Coronavirus vaccine and COVID variant updates for 01-28-2022

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The European Medicines Agency has recommended Pfizer's coronavirus antiviral drug be authorized for use in the European Union. That’s the first time the agency’s recommended a pill for COVID. They said approving Paxlovid could help the infected avoid more serious disease and hospitalization. The drug’s been cleared in the U.S. and Britain, but the problem is supplies are extremely limited.

School districts continue to struggle with what the proper policies should be. Orange County Public Schools in Florida have made it clear to parents who worry about their child being exposed to COVID and want to keep them home, that it will no longer allow excused absences for COVID concerns. The district said managing assignments for large numbers of absent students is a strain on the teachers.

It’s brought up a question of medical ethics. A Boston hospital is defending itself after a man's family says he was denied a new, much needed heart for not getting vaccinated. The 31-year-old father of two has atrial fibrillation, which has also been cited as a vaccine side effect, thus his concern. There are more than 100,000 candidates on waitlists for organ transplants and about half on waiting lists won’t get an organ within five years.

Did you get your free at home rapid tests yet? If you did, here’s some tips to make sure they’re accurate. You can’t expose them to extreme hot or cold temperatures. You have to read and follow the instructions, because they were developed for use in medical settings by trained personnel. And you have to read the results at just the right time. Waiting too soon could give you a false-negative. Waiting too late could give you a false-positive. And lastly, don’t believe them. If you tested negative but you’re feeling sicker than you ever have, seek medical attention.

Does the public think the pandemic is over? An Associated Press poll shows only 15% will consider it over only when COVID is largely eliminated. 83% think it’s over when it’s mostly a mild illness. 59% think it’s essential they personally be vaccinated to safely participate in public activities. But only 37% of parents think it’s essential their kids are vaccinated before they return to normal. And only 47% of Americans think it’s essential they get a booster.

In the United States, cases were down 21%, deaths are up 34%, and hospitalizations are up 5% over 14 days. The 7-day average of new cases has been trending down since January 14.

The five states that had the most daily deaths per 100,000 are Ohio, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Illinois.

There are now over 28 million active cases in the United States, at 28,178,981.

The five areas with the greatest increase in hospitalizations per capita: Montana 97%. Wyoming 90%. Alaska 70%. Alabama 62%. And Oregon 54%.

The top 10 areas with the highest number of recent cases per capita according to The New York Times: Nome Census Area, AK. Whitman, WA. Franklin, WA. Pontotoc, OK. Crawford, IL. Maverick, TX. Wyoming, WV. Colbert, AL. Lanier, GA. And Uvalde, TX.

There have been at least 878,421 deaths in the U.S. recorded as Covid-related.

The top 3 vaccinating states by percentage of population that’s been fully vaccinated: Vermont at 79.2%, Rhode Island at 78.6%, and Maine at 77.4%. The bottom 3 vaccinating states are Alabama at 49.3%, Wyoming at 49.7%, and Mississippi at 49.9%. The percentage of the U.S. that’s been fully vaccinated is 63.5%.

Globally, cases were up 16% and deaths up 25% over 14 days, with the 7-day average trending down since January 25.

There are now over 71 million active cases around the world, at 71,437,312.

The five countries with the most new cases: The United States 497,351. France 392,168. India 248,697. Brazil 228,972. And Germany 189,363.

There have been 5,636,042 deaths reported as Covid-related worldwide.



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