pre-existing conditions, more and more people who may be healthy and younger, the question becomes how do we protect our children?”

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently performed a study in which they examined more than 200 adolescents aged from 12 to 17-years-old who were hospitalized within the first three months of 2021, likely with Covid-19. The report showed that while there were no deaths, a third of the adolescents were admitted to intensive care units because of their illness, and 5% required mechanical ventilation. 

“Every single one of those hospitalizations, every single one of those kids in the ICU, can now be prevented now that vaccinations are available to those 12 to 17. As certain states lag behind the national average vaccination rate, however, it could spell trouble for the youngest and most vulnerable populations. What we also see is that the same places where adults are lagging, teens are lagging,” emergency physician Dr. Anand Swaminathan said to CNN. 

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About 13 states have hit President Joe Biden’s goal of getting 70% of all US adults vaccinated with at least one Covid-19 vaccine by July 4th. However, experts like Leana Wen claim that the parts of the nation with lower vaccination rates are expected to experience another wave of coronavirus infections among its unvaccinated residents. 

“Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Wyoming, Tennessee and West Virginia have the lowest vaccination rates – with less than 50% of adults having received at least one dose. Vermont, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine and New Jersey boast the highest, with 75% or more of their adult population partially vaccinated. One issue for where vaccinations are lagging is lack of access and messaging in certain communities,” Dr. Swaminathan explained.

“There are people who don’t understand the fact that this is free. That messaging hasn’t been done as much as it should be.There are barriers for people who can’t get paid time off of work or have issues finding childcare that prevent them from getting the vaccine.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told CNN that he’s optimistic children younger than 12 could receive their vaccinations by Thanksgiving this year. 

“We are now doing studies that are ongoing, studies that are looking at what we call age de-escalation, children from 12 to 9 and ten 9 to 6 and then 6 to 2 and then 6 months to 2 years. We hope that as we approach the end of the calendar year we’ll have enough information to vaccinate children of any age.” 

USA Covid-19 Virus

Experts Claim US Is Turning A Corner On Covid-19, Expecting Cases To Drop Exponentially 

Experts are remaining positive that while the rate of Covid-19 vaccinations is slowing in the US, in a matter of weeks we could begin to see a major decline in cases and deaths. Dr. Johnathan Reiner is a professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University who recently spoke to the press about this optimistic outlook on the coming months. 

“This summer is going to seem so much closer to normal than we’ve had in a very long time. The key statistic to think about is … what percentage of the adult population has received at least one vaccination.”

“Roughly 58% of US adults — and nearly 46% of the country’s total population — have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, and more than 34% of the US population is fully vaccinated,” CDC data shows.

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Reiner says that once the US passes the 60% mark for American adults with at least one dose, it’s likely that case numbers will plummet greatly. “I expect during the month of May we will see daily cases drop dramatically and deaths finally drop to quite low numbers.” Although the US hasn’t technically reached herd immunity yet, other experts still believe it will begin to return to a sense of normalcy this summer. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted that about 70-85% of Americans need to be immune from Covid-19 for the nation to truly reach herd immunity; when enough people are immune from the virus that is spread will be suppressed. 

“However, even before you get to that, as you get more and more people vaccinated, you will reach a point … where you’ll start to see the number of cases going down dramatically, I would say we’re turning a corner.”

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Last week President Joe Biden set a goal of administering at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose to 70% of American adults by July 4th. Experts at this point, however, think getting people vaccinated will be an uphill battle this summer. 

“We’ve got a path ahead of us, which will involve getting people even easier access to the vaccine, making sure that people build their confidence, those who have questions about the vaccines, that we answer their questions. And making sure that we do … this in a fair and equitable way,” White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients said. 

“What I really worry about is that those people who are already on the fence don’t get vaccinated and we don’t reach herd immunity come the fall. Then with the winter … we have a big resurgence, maybe we have variants coming in from other countries, and we could start this whole process all over again and have another huge pandemic come the winter.” CNN medical analyst and emergency physician Dr. Leana Wen claimed. 

Fauci claims its unlikely the US will see the kind of surge that we did last fall and winter since more Americans are vaccinated now, however, we must remain diligent with the health and safety procedures that have been keeping so many of us safe throughout the past year, at least until a greater herd immunity is met.

Doctor Giving Coronavirus Vaccine

Half Of US Adults Could Be Vaccinated By This Weekend 

According to an adviser from the White House, the United States is currently on track to have half of all adults vaccinated with at least one Covid-19 shot by this weekend, however, the adviser also emphasized that this doesn’t mean America is done with the pandemic. 

“We do have to remember that there are 100 million-plus adults that still haven’t been vaccinated. They’re not there yet, and you don’t win the war until you bring everybody over with you.”

