Coronavirus vaccine and COVID variant updates for 01-25-2022


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The head of the World Health Organization says it’s a mistake to think Omicron is the last variant that will emerge. And as sorta proof, a sub-lineage of Omicron, BA.2, is under formal investigation by the UK Health Security Agency. 426 cases in the UK so far, and it’s been spotted in the United States. It’s called “stealth Omicron” because it can’t be distinguished from other variants using PCR tests. So far, they feel current vaccinations work well against it.

If you’re wondering how often you need to clean the house, and yourself, Japanese scientists have found Omicron can survive longer than earlier strains on plastic surfaces and human skin. They say Omicron has a high "environmental stability" and that’s what has helped it replace Delta as the dominant variant. It lasts about eight days on plastic, and 21.1 hours on skin.

The FDA is revoking emergency use status for COVID antibody drugs from Regeneron and Eli Lilly. The agency says the two don't work against Omicron. The drugs were bought by the federal government and have been administered to millions of Americans. Alternate therapies from Pfizer, Merck, and GlaxoSmithKline are still okay but are in short supply.

We will continue using the term here in our report, but the CDC is trying to pivot the language from being “fully vaccinated” to being “up to date” with vaccination against COVID. Being up to date means you’ve gotten all the recommended shots at the intervals recommended. Which would make you fully vaccinated. But if it’s time to have a booster and you haven’t gotten it, you are not up to date, with no apparent repercussions for that yet.

The damage done by COVID goes well beyond matters of health, both physical and mental. High school graduation rates dipped in at least 20 states after the first full school year that was disrupted by the pandemic. That would end nearly two decades of nationwide progress toward getting more students graduated. Some states loosened standards, but the rate dropped anyway.

In the United States, cases were up 2%, deaths are up 39%, and hospitalizations are up 18% 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, Alaska, New York, Connecticut, and Tennessee.

There are now over 27 million active cases in the United States, at 27,238,138.

The five areas with the greatest increase in hospitalizations per capita: Alaska and Montana 93%. Wyoming 83%. Alabama 81%. And the U.S. Virgin Islands 79%.

The top 10 areas with the highest number of recent cases per capita according to The New York Times: Waukesha, WI. Dane, WI. Uvalde, TX. Nome Census Area, AK. Maverick, TX. Santa Cruz, AZ. Dimmit, TX. Randolph, IL. Kodiak Island Borough, AK. And Wyoming, WV.

There have been at least 868,494 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 79.1%, Rhode Island at 78.4%, and Maine at 77.2%. The bottom 3 vaccinating states are Alabama at 49.2%, Wyoming at 49.6%, and Mississippi at 49.8%. The percentage of the U.S. that’s been fully vaccinated is 63.4%.

Globally, cases were up 34% and deaths up 23% over 14 days, with the 7-day average trending up since January 17.

There are now over 67 million active cases around the world, at 67,479,089.

The five countries with the most new cases: The United States 465,154. India 255,874. France 108,481. Spain 101,810. And Germany 90,962.

There have been 5,603,837 deaths reported as Covid-related worldwide.

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