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.
The focus now is to get enough Americans vaccinated to avoid spikes in infections and hospitalizations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vaccinations for pregnant women can also provide benefits, as Dr. Wen told CNN on Thursday.
“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.”