CDC: 30% of U.S. Population Fully Vaccinated Against Coronavirus


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday reported that 30% of the entire U.S. population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

More than 43% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to CDC data. When limited to just adults aged 18 and older, nearly 55% of the group has received at least one dose.

The U.S. has administered over 237 million doses of the three vaccines that the Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorization: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The vast majority of the shots administered came from either Pfizer or Moderna.

New coronavirus cases fell by 16% after weeks of stasis. New York and Michigan saw the biggest improvements; new cases were down by about 30% in both states


New coronavirus infections fell by roughly 16% over the past week in the U.S. — a big improvement after weeks of stasis.

The big picture: More than half of American adults have gotten at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and that seems to finally be putting a dent in the size of the country’s outbreak.

By the numbers: The U.S. averaged about 55,000 new cases per day over the past week, down from about 66,000 per day the week before.

The number of new infections declined in 26 states and only rose in four.

New York and Michigan saw the biggest improvements; new cases were down by about 30% in both states.

What’s next: The U.S. will never totally eliminate COVID-19, but high vaccination rates and low case rates will help the country get back to normal more quickly, and will also help limit the threat that new variants of the virus will pose in the years to come.

Vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks outside except in crowds, CDC says


Joe Biden has told fully vaccinated Americans they can go outdoors without a face mask, except in big crowds, as he attempts to steer a lockdown-weary nation back towards normality.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the president used the bully pulpit of the White House to assure the public science shows the risk of coronavirus infection is very low for vaccinated people in outdoor spaces.

“Starting today, if you’re fully vaccinated and you’re outdoors and not in a big crowd, you no longer need to wear a mask,” said Biden, beside a tree and lawn, in warm spring sunshine.

“I want to be absolutely clear. If you’re in a crowd, like a stadium or at a conference or a concert, you still need to wear a mask, even if you’re outside. But beginning today, gathering with a group of friends in a park, going for a picnic as long as you are vaccinated and outdoors, you can do it without a mask.”

“The CDC is able to make this announcement because our scientists are convinced by the data that the odds of getting or giving the virus to others is very, very low if you’re both fully vaccinated and out in the open air.”

Biden also hailed the “stunning progress” the US has made against the virus since he took office on 20 January, with 215m vaccine shots administered and cases and deaths “down dramatically”. Two thirds of elderly people are now fully vaccinated, he said, resulting in an 80% drop in deaths and 70% drop in hospitalisations among that group.

U.S. to Share AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine Doses With World


The Biden administration is making plans to share millions of doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine and preparing a major effort to help India fight a resurgence of the virus, as calls mount for the U.S. to do more to assist developing countries in confronting the pandemic.

The White House said Monday it would share as many as 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with the rest of the world. U.S. officials also said they were exploring options to urgently dispatch oxygen and related supplies to India.

President Biden spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as India reported 352,991 new coronavirus cases on Monday, marking the fifth consecutive day the country set a global record for a single-day rise in infections.

The Biden administration has faced growing pressure to share vaccine doses with India and other developing countries that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and are far behind wealthier countries in procuring and administering vaccine doses.

India’s hospitals have been overwhelmed, with beds and oxygen in short supply and crematoriums running out of space as the country recorded a million new cases in just three days. Reports and images of people dying on the pavement waiting for treatment have underscored the severity of the surge.

AstraZeneca declined to comment on whether it was consulted on the decision. “The doses are part of AstraZeneca’s supply commitments to the U.S. government,” a spokeswoman for AstraZeneca said in an email. “Decisions to send U.S. supply to other countries are made by the U.S. government.”

A senior Indian official said New Delhi hadn’t specifically requested the supply of unused AstraZeneca doses, but would gladly accept a portion of them if offered.

COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations all declining in the US


The weekly average of cases, deaths and hospitalizations linked to COVID-19 are all down in the past week, according to figures from the CDC.

The drop comes after cases slightly increased earlier this month. It also comes as more and more Americans get vaccinated against the virus.

As of Monday, the CDC reports that about 54% of all adults in the U.S. have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That figure includes 81.7% of people 65 and older — the group most vulnerable to the virus.

Fauci says U.S. should see a turning point in the pandemic ‘within a few weeks’


White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday that Americans should begin to see a turning point in the pandemic “within a few weeks.”

The United States has been averaging about 3 million Covid-19 vaccination shots per day, Fauci said. Meanwhile, the nation reported a seven-day average of 58,164 new Covid cases per day as of Sunday, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. That’s down 14% from a week ago.

If the U.S. continues its vaccination pace, “literally within a few weeks, we’re going to start to see a turning around of the dynamics,” Fauci said Monday during a virtual event hosted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

New York’s COVID-19 positive test rate falls below 2% to lowest level since early November


The coronavirus positive test rate in New York has fallen below 2% — its lowest level since the first week of November — as the vaccine campaign keeps a lid on the pandemic.

Just 1.79% of the COVID-19 tests in the state came back positive from Friday to Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.

The seven-day average also dipped to 2.2%, also a more than five-month low mark.

“Some may feel COVID fatigue setting in (but) we have to keep doing what we can to keep each other safe,” Cuomo said.

The total number of new COVID-19 cases dropped to 4,164, the second lowest daily total since mid-November.

COVID-19 hospitalizations tumble among U.S. senior citizens


COVID-19 hospitalizations among older Americans have plunged 80 percent since the start of the year, dramatic proof the vaccination campaign is working. Now the trick is to get more of the nation’s younger people to roll up their sleeves.

The drop-off in severe cases among people 65 and older is so dramatic that the hospitalization rate among this highly vaccinated group is now down to around the level of the next-youngest category, Americans 50 to 64.

That slide is especially encouraging because