American coronavirus: dangerous Covid-19 variants could mean all bets are on track to normalcy, expert warns

States are relaxing capacity restrictions for public spaces and private gatherings. More school districts are reopening to personal learning. Travel is increasing, with TSA data showing more than 1 million daily passengers at U.S. airports for two consecutive weeks, the longest stretch since the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on the “Today” show Thursday that the US “is still seeing about 1,000 deaths a day,” which she said was far too much.

As for the number of daily infections, Walensky said, “What worries me is the steady flow of 50,000, 60,000 – and we’re still seeing it.”

Walensky pointed to early signs that vaccinations are working, citing the reduced death rates for people over the age of 65. More infectious variants of Covid-19 are circulating, she warned.

Since some states see an increase of at least 10% in weekly mean cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, variants such as B.1.1.7 could lead to a greater risk of exposure and a potential stagnation in the fight against Covid-19.
“It tells us that when we have a more contagious variant, all bets are off because it means that the activities that we thought were pretty low risk will now be at higher risk,” CNN medical analyst, Dr. . Leana Wen, to CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday.
The variants are also complicating treatments, as the use of certain monoclonal antibody therapies to treat Covid-19 has been discontinued due to its reduced effectiveness.

The focus now is to get enough Americans vaccinated to avoid spikes in infections and hospitalizations.

While there is optimism about vaccinations across the country, with the Biden administration aiming to distribute 200 million doses in the coming weeks, there is additional concern as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be delivered in two delayed doses. given. It means that in the best scenarios more time is needed before a return to normalcy can be achieved.
“To get immunity to the herd even at this rate, it will probably still take about five months, assuming we can fully convince 70% of the population to take the picture,” CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner on CNN’s Erin Burnett on Thursday.

Even for those who have been fully vaccinated, Wen said further precautions should be followed when interacting with other people.

“We know that right now, when there is such a high level of coronavirus circulating in our communities that even people who have been fully vaccinated where they are in public with others who have not been vaccinated, that it is courteous and proper. For them, from an infection control standpoint, it is to wear a mask, ”said Wen.

Doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine are being prepared in Los Angeles on March 25, 2021 at a clinic targeting immigrant community members.

Warning signs remain as states expand vaccine suitability

While states and vaccine distributors strive to inoculate as many adults as possible, the latest projection from the University of Washington is a reminder of what’s to come for the nation.

Since some states are opening up Covid-19 vaccines to everyone, many others are still weeks away.  Here's a timeline.

According to the university’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, at least 600,000 people will have died from Covid-19 by July 1, meaning an estimated 59,000 people will die in the next three months. The IHME says 10,000 lives could be saved if mask use increases from the current rate of 75% to 95% of the population.

Most states in the northern half of the country now have increasing transmission, with the most pronounced increases in Michigan. The increases are likely related to the combination of the spread of the B.1.1.7 variant and recent increases in mobility. , ”it said.

With an increase in vaccine stocks, states are making it eligible for more adults to receive vaccinations.

Minnesota, Connecticut, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Florida and California recently announced that adults of nearly all ages will receive the green light for vaccinations in mid-April.

Six states have already expanded the coronavirus vaccine’s suitability to anyone 16 and older, according to a recent CNN count, and at least 26 others plan to open to people 16 and older by the end of April.

Vaccines for children are being tested

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies are beginning to test the effectiveness of childhood vaccinations, which would provide another layer of defense against a wave of infections, as school districts hope for full face-to-face learning.

What to do if you have been vaccinated but your children are not
Dr. Anthony Fauci told a Senate hearing last week, “We don’t really know what that magical point of herd immunity is, but we do know that if we get the overwhelming population vaccinated, we will be in good shape. children want and need to have that mix. “
Duke University researchers have begun testing Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine in children under 12, the company told CNN on Thursday. At least two children have already received the first shot.
Moderna announced the next phase in pediatric vaccine studies last week, enrolling children in the US and Canada from 6 months to 11 years old.
Johnson & Johnson previously announced that it plans to start trials for ages 12 to 18 and then add younger people to the studies.

Vaccinations for pregnant women can also provide benefits, as Dr. Wen told CNN on Thursday.

Research says Covid-19 vaccines provide protection for pregnant and nursing women - and their newborns

“There is growing evidence of the safety and efficacy of the vaccines for pregnant women,” she said. “Initially, the clinical studies did not include pregnant and lactating people. But since then, thousands of pregnant people have chosen to take the vaccine.”

“There are no negative safety signals or safety concerns in the thousands of women who have used the vaccine to date. And now there is growing evidence that they also elicit a strong immune response that protects them. In fact, the antibodies produced appear to cross the placental barrier. and are also excreted in breast milk and can protect the newborn, ”said Wen.

“If I were pregnant now I would talk to my doctor about it, but I would probably choose to take the vaccine.”