Coronavirus vaccine and COVID variant updates for 02-23-2022


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This is Vaccine 411, the latest coronavirus vaccine information for February 23rd, 2022.

Hong Kong is going to test its entire population of 7.5 million people three times for COVID in March. To get that done, testing capacity will be boosted to 1 million a day or more. The city’s reported about 5,000 new infections since February 15 and the healthcare system is buckling. A lockdown of the entire city, something that’s been done a few times in mainland China, is not currently being considered.

Amidst criticism of vaccine inequities, donations of the vaccine to Africa were well-intentioned, but the Africa CDC has a message for the do-gooders. Stop it. They want all donations paused until the third or fourth quarter of this year. They say the problem isn’t a supply shortage, it’s logistics challenges combined with vaccine hesitancy. As a result, there’s a lot of vaccine just going to waste.

Lots of numbers are falling, like case rates, death rates, hospitalizations, COVID restrictions, etc., but there’s something else that has absolutely plummeted in demand. PCR tests. The CDC says nationwide demand for a COVID-19 PCR test has dropped 63% since early January. You could attribute part of that to the government mailing out free rapid tests but, PCR tests are a different, and proposedly more accurate way to find out if you’re infected or not.

Cruise lines, one right after the other, have been dropping their mask mandates. Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Virgin have either already stopped requiring masks in most indoor settings or will start next month. MSC Cruises and Disney have not made that decision yet. The new goal is making sure passengers are fully vaccinated and boosted.

Throughout the pandemic, most of us have been amazed at what we didn’t know. And even now in February of 2022, it’s amazing what we still don’t know. On that list of still unknowns is how many booster shots we’ll need, how long immunity from vaccines lasts, are there more dangerous variants coming, why does COVID make some people seriously ill and give people long COVID while other people shrug it off, and where did COVID-19 come from? Science has no answers for these questions so you can continue to argue about them amongst yourselves.

In the United States, cases were down 65%, deaths are down 19%, and hospitalizations are down 43% 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, Maine, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Oklahoma.

There are 27,107,363 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. Manassas Park, VA. Marengo, AL. Pointe Coupee, LA. Attala, MS. Big Horn, MT. Perry, KY. Glacier, MT. Elmore, ID. And Washington, TN.

There have been 938,938 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 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 34% and deaths down 16% over 14 days, with the 7-day average trending down since January 25.

There are 66,265,532 active cases around the world.

The five countries with the most new cases: Germany 158,507. Russia 135,172. Brazil 101,285. South Korea 99,550. And France 97,382.

There have been 5,904,723 deaths reported as Covid-related worldwide.

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