New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey recorded more than 196,400 of the 453,360 cases reported in the country last week, according to data available Wednesday morning.
These states only account for 22% of the US population, according to estimates from the US Census Bureau.
Although vaccination rates have increased nationwide, few people have been vaccinated to exceed the spread. And with the spread of more transmissible variants, surges like those in Michigan may soon be seen more widely, said epidemiologist Dr Michael Osterholm.
“I wish we had another three or four months before this B.1.1.7 variant push started to happen,” Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota said Tuesday.
The surge in variants in some states like Michigan should prompt the federal government to consider changing the way it allocates vaccines, Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told CNN on Wednesday.
“So the federal strategy must be to move more vaccines to places like Michigan that are booming so they can use more vaccines to stop this surge and save lives,” he said.
Half of American adults may have had their first injection on weekends, White House says
By the end of the weekend, the percentage of American adults who have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine could reach 50%, the White House announced on Tuesday.
But that doesn’t mean the country is done with the pandemic, a Biden administration adviser said.
“We have to remember that there are over 100 million adults who still have not been vaccinated,” Andy Slavitt, White House senior advisor on the response to Covid-19, told Chris Cuomo on Tuesday. from CNN. “They aren’t here yet, and you don’t win the war until you bring everyone with you.”
Some states are withdrawing hidden mandates and opening up capacity for businesses. But Fauci said on Tuesday that giving up preventative measures when the majority of Americans are still unvaccinated is a mistake.
“It is premature to declare a victory,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “We have to keep going and hang on a little longer by continuing the public health measures.”
Fortunately, the United States still has tools to stay the course even if the public is tired, Slavitt said. Open up accessibility to vaccines and focus on vulnerable groups, as the US has done to give at least one injection to 80% of teachers and school staff amid calls to reopen the school, can help the country continue to fight Covid-19, Slavitt said.
Plans to reopen as vaccinations increase
Although health experts warn the battle against Covid-19 is not yet won, many states have already reopened and others are planning to do so soon as well.
Falling infection rates, low hospitalizations and rising vaccinations are the reasons California may reopen, Health and Human Services Secretary of State Mark Ghaly said.
By then, Vermont officials predict that about 70% of the state’s residents will have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Many school districts are also preparing to change their plans. Of the 101 largest school districts nationwide, more than half offer a full in-person option, although the full remote is still available to families who choose it.
The move comes as just over half of parents – 52% – said they were likely to have their children vaccinated against Covid-19 when a vaccine becomes available for their age group, according to the results. of a new Axios-Ipsos poll released Tuesday. .
What is life like after vaccination
Experts and officials are debating how to monitor vaccinations once life in the United States returns to normalcy.
Many experts have asked for vaccine passports – documentation of immunization status that could make it easier for Americans to access public places and large gatherings.
New York last month launched the “Excelsior Pass,” the first state to do so, which grants residents access to events such as sports and concerts.
And in California, some companies are already exploring the possibility of verifying that their customers are vaccinated.
But in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday issued an executive order prohibiting organizations that receive public funds from requiring proof of vaccination for services or entry, according to a statement from his office.
“The government should not require any Texan to present proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about its daily business,” Abbott said. “We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health – and we will do so without infringing on the personal freedoms of Texans.”
In addition to debates over vaccine documentation, the United States will also have to deal with “long Covid,” a condition in which even patients with relatively mild illnesses could experience symptoms long after their infection, Osterholm said.
“This is going to be, I’m afraid, one of the legacy issues from this pandemic,” Osterholm said. he said
CNN’s Deidre McPhillips, Lauren Mascarenhas, Ashley Ahn, Jennifer Henderson, Michael Nedelman, Cheri Mossburg, Ryan Prior, Lauren del Valle and Elizabeth Stuart contributed to this report.