Coronavirus vaccine and COVID variant updates for 03-03-2022

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This is Vaccine 411, the latest coronavirus vaccine information for March 3rd, 2022.


The US has a new plan for COVID. The White House said it's time for America to stop letting the coronavirus “dictate how we live.” Part of the new plan is a new “test to treat” program to provide free antiviral pills at pharmacies for anyone who tests positive. The plan also seeks to get ready for potential new variants and give employers and schools what they need to stay open.


If you want them, you can get more free COVID tests from the government. The key there is “if you want them.” So far, a great many Americans have not shown much interest, which is why about half of the available supply is still available. Starting next week, you can order another group of tests at Covidtest.gov. The previous limit was four tests per residential address.


Australia is now fully open to vaccinated travelers. Western Australia, which covers about a third of the country, became the last state to lift border restrictions today. This came four months after Sydney started a staggered reopening of quarantine-free travel. Western Australia was having good luck with contact tracing and isolation until the Omicron variant came along. Now they’re reporting more than 1,000 new infections a day.


Germany is also putting out the welcome mat again, removing all the countries currently on its list of “high-risk areas.” The list will now only include places where high infection rates are linked to more virulent variants than Omicron. Visitors will still have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test.


Even if the pandemic is over, it’s not over for those suffering with long COVID. And a new small study from the National Institutes of Health says many of the symptoms people are suffering from may be driven, in part, by long-term nerve damage. 59% had peripheral neuropathy, which is damage to the nerves that connect the brain to the outside world. Symptoms include weakness, fatigue, sensory changes, and pain in the hands and feet. The researchers don’t sound totally confident, saying the study was of a very small and "biased data set" since the patients studied were already believed to have a neurological condition.


In the United States, cases were down 58%, deaths are down 18%, and hospitalizations are down 44% over 14 days. The 7-day average of new cases has been trending down since January 14.


The five areas that had the most daily deaths per 100,000 are Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Tennessee.


There are 25,845,090 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: Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. Nome Census Area, AK. Manassas Park, VA. Fayette, AL. Perry, KY. Elmore, ID. Ada, ID. Morgan, KY. Gooding, ID. And Bennington, VT.


There have been 954,512 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 80.7%, Vermont at 80.1%, and Maine at 78.4%. The bottom 3 vaccinating states are Alabama at 50.3%, Wyoming at 50.6%, and Mississippi at 50.9%. The percentage of the U.S. that’s been fully vaccinated is 65%.


Globally, cases were down 27% and deaths down 19% over 14 days, with the 7-day average trending down since January 25.


There are 61,540,184 active cases around the world.


The five countries with the most new cases: South Korea 219,237. Germany 198,457. Vietnam 110,301. Russia 97,455. And Japan 61,843.


There have been 5,972,440 deaths reported as Covid-related worldwide.



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