President Joe Biden recently announced the goal of getting vaccinations open for all adults in all 50 states by April 19th, a task that is becoming more and more likely to occur as vaccine supplies increase, according to Andy Slavitt, the White House senior adviser who recently spoke to the press regarding the pandemic. 

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Dr. Anthony Fauci has claimed that around 70-85% of the population needs to be vaccinated to reach a proper herd immunity, and many states have a large population of people who don’t want to be vaccinated. Current data projects that certain states will likely be done vaccinating all willing adults by mid-June, while others could take until the end of 2021. 

Some states have been criticized for prematurely lifting mask mandates and other procedures meant to curb the spread of the virus due to the fact that they feel the vaccine’s release is enough to re-open the world. Fauci claims this couldn’t be more false: 

“It’s too premature to declare victory, we’ve got to continue to hang in there a bit longer by continuing with the public health measures.”

Slavitt claims that the US is more than equipped to stay on course with vaccination efforts, which is a great sign for the future of the nation in regards to this pandemic’s end. This is great news considering more and more health experts are growing concerned with the number of variants of the virus appearing throughout all 50 states. 

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Dr. Rochelle Walensky is the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who recently discussed how “the daily rate of new cases has been on the rise over the last four weeks due to highly transmissible variants like B117 spreading.” According to Walensky within the past week alone five states have accounted for 44% of new Covid-19 cases. 

Within the past week there have been around 453,000 new cases in the US; New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey accounting for 198,000 of those cases. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, “Michigan had the highest rate per capita and is leading the country in terms of new cases. Along with Michigan, Minnesota is also reporting some of the highest new cases in the country, however both states have high levels of vaccination.”

Many health experts are also discussing how to monitor which US citizens have been vaccinated and which haven’t in a post-pandemic world. Many believe that vaccine passports, or some form of official written proof of vaccination, should be required to enter into certain highly populated spaces. New York, for example, is currently testing out “Excelsior passes” to grant vaccinated citizens access to sports events and concerts at limited capacity. 

Director for the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota Michael Osterholm, recently claimed that “in addition to vaccination documentation debates, the US will also have to contend with ‘long Covid,’ a condition in which even patients with relatively mild illnesses could suffer symptoms long after their infection.”

One in three people who have been infected with Covid-19 have reported longer mental health and neurological symptoms, according to a recent study, so the US will have to continue to fund research that can help those individuals in their continued Covid journey after the pandemic comes to its eventual end.

US Covid-19 Update: All 50 States To Make Vaccine’s Eligible For All By May 1st

All 50 states have announced plans to open up Covid-19 vaccinations for all adults by May 1st.

AstraZeneca Vaccine

AstraZeneca Vaccine 79% Effective Against Symptomatic Covid-19, According To New US Study

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine has proven to have a 79% efficacy against symptomatic Covid-19, and 100% efficacy against severe disease and hospitalizations, according to a new US study.

The findings from a new Phase 3 trial included more than 32,000 participants and came after many European nations began delaying the distribution of the AstraZeneca vaccine over blood clot fears. Many doctors and healthcare experts were quick to warn against delaying the distribution of these vaccines, because the blood clot risks were just as high as any other vaccine, and the delays are preventing vulnerable parties from being protected against the virus.

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“The trial showed that the vaccine was well-tolerated and identified no safety concerns. An independent committee found no increased risk of thrombosis (blood clots) or events characterized by thrombosis among the 21,583 participants receiving at least one dose of the vaccine,” AstraZeneca said in a statement.

Ruud Dobber is the president of AstraZeneca’s biophermaceutical’s business unit who recently spoke with the media about the company’s future plans for rolling out their vaccine in the US.

“We plan to apply for emergency use authorization from the US FDA in April. If approved we’ll be the fourth Covid-19 vaccine available in the US.”

The University of Oxford, which helped develop the vaccine, claims that the “new findings add to previous trial data from the United Kingdom, Brazil, and South Africa, as well as real-world impact data from the United Kingdom.” 79% of trial participants were White, 22% were Hispanic, 8% were Black, 4% were Native American and 4% were Asian.

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“About 20% of participants were 65 years and over and approximately 60% had conditions linked with higher risk of severe Covid-19, such as diabetes, severe obesity or heart disease. In patients 65 years and older, vaccine efficacy was 80%, — echoing the overall trial results — which is notable as some countries initially did not authorize the vaccine for use in this older age group, citing a lack of data from earlier trials,” AstraZeneca said.

“It is clear this vaccine has very good efficacy, remember that 60% was, prior to any trials being started, regarded as a good target, and that this efficacy does not show a notable decline at older ages. Previous assertions that the vaccine may be ineffective in older ages are totally unjustifiable,” according to Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Dr. Peter Hotez, dean for the National School for Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, spoke with the press about how this new data was great news for Americans and the rest of the world: “I’m pretty confident now AstraZeneca will apply for, request emergency use authorization, so we’ll have that vaccine released to the American public. Despite recent pauses in the vaccine’s rollout, this is one of our workhorse vaccines that we’re expecting for Africa and Latin America. So this is good news also because it’s reaffirming for the vaccines used for global health as well.”

