Coronavirus vaccine and COVID variant updates for 02-25-2022


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This is Vaccine 411, the latest coronavirus vaccine information for February 25th, 2022.

We’re starting to learn a little more about the so-called stealth Omicron or BA2 variant. It’s now causing more than a third of new Omicron cases around the world. It’s been found in more than 80 countries and all 50 US states. It’s called stealth because it can’t quickly be differentiated from Delta using a certain PCR test. Early research suggests it spreads 30% faster than Omicron and can sicken people even if they've already had an Omicron infection. Vaccines still appear effective against it.

We could have another change coming from the CDC today. They’re expected to significantly loosen federal mask-wearing guidelines, meaning most of us will no longer be advised to wear masks in indoor public settings. The metrics driving the decision are hospitalizations and local hospital capacity.

As we attempt to put COVID behind us, many of us who survived an infection are left with questions about exactly what it did to us. For example, a new study found in the year after contracting COVID, patients are at an increased risk for developing 20 cardiac problems. Those include stroke, heart attack, myocarditis and irregular heart rhythms. The researchers estimate COVID infections have led to 3 million cases of heart disease in the US alone.

We always like to reassure those of you who are worried the big pharma companies not making enough money off of COVID vaccines. For Moderna, sales brought in $6.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021, and the company has signed purchase agreements for about $19 billion in sales for 2022 with options for an additional $3 billion to cover any updated boosters they’re developing. So they’re okay.

And there’s apparently another culprit being called out for spreading COVID and vaccine misinformation. It’s people who do yoga. Some practitioners have been alarmed at the spread of anti-vaccination views in and around classes. One influencer who studies the practice said it’s nothing new, there’s a constant sense in yoga world that “I know better than doctors and the system.”

In the United States, cases were down 65%, deaths are down 27%, 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 Maine, West Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, and Arizona.

There are 26,814,308 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: Manassas Park, VA. Nome Census Area, AK. Perry, KY. Elmore, ID. Linn, MO. Morgan, KY. Houston, MN. Ada, ID. Aroostook, ME. And Gooding, ID.

There have been 944,828 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 80.5%, Vermont at 80.1%, and Maine at 78.3%. The bottom 3 vaccinating states are Alabama at 50.1%, Wyoming at 50.5%, and Mississippi at 50.8%. The percentage of the U.S. that’s been fully vaccinated is 64.8%.

Globally, cases were down 36% and deaths down 17% over 14 days, with the 7-day average trending down since January 25.

There are 65,116,099 active cases around the world.

The five countries with the most new cases: Germany 218,431. South Korea 170,006. Russia 132,998. Brazil 95,493. And Turkey 79,708.

There have been 5,927,592 deaths reported as Covid-related worldwide.

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