Coronavirus vaccine and COVID variant updates for 01-27-2022

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The World Health Organization said there were 21 million new cases last week and that’s the highest weekly number of the entire pandemic. However, despite that, the number of deaths was mostly unchanged. It also said the rate of increase appears to be slowing, with only half of regions reporting an increase. The biggest increase was seen in the Middle East.


The restrictions have begun to fall away. Starting today in England, face coverings are no longer required anywhere in the country and a legal requirement for COVID passes to get into public venues has been scrapped. Austria will end its lockdown for unvaccinated residents Monday, one day before its vaccine mandate takes effect. And Denmark will no longer categorize COVID as a "socially critical disease" starting February 1.


Yesterday we told you about Pfizer and BioNTech starting a clinical trial to evaluate a new vaccine specific to Omicron. Today it’s Moderna. Their study will enroll about 600 people who will get a dose of the experimental Omicron-matched version.


Omicron doesn’t seem to care if you’ve had a case of COVID before or not. A new study out of England has found around two thirds of Omicron cases have been reinfections. It was thought a prior infection might offer some protection, but it looks like that’s not the case with Omicron. U.K. health officials estimate the risk of reinfection with Omicron is 5.4x greater than it is with Delta.


Americans know what they’re supposed to do, they just don’t do it. A new Harris poll shows more Americans do believe N95 and KN95 masks are more effective against COVID than surgical or cloth masks. But they aren’t wearing them. The White House is rolling out 400 million free N95 masks, hoping to change that. Only 29% wear the higher-grade masks.


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 27,856,405 active cases in the United States.


The five areas with the greatest increase in hospitalizations per capita: Montana 101%. Alaska 88%. Wyoming 85%. Alabama 68%. And Idaho 57%.


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 (KAHL-bert), AL. Santa Cruz, AZ. Newberry, SC. And Dimmit, TX.


There have been at least 876,060 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 78.5%, and Maine at 77.3%. The bottom 3 vaccinating states are Alabama at 49.2%, Wyoming at 49.6%, and Mississippi at 49.9%. The percentage of the U.S. that’s been fully vaccinated is 63.5%.


Globally, cases were up 30% and deaths up 27% over 14 days, with the 7-day average trending up since January 17.


There are now over 69 million active cases around the world, at 69,915,639.


The five countries with the most new cases: The United States 533,313. France 428,008. India 284,469. Brazil 219,878. And Germany 188,759.


There have been 5,625,803 deaths reported as Covid-related worldwide.


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