Why The Travel Industry Is Ready To Embrace Covid-19 Vaccination Passports

Many airlines are already looking into implementing a vaccine passport requirement to motivate safe travel as more individuals receive their doses around the world.

Alaska Becomes First State To Allow Everyone Over 16 To Be Vaccinated 

Alaska has become the first state in the US to allow Covid-19 vaccines to any adult who wants one, as well as individuals over the age of 16, according to Governor Mike Dunleavy, who took to Twitter this week to make the announcement. 

“Effective immediately, Alaska will become the first state in the nation to allow anyone over the age of 16 to get the Covid-19 vaccine. This marks a significant step forward in our efforts to put this virus behind us.” 

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In order to be eligible you must be living or working in Alaska. 16 is also  the lowest age authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for use of the Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine are currently approved for individuals 18 and older. With any vaccine further research always needs to be done in order for it to be approved for teenagers and children because their bodies are constantly developing and changing, so scientists need to ensure that the doses will be just as effective. 

Most states are still only vaccinating specific higher risk groups first, such as senior citizens, essential workers, and individuals with underlying medical conditions that put them at a greater risk of contracting the virus. 

“Nearly one year ago the first positive Covid-19 case arrived in Alaska. Today, our state – because of the undaunted efforts of Alaskans – is leading the nation in vaccination efforts.” 

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Governor Dunleavy initially opened up vaccines to anyone 55 and older in the beginning of March. That policy also included essential workers, such as teachers, agriculture workers, first responders, other healthcare workers, and the media. Individuals with underlying medical conditions have always been a priority as with the rest of the nation. 

Alaska was initially allocated with 288,000 vaccine doses and now about 170,993 people have received at least one of their two shots, and about 119,631 people are fully vaccinated, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “the state has given the most total doses per 100,000 people in the country. With 41,376 doles out, it is one of just two states over 40,000 doses given per 100,000 people – along with New Mexico.” The state of Louisiana has also approved of the vaccine to be given to individuals 16 and older, however, the state is only allowing individuals that young to be vaccinated if they have underlying health conditions that put them at a greater risk. 

Alaska has been one of the luckiest states in the US throughout this pandemic with a total of around 60,000 confirmed cases and 291 deaths; the state is ranked number 46 in terms of states with the most cases. Vermont is the only other state that’s recorded fewer deaths as well. The increase in distribution of these vaccines is a great sign for Americans who are ready and hopeful that the world will start to return to a sense of normalcy within the next few months.

CDC Expected To Release New Guidelines For Vaccinated Americans 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced plans to release new guidelines this week specifically for how vaccinated Americans can safely alter their behaviors and live their lives safely without endangering themselves or other individuals who are still waiting to be vaccinated. 

The recommendations are expected to tell vaccinated individuals that they can host small, at-home gatherings with other fully vaccinated individuals. Two senior White House officials involved in drafting these guidelines spoke with the press about these projected guidelines. 

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Fully vaccinated people will still be asked to wear masks and social distance in public until a greater herd immunity is met. It’s expected that these new guidelines will officially be released this Thursday. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently hinted at the possibility of new CDC rules during a press conference this week. 

“I use the example of a daughter coming in from out of town who is doubly vaccinated, and a husband and wife doubly vaccinated, and maybe a next-door neighbor who you know are doubly vaccinated. Small gatherings in the home of people, I think you can clearly feel that the risk — the relative risk — is so low that you would not have to wear a mask, that you could have a good social gathering within the home,” Fauci explained. 

Dr. Rochelle Walensky is the director of the CDC who spoke at the same conference as Fauci and warned that vaccinated Americans still need to be vigilant when it comes to abiding by health and safety procedures in public. 

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“While we may have guidance at the individual level, as Dr. Fauci has suggested, I think we all need to keep our eye on the fact that we’re not out of the woods yet.” 

Average daily coronavirus cases have fallen by roughly 65% since the start of January, however, new cases are still steadily appearing at an average rate of about 70,000 per day. “If Americans suddenly decided that because cases are going down, they felt more comfortable eating inside at a restaurant or socializing outside their pods, we could potentially erase the reductions that have been made over the past few weeks,” Dr. Kate Langwig, an infectious-disease ecologist, said. 

For now, Walensky wants Americans to know that “the goal is not to sort of open up travel just because vaccinations are scaling up. Instead, the Biden administration has set its sights on making sure that we are in a place to be out of this pandemic within President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office — roughly by the end of April. However, at 70,000 cases per day, we’re not in that place right now.”

“The setting in a home of a small group of people having dinner together, all of whom are vaccinated, is very different when you step out the door and go into a society that has 70,000 new infections per day,” Fauci said.