According to data released Saturday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US has only achieved a record high of around 4.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines administered in a day.
“Amazing Saturday! +4.63M doses administered over total yesterday, a new record,” Dr Cyrus Shahpar, the Covid-19 data director at the White House, wrote on Twitter. “More than 500K higher than old record last Saturday. The incredible number of doses administered.”
The new record is good news – but it happens in the pandemic for the USA at a difficult time.
While Covid-19 numbers are rising across Canada, the B.1.1.7 variant, now the dominant strain in the US, is increasing in cases and hospitalizations as well. Experts say the variant is more contagious, more serious and potentially fatal.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the United States has reported on average over 68,000 new Covid-19 cases a day in the past seven days. Since the average of 7 days of March, that is more than 20 per cent.
“On the one hand, we have so much reason for optimism and hope, and more Americans are being vaccinated,” CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky said during a White House Covid-19 briefing Friday. “On the other hand, cases and emergency room visits are up. And … we are seeing these increases in younger adults, most of whom have not yet been vaccinated.”
She added the number of emergency department visits in Americans 18 to 64 years of age was increasing.
And in one part of the country, she said, trends are “magnified,” the Upper Midwest.
“CDC is working closely with public health officials in this region to understand what is driving these cases and how we can intervene.”
Michigan is among the hit hardest countries in the country and local officials are reporting thousands of new cases a day, saying that the state has been in the middle of a further surge.
According to CDC data, the state also has the second-most reported number of cases of variant B.1.1.7 after Florida. And one expert says that it’s a combined number of two factors.
“This B.1.1.7 variant… is more contagious and I think there’s just fatigue from this pandemic out there so a lot of people don’t wear masks, don’t social distance, so we’ve taken a step back in Michigan,” Dr Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told CNN on Saturday.
“It’s frustrating because we’re almost there,” he said. “We have to hang in there for the next two months and we’re not doing that.”
In spiking numbers, some hospitals in Michigan are delaying and rescheduling “case-by-case” non-emergency procedures, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association’s spokesperson said.
“Hospitals want everyone to get the care they need and only reschedule procedures as a last resort,” John Karasinski said Saturday. “We want to stress that hospitals are safe for all who need care and any individual with an emergency medical need should seek care immediately.”
Michigan does not only report alarming trends. In both Michigan and Minnesota, “there is concern about transmission in youth sports — both club sports, as well as sports affiliated in schools,” Walensky said Friday.
Minnesota health officials have warned on Friday that in Covid 19 cases the state is experiencing a sharp “increase,” adding that the practice of safety actions such as wearing a mask and social distancing is “more important than ever.”
“We’re moving now in the wrong direction,” he said. “More than half of our counties, 53, have seen increases.”
“We can still turn this around if more people continue to get vaccinated,” the governor added. “This is a race. We are in a race. And it’s a life and death race.”
The number of cases of Covid-19, Hospitalization and admissions to the ICU is all increasing in Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday.
So far at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine has been received by 35,3 per cent of Americans, CDC evidence. And approximately 21.3% were fully immunized.
So tens of millions of Americans remain unvaccinated and vulnerable to the virus.
To enhance vaccination numbers and to achieve the necessary levels to control their distribution, experts say that Americans should remain vigilant and take precautions.
“To end this pandemic, this is what we have to do,” US Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy said Friday in the White House briefing. “We’ve got to step up and help protect one another. And that’s why today I’m asking everyone to do two things: One, get vaccinated as soon as you can. And two, help the people you care about to get vaccinated as well.”
In last week interview, Dr Anthony Fauci told Business Insider he wouldn’t attend a restaurant or cinema even if he had been vaccinated completely against Covid-19.
“I don’t think I would — even if I’m vaccinated — go into an indoor, crowded place where people are not wearing masks,” Fauci said.