Coronavirus vaccine and COVID variant updates for 02-18-2022


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This is Vaccine 411, the latest coronavirus vaccine information for February 18th, 2022.

One influential model estimates 73% of Americans are, for now, immune to Omicron, and that could rise to 80% by mid-March. The coronavirus is still dangerous and tens of millions remain vulnerable. But at this point, experts say at least most immune systems have seen the coronavirus before and won’t be as vulnerable.

California is moving on. It became the first state to formally shift to an “endemic” approach to the coronavirus with a plan that emphasizes prevention and quick reaction to outbreaks rather than mandated masking and business shutdowns. A disease reaches endemic status when the virus still exists but becomes manageable as immunity builds.

Is the White House aware of what stage of the pandemic we’re in and that several states are dropping mask mandates? The administration says it’s now going to focus on making sure kid-sized masks are distributed to pharmacies and community health centers. Regular masks don’t always fit little faces well. The CDC does recommend kids 2-years old and up who aren’t vaccinated stay masked in indoor public spaces.

You’ll notice the vaccination rates we’ve been reporting have been pretty much stuck. But now that we have some hindsight, what arguments did work in terms of convincing skeptics to get the shots? A Harvard Business School study says altruistic messages like protecting others or the economy worked better than self-protection messages. The study found mixed results at best for vaccine mandates making a difference.

It was accused of being a super spreader event, but was it? The CDC has concluded that just because a person tested positive for Omicron after attending an anime convention in New York City late last year, it wasn’t a super spreader event. They credit vaccinations and good airflow at the convention center. Plus, a lot of cosplay going on, so it was a place you were going to find a lot of masks anyway.

In the United States, cases were down 68%, deaths are down 13%, and hospitalizations are down 39% 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 Mississippi, West Virginia, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Idaho.

There are 27,940,922 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: Nome Census Area, AK. Attala, MS. Big Horn, MT. Floyd, KY. Perry, KY. Marengo, AL. Butler, KY. Estill, KY. Clay, KY. And Letcher, KY.

There have been 931,505 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 80.1%, Vermont at 79.9%, and Maine at 78.1%. The bottom 3 vaccinating states are Alabama at 49.9%, Wyoming at 50.3%, and Mississippi at 50.6%. The percentage of the U.S. that’s been fully vaccinated is 64.5%.

Globally, cases were down 35% and deaths down 1% over 14 days, with the 7-day average trending down since January 25.

There are 70,345,679 active cases around the world.

The five countries with the most new cases: Germany 227,613. Russia 180,622. Brazil 129,266. The United States 103,377. And South Korea 93,127.

There have been 5,861,456 deaths reported as Covid-related worldwide.

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