Coronavirus vaccine and COVID variant updates for 02-28-2022


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Here’s how we’re doing. COVID is continuing to subside around the world with a weekly 16% decrease in deaths and 15% decrease in cases since Omicron first showed up. However, Asia's infections rose 4% and deaths were only down 0.9% with South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and Hong Kong setting daily records last week. In fact, Hong Kong recorded 26,026 cases after never going above 100 every day until this year. New Zealand is also hitting five digits in cases for the first time.

The FDA revised the emergency use authorization for Evusheld, a monoclonal antibody against Covid for immunocompromised people and those who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons. They now say you need twice the dose that’s been being given. Those who already got the drug are being told to go back and get another injection as soon as possible. The agency said protection against symptomatic disease may not last as long as was shown in clinical trials since that was before the Omicron sub-variants emerged.

What perfect timing! Face coverings are now optional for the US President's State of the Union address tomorrow. Congress is lifting its mask requirement on the House floor after the CDC eased guidelines last week. DC is now considered low risk based on the new metrics of what’s happening in area hospitals. Of course, anyone who wants to can still mask up while listening to the speech.

Things continue to loosen up in New York too. The statewide masking requirement in schools will be lifted by March 2. And New York City’s Mayor is thinking about lifting vaccine mandates on restaurants, bars, and theaters by early next week. A mask mandate on the city's approximately 1 million schoolchildren could also be lifted. Again, any parent who wants to keep their kid masked can keep them masked.

Oh boy, free (meaning paid for by taxpayers) COVID tests for everyone! But it’s turning out to be one of the few free things that isn’t wanted. Nearly half of the 500 million free tests still haven’t been claimed. On day one there were over 45 million orders. After that, not so much. Less than 100,000 orders a day are coming in. Critics say the program would have been immensely helpful before the pandemic was largely over.

In the United States, cases were down 63%, deaths are down 24%, and hospitalizations are down 44% 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, West Virginia, Maine, Tennessee, and Missouri.

There are 26,401,648 active cases in the United States.

The top 10 areas with the highest number of recent cases per capita according to The New York Times: Manassas Park, VA. Nome Census Area, AK. Perry, KY. Elmore, ID. Fayette, AL. Linn, MO. Morgan, KY. Aroostook, ME. Ada, ID. And Gooding, ID.

There have been 948,398 deaths in the U.S. recorded as COVID-related.

The top 3 vaccinating states by percentage of population that’s been fully vaccinated: Rhode Island at 80.6%, Vermont at 80.1%, and Maine at 78.3%. The bottom 3 vaccinating states are Alabama at 50.2%, Wyoming at 50.6%, and Mississippi at 50.9%. The percentage of the U.S. that’s been fully vaccinated is 64.9%.

Globally, cases were down 36% and deaths down 20% over 14 days, with the 7-day average trending down since January 25.

There are 63,676,869 active cases around the world.

The five countries with the most new cases: South Korea 163,558. Russia 116,093. Germany 95,241. Vietnam 86,990. And Japan 69,661.

There have been 5,948,460 deaths reported as Covid-related worldwide.

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