The United States faces a very real risk of losing all of its recent achievements in the battle against the virus, as highly contagious variants prey on Americans loosening up on security measures.
There are already worrying signs. While Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in the US have been trending down for several weeks, they are still alarmingly high. And that downward trend now appears to have stopped. The most recent seven-day average of new cases shows an increase of just over 2% compared to the previous week, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said yesterday. A similar increase in the most recent seven-day average death was reported, he added.
“Please hear me clearly,” Walensky said. “At this level of variant cases that are spreading, we can completely lose our hard-won ground. These variants are a very real threat to our people and our progress.”
“Some of this appears to be due to the relaxation of public health measures, the continued circulation of variants, and people lowering their guard,” Tedros said. “Even as vaccines continue to roll out, we urge all governments and individuals to remember that vaccines alone will not keep you safe.”
YOU ASKED. WE RESPOND
Q: Q: What Covid-19 vaccine should I get?
A: There are now three Covid-19 vaccines licensed for use in the US, and many people wonder which one they should receive.
WHAT IS IMPORTANT TODAY
Vaccines dramatically reduced the risk of hospitalization by more than 80, real-world data shows
A single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines reduces the risk of hospitalization for Covid-19 by more than 80% in people over the age of 80, new data from Public Health England shows.
The effect was observed three to four weeks after vaccination. People older than 70 years were also shown to have up to 61% protection against symptomatic disease with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and up to 73% with the Oxford-Astra-Zeneca vaccine.
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United Kingdom seeks a person infected with the Covid-19 variant
ON OUR RADAR
- A WHO expert panel has advised against the use of hydroxychloroquine to prevent Covid-19 after reviewing all existing studies on the subject.
- A batch of Covid-19 vaccines had to be rescued by ship after heavy rains threatened the power supply at a Kentucky health center.
- Former United States President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump received a Covid-19 vaccine at the White House in January, a Trump adviser told CNN.
- A Trader Joe’s worker says he was fired after writing directly to the chain’s CEO asking for stricter Covid-19 security protocols at his store.
- The first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines sent through the COVAX program to Latin America landed yesterday in Colombia.
- The European Commission has started laying the groundwork for a vaccine passport that could allow citizens of the European Union to travel this summer.
- China plans to vaccinate more than 500 million people by the end of June, respiratory disease expert Zhong Nanshan revealed.
- The trial of a California doctor was delayed after he appeared for a virtual court hearing while simultaneously performing surgery.
While many Americans stay home for their own safety during the pandemic, the home can be the most dangerous place for victims of domestic violence. The usual places victims escaped to in the past are not always available now.
“When you are an inch away from all your aspirations and the Games can even be canceled entirely, it is heartbreaking.” – Sandi Morris, 2016 Olympic silver medalist