Coronavirus vaccine and COVID variant updates for 02-21-2022

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The UK government announced those with COVID won't be legally required to self-isolate starting this week. That’s part of the plan for “living with COVID” that will also probably see testing scaled back. The Prime Minister said, “We’ve reached a stage where we think you can shift the balance away from state mandation in favor of encouraging personal responsibility.” Of course, some of the government’s scientific advisers are saying it’s a risky move.


Israel announced it’s going to allow unvaccinated tourists to enter the country starting next month. But vaccinated or not, visitors will have to take a PCR test before flying and after landing. Israel has mostly restricted the entry of foreign tourists for the past two years and shut it down altogether late last year with the arrival of Omicron. Requirements for weekly testing of school children will also be halted in the coming weeks.


The CDC is coming under fire for holding back vitally important coronavirus data. The New York Times reports there’s an eyebrow-raising quantity of data that was either never released, released only recently, was partially released, or was released with limited access. For example, they’ve had data on hospitalizations for Covid across the U.S. for over a year, broken down by age, race, and vaccination status. Most of that data has never been seen.


Now that the mRNA vaccine cat is out of the bag, what else can the technology be used for? Moderna has announced three of their next targets for it. The herpes simplex virus, the varicella-zoster virus, and a novel cancer vaccine. That gets added to some they’d already announced, including HIV, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and the Epstein-Barr virus.


Further proof that COVID can get to anyone, Queen Elizabeth II has tested positive. And that’s a big deal not only because she’s a reigning monarch, but because she’s 95-years-old. However, so far, her symptoms have been mild and cold-like. She’s even continuing some light duties at Windsor this week. The Queen is fully vaccinated.


In the United States, cases were down 65%, deaths are down 13%, and hospitalizations are down 41% 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 Tennessee, the third most fully vaccinated state of Maine, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Arkansas.


There are 27,454,250 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. Marengo, AL. Manassas Park, VA. Pointe Coupee, LA. Attala, MS. Big Horn, MT. Perry, KY. Estill, KY. Floyd, KY. And Butler, KY.


There have been 935,331 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 80.3%, Vermont at 80%, and Maine at 78.2%. The bottom 3 vaccinating states are Alabama becoming the last state to be under the halfway mark at 50%, Wyoming at 50.5%, and Mississippi at 50.7%. The percentage of the U.S. that’s been fully vaccinated is 64.7%.


Globally, cases were down 38% and deaths down 6% over 14 days, with the 7-day average trending down since January 25.


There are 68,568,289 active cases around the world.


The five countries with the most new cases: Russia 170,699. South Korea 104,828. Germany 104,131. Japan 77,153. And Turkey 70,355.


There have been 5,886,362 deaths reported as Covid-related worldwide.


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