That’s an average of about 67,934 new infections each day.
“First of all, it’s good news to see that the curve is down a bit. We’re still at a very high level of infections,” said Dr. Ashish Ja, dean of the University School of Public Health in Brown.
“But I’m very worried about whether we can maintain this or not. If we move quickly to vaccinations … then we can keep this curve down. But if the options stick first, this curve will reverse. And things will get worse. much more, “he said.
“So this is a race. Obviously I hope to win.”
One option, which was first identified in the United Kingdom, is particularly worrying. It is currently found in at least 22 states, according to data released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We are now in the second half of the fight against this pandemic,” said Washington Health Minister Umayr A. Shah.
“It is very important for us to redouble our efforts to prevent this strain, as well as any kind of tension, because we want to make sure that transmission does not happen in our country and the best way to do it is prevention, prevention, prevention. “
“More bad news”
A UK report released on Friday said there was a “realistic possibility” that the new option would have a higher mortality rate than the other options.
“The data is increasing – and I can’t share some of them – this strongly supports that B.1.1.7 causes more serious illnesses and increases deaths,” said infectious diseases expert Michael Osterholm. “We already know that this option has increased the transmission, so this is more bad news.”
But the director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, said Saturday that it was still too early to say whether the option was more deadly, telling MSNBC, “this is very preliminary data.”
“It seems that if you look at 1,000 people who became infected with Covid-19, usually about 1%, 10 of them would die from it. Maybe with this virus it would be 13 instead of 10,” Collins said. “It’s a small difference.”
He added that the figures could also be “a consequence of the fact that the UK healthcare system is really overloaded”.
“It also has an effect on mortality,” Collins added.
More than 20 million doses of vaccine administered in the United States
“I assume that within a period, probably no more than two weeks, the data will be reviewed by the Data Monitoring and Safety Board,” Fauci told MSNBC. And if the data is strong enough, the next step will be to submit it to the Food and Drug Administration for an emergency authorization, he said.
“Let’s say they … receive the EUA in February, until they receive a significant amount of doses, it will probably be a month or two after that,” he said. “Once they enter May, June, July, August, then you will see a sharp increase in additional doses of this single-dose vaccine.”
Meanwhile, the FDA also told CNN on Saturday that, if absolutely necessary, “modest delays” between the first and second doses of current Covid-19 vaccines are not expected to reduce protection against the virus.
The agency said it “recognizes that keeping as many people nationwide immunized as possible will help limit the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and should be a priority.”
Earlier, the FDA warned that changes to vaccination schedules without proper data could put public health at risk.
The CDC also updated its guidelines that second doses of vaccines may be scheduled up to six weeks after the initial doses, if necessary, the addition of a second dose should be administered as close as possible to the recommended interval – three weeks after the first dose of Pfizer Vaccine. / BioNTech and four weeks for the Moderna vaccine.
Hospital manager: “We really are in the darkest days”
All of this is coming as the United States continues to wage a fierce battle against the virus.
And more than 6,800 people remain hospitalized with the virus – 24% of whom are in the intensive care unit.
In Georgia, a health official described a grim image of the virus’s grip.
“We are indeed in the darkest days of this pandemic,” Dr. Deepak Aggarwal of Northeast Georgia Medical Center told CNN on Saturday night. “We already see more than 200 patients a day than we usually see at this time of year.”
“And also, we’re dealing with a growing number of deaths. Our system typically handles less than 10 deaths a month, and we’ve already had 169 deaths by January 21.”
CNN’s Michael Nedelman, Lauren Mascarenhas, Elizabeth Cohen and Karma Hassan contributed to the report.