US numbers continue to make matters worse, vaccination efforts are accelerating around the world and researchers are examining a new variant of the virus. Here’s what you need to know:
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The pandemic is likely to worsen in the United States even as vaccinations continue
The daily coronavirus death toll in the United States reached a record high five of the past 10 days, and it surpassed 4,000 on Thursday as cases continue to increase almost everywhere. Arizona rule the country in hospitalizations and cases, and Atlanta recently reopened its field hospital to follow a record number of patients. The outbreak is also particularly severe in southern California: coronavirus is killing someone every 15 minutes on average in Los Angeles, the county public health director said earlier this week. Ambulance teams were invited to oxygen ration for the most needy patients. And some overwhelmed patients have even been transferred to hospital corridors and gift shops.
But the country has also established a less gloomy record Thursday: More than 600,000 injections of the coronavirus were given in 24 hours, the most in a day since vaccination efforts began. So far the deployment has been slower than expected. While the Trump administration’s policy has been to withhold half of U.S. injections for second doses, Biden’s team has announced that they will. release all available doses once he takes office. In an interview ThursdayAnthony Fauci added that there would always have been the hiccups and that vaccinations are expected to accelerate in the coming weeks. But, he added, the pandemic will get worse before it gets better. Until enough people have been vaccinated, everyone should stay vigilantwhether they were shot or not.
Vaccination efforts accelerate around the world
Brazilian officials said on Thursday that a Chinese company Sinovac vaccine is effective. The company has already sold some 300 million doses, mainly to low- and middle-income countries, pending its approval. Meanwhile, in the EU, regulators approved Moderna’s vaccine. Some have speculated that they might also make a decision regarding the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which has already been approved for use in the UK and India, speak end of the month.
India’s Comptroller General of Medicines also granted emergency clearance to Covaxin, a vaccine jointly developed by Bharat Biotech and the Indian government on Sunday. the the announcement starts an ambitious campaign to vaccinate 300 million people during the country’s first phase of vaccination. the scientific community quickly criticized the news because Covaxin has not yet completed its Phase III trials and has not produced enough efficacy and safety data. Later in the week, a national network of scientists issued a statement asking the government to reconsider its approval of the vaccine.
New virus variant spreads as US speeds up genetic sequencing
Since it was announced last month, a new variant, apparently more transmissible SARS-CoV-2, known as B.1.1.7, has spread to the UK and the US. As of this week, the CDC has identified more than 50 cases mutated virus in California, Florida, Colorado, Georgia and New York. Officials point out that these numbers likely do not reflect the number of cases actually circulating in the United States, and they add that there is no evidence that this variant is more deadly, although it appears to be spreading faster. . A new study from Pfizer found that the company’s coronavirus vaccine appears to protect against this new mutated version.