Coronavirus vaccine and COVID variant updates for 01-26-2022

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The U.S. administration has thrown in the towel, withdrawing its rule requiring workers at big companies get vaccinated or face regular testing. The rule would have impacted more than 80 million U.S. workers and was to go into effect January 4. The Supreme Court halted the plan saying the Occupational Safety and Health Administration overstepped its authority.


The battle over facemasks in schools rages on in New York. An appeals judge restored the mask mandate one day after a judge in a lower court ruled the state lacked the constitutional authority to order people to wear face coverings. The governor's office is appealing the decision.


Pfizer and BioNTech have started a clinical trial to evaluate a new vaccine specific to Omicron. Current vaccines protect against serious illness and death, but Omicron has had no problem breaking through the vaccines to spread itself. The study will include as many as 1,420 participants.


Whether or not they work or add extra protection, most health officials say they do, America isn’t so hot on getting booster shots. The CDC says only 40% of fully vaccinated Americans have gotten a booster. And the average number of booster shots given per day has plunged from 1 million in early December to about 490,000 as of last week. Some analysts blame confusion amongst a sea of changing recommendations and guidance.


If you watch the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games from your couch, you’ll be as close to the action as the sports commentators you’re listening to. NBC Sports isn’t sending any of its announcing teams to China. They’ll be calling the action from Stamford, CT.


In the United States, cases were down 14%, deaths are up 35%, and hospitalizations are up 9% 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, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.


There are 27,434,325 active cases in the United States.


The five areas with the greatest increase in hospitalizations per capita: Montana 98%. Alaska 90%. Wyoming 87%. Alabama 67%. And Arkansas and Oregon 56%.


The top 10 areas with the highest number of recent cases per capita according to The New York Times: Uvalde, TX. Nome Census Area, AK. Crawford, IL. Maverick, TX. Douglas, IL. Wyoming, WV. Colbert, AL. Santa Cruz, AZ. Newberry, SC. And Dimmit, TX.


There have been at least 871,937 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 26% and deaths up 24% over 14 days, with the 7-day average trending up since January 17.


There are now over 68 million active cases around the world, at 68,965,937.


The five countries with the most new cases: France 501,635. The United States 443,072. India 283,540. Brazil 199,126. And Italy 186,740.


There have been 5,614,043 deaths reported as Covid-related worldwide.


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