Nearly half of new coronavirus infections nationwide are occurring in just five states – a situation that is prompting the federal government to consider changing the way it distributes vaccines by sending more doses to hot spots.
New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey together reported 44% of the nation’s new COVID-19 infections, or nearly 197,500 new cases, in the last available seven-day period, according to public health agency data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. .
The high concentration of new cases in states that make up 22% of the US population has prompted some experts and elected officials to ask President Joe Biden’s administration to send additional doses of the vaccine to these locations. So far, the White House has shown no signs of changing its policy of distributing vaccine doses among states based on population.
Also in the news:
►One-third of COVID patients in a study of more than 230,000 Americans, most of them, were diagnosed with a brain or psychiatric disorder within six months, scientists reported in the journal Lancet. Among the patients who required treatment in intensive care units, more than 4 in 10 suffered from the disorder, the researchers found.
►The European Medicines Agency will announce on Wednesday the conclusions of its investigation into the link between the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and rare blood clots. On Tuesday, a senior EMA official said there was a causal link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and the rare blood clots seen in dozens of people around the world.
► California plans to drop its tier system and open the state on June 15 if vaccine supply remains stable and coronavirus measures continue to decline. Day-to-day operations will be permitted and businesses will open with “common sense risk reduction measures,” Secretary of State for Health and Human Services Dr Mark Ghaly said.
►Not a single ocean-going cruise ship has taken off with passengers from a US port in the past year. But that is changing. Norwegian Cruise Line announced on Tuesday that it plans to officially return to service at the end of July with crossings to Europe and the Caribbean – but passengers and crew will need to be “100% vaccinated” two weeks before boarding. .
📈 Today’s numbers: The United States has more than 30.8 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 556,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: over 132 million cases and 2.8 million deaths. At least 219 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed in the United States and 168 million have been administered, according to the CDC.
📘 What we read: Why are children doing better than adults against COVID-19? Their innate immune response could stop the virus sooner, according to a new study. Read the full story.
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Some colleges will need vaccines this fall
The class of 2025 entering college this fall may have a new prerequisite: getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Rutgers University of New Jersey and Cornell University in upstate New York were among the first universities to announce that their students would need to be vaccinated if they wanted to study in person during the fall semester. . Brown in Rhode Island, northeast of Boston, Nova Southeastern University in Florida, and Fort Lewis College in Colorado have all announced similar policies. More schools will likely join the list.
“It doesn’t just make us safer. Ultimately, it makes our entire community safer, ”said Antonio Calcado, COO of Rutger. This is why we believe that demanding is the way to go rather than encouraging. “
– Chris Quintana
An itchy rash after your vaccine? Everything will be fine, says an expert
Getting COVID-19 can cause all kinds of weird skin reactions. Some of these may be brief, rare side effects of getting Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, new study finds. The irritating and bothersome reactions were observed in a database of 414 cases of delayed skin problems related to vaccines and reported to healthcare professionals. The cases were collected between December and February before the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was cleared, so it was not included. None elicited a life-threatening reaction, a finding that the study’s lead author, Dr. Esther Freeman, found reassuring. Learn more here.
“People can get rashes all over their body, and it can be surprising and a little scary, but these patients did extremely well, recovered and were able to come back and get their second dose,” Freeman said, director of global health dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital.
– Elizabeth weise
Asian Americans most affected by pandemic stops
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders grapple with the country’s highest long-term unemployment rates more than a year after the pandemic closed hotels, restaurants, malls, lounges beauty and other sectors of the economy. Even though unemployment levels induced by the economic shutdown have returned to levels close to pre-pandemic levels, many Asian Americans do not know when they will be able to return to work.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 48% of the estimated 615,000 unemployed in the Asian community were out of work for more than six months in the first quarter of this year. This figure exceeded the long-term unemployed among the unemployed workers of the black population (43%), the white population (39%) and the Hispanic population (39%).
– Marc Ramirez
Apollo 13-ing Technical Managers Vaccination Planning Programs
Local health officials faced with the daunting task of vaccinating their corner of America have had to rebuild computer systems in the face of unstable vaccine supply and strain on staff and resources. While the federal government has spent millions on vaccine planning and supply management programs, it has done little to help local officials, who have gone wild to develop systems on their own.
Becky Colwell-Ongenae, head of the Geographic Information System for Will County, Ill., Said she felt technology experts “Apollo 13-ing this vaccine deployment,” a reference to the theft space scene of 1970 in which makeshift engineering averted a near-disaster catastrophe when a tank of oxygen ran out. “I have a plastic bag and tweezers, and I have to go home,” she says. Learn more here.
– Aleszu Bajak and Elizabeth Weise
US behind other countries in crucial variant tracking
The United States lags well behind many other countries in using the essential tool for staying on top of variants – gene sequencing – increasing the risk that a new variant could spread without being detected here. Sequencing involves taking positive test samples from another lab for sequencing, providing the genetic code of a virus and presenting scientists with an accurate map on how to beat it.
So far this year, the United States ranks 33rd in the world for its sequencing rate, falling between Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe, according to COVID CoV Genomic, led by researchers at Harvard and MIT. The top three countries – Iceland, Australia and New Zealand – ranked between 55 and 95 times the pace.
– David Heath
About 80% of teachers and educators are vaccinated
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 80% of teachers, school staff and educators have received at least their first vaccine against COVID-19. The percentage came from a CDC survey completed by 13,000 education staff and 40,000 child care workers across the country. The CDC said it had tracked more than 7 million doses that had been given to the group, which had been prioritized in early March in hopes of reopening schools across the United States.
“Our efforts to ensure that teachers, school staff and educators were vaccinated in March paid off and paved the way for safer in-person learning,” said Rochelle Walensky, CDC director. “The CDC will build on the success of this program and work with our partners to continue to expand our immunization efforts, as we work to build confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.
Brazil, Argentina break death and infection records
Brazil and Argentina have broken their own grim records of COVID-19 infections and deaths as the rest of the world continues their race to vaccinate as more and more variants spread. Brazil – where the most contagious P.1 variant was discovered – on Tuesday had its deadliest day on record with 4,195 deaths in 24 hours. More than 330,000 people have died nationwide from COVID-19.
Argentina also broke its infection record, registering 20,870 new cases of COVID-19 in one day. The total number of confirmed cases in the country is over 2.4 million.
Contribute: The Associated Press