Nearly half of new coronavirus infections nationwide are in just five states – a situation that is putting pressure on the federal government to consider changing how it distributes vaccines by sending multiple doses to hot spots.
New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey together reported 44% of the country’s new COVID-19 infections, or nearly 197,500 new cases in the most recently available seven-day period, according to state health agency data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
The heavy concentration of new cases in states, which account for 22% of the U.S. population, has prompted some experts and elected officials to urge President Joe Biden̵
Also in the news:
► The federal government is extending access to COVID-19 vaccine to all federally qualified health centers in the community. The decision in the White House, which was announced on Wednesday, expands the opportunities for disadvantaged people to find vaccines in their communities. There are more than 1,400 of health centers nationwide.
The coronavirus variant, first identified in the United Kingdom, formally known as B.1.1.7, is “now the most common genus circulating in the United States,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Wednesday.
► The European Union’s Drug Regulator says it has found a ‘possible link’ between the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and a rare coagulation disorder, but said the benefits of the shot still outweigh the risks. In a statement released on Wednesday, the European Medicines Agency did not place any new restrictions on the use of the vaccine in people over 18 years of age.
►A third of COVID patients in a study of more than 230,000, mostly Americans, were diagnosed with a brain or psychiatric disorder within six months, researchers in the journal Lancet reported. Among patients requiring treatment in ICU units, more than 4 out of 10 suffered disorders, the researchers found.
►Not a single ocean-going cruise ship has departed with passengers from a US port in the past year, but that is changing. Norwegian Cruise Line on Tuesday announced plans to return to the end of July with sailings in Europe and the Caribbean. Passengers and crew must be “100% vaccinated” two weeks before boarding.
📈 Today’s figures: The United States has more than 30.8 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 556,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Total sums: More than 132.6 million cases and 2.87 million deaths. At least 219 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the United States, and 168 million have been administered according to the CDC.
📘 What we read: Why do children do better than COVID-19 than adults? According to a new study, their innate immune response can stop the virus earlier. Read the full story.
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Some colleges require vaccines in the fall
The class from 2025, which entered college this fall, could have a new premise: To be vaccinated against COVID-19. Rutgers University in New Jersey and Cornell University in upstate New York were among the first universities to announce that their students would need to be vaccinated if they wanted to study in person during the fall semester. Brown in Rhode Island, Northeastern in Boston, Nova Southeastern University in Florida and Fort Lewis College in Colorado have all announced similar policies. More schools are likely to participate in the list.
“It does not just make us more secure. “Ultimately, it makes our entire community safer,” said Antonio Calcado, Rutgers’ chief of operations. This is why we believe it is the way to go versus encouraging. “
– Chris Quintana
Itchy rash after your vaccine jab? It’s going well, says expert
Getting COVID-19 can cause all sorts of odd skin reactions. A new study finds that some of them can be rare, short-term side effects of getting the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. The itchy and irritating reactions were seen in a database of 414 cases of delayed skin problems associated with the vaccines and reported to healthcare professionals. The cases were collected between December and February before the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was approved, so it was not included. No one caused a life-threatening reaction, a finding that the study’s senior author, Dr. Esther Freeman, found reassuring. read more here.
“People can get rashes all over their bodies and it can be surprising and a little scary, but these patients did extremely well, recovered and were able to go back and get their second dose,” said Freeman, director of global health dermatology. in Massachusetts. General Hospital.
– Elizabeth way
Asian Americans among those most affected by pandemic shutdowns
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are struggling with the country’s highest level of long-term unemployment more than a year after the pandemic closed hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, beauty salons and other sectors of the economy. Although economic-driven unemployment levels have returned to near pre-pandemic levels, many Asian Americans are unsure when they can return to work.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 48% of Asian society’s estimated 615,000 unemployed had been out of work for six months plus through the first quarter of this year. The number exceeded the long-term unemployed among the unemployed in the black population (43%), the white population (39%) and the Spanish population (39%).
– Marc Ramirez
Technical officials’ Apollo 13-ing vaccination planning programs
Local health officials facing the daunting duty of vaccinating their corner of America have had to put together information technology systems in the face of unstable vaccine supply and strained staff and resources. Although the federal government spent millions on vaccine planning and supply management programs, they were of little use to local officials struggling to come up with systems alone.
Becky Colwell-Ongenae, geographic information systems manager for Will County, Illinois, said she would like technical experts to “Apollo 13-ing this vaccine rollout,” a reference to 1970s spaceflight, in which temporary technology averted a disaster oxygen tank failed. “I have a plastic bag and tweezers, and I have to take moon shots home,” she said. read more here.
– Aleszu Bajak and Elizabeth Weise
The United States behind other nations in crucial tracking of variants
The United States lags far behind many other countries in using the essential tool to keep up to date with variants – gene sequencing – which increases the risk that a new variant may spread undetected here. Sequencing involves taking samples from positive tests to another laboratory to search for a virus’ genetic code and giving researchers an accurate map of how to defeat it.
So far this year, the United States is number 33 in the world for its rate of sequencing that falls between Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe, according to COVID CoV Genomic, led by researchers at Harvard and MIT. The three best nations – Iceland, Australia and New Zealand – are sequenced at a rate between 55 and 95 times greater.
– David Heath
About 80% of teachers, childcare workers, are vaccinated
About 80% of teachers, school staff and childcare workers have at least received their first COVID-19 vaccine shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The percentage came from a CDC survey conducted by 13,000 education workers and 40,000 childcare workers across the country. The CDC said it had tracked more than 7 million doses that had been administered to the group, which was prioritized in early March in hopes of reopening schools across the United States.
“Our push to ensure that teachers, school staff and childcare workers were vaccinated during March has paid off and paved the way for safer personal learning,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. “The CDC will build on the success of this program and work with our partners to continue to expand our vaccination efforts as we work to ensure trust in COVID-19 vaccines.”
Brazil, Argentina breaks records for deaths, infections
Both Brazil and Argentina broke their own dismal records with COVID-19 infections and deaths as the rest of the globe continues its course of vaccination while several virus variants spread. Brazil – where the more infectious P.1 variant was discovered – experienced its deadliest day in the record on Tuesday with 4,195 deaths within a day. More than 330,000 people have died in the country due to COVID-19.
Argentina also broke its record for infections, registering 20,870 new COVID-19 cases in one day. The number of confirmed cases in the country rose to more than 2.4 million.
Contribution: Associated Press
This article was originally published in US Today: COVID case, update: Half of new infections are in only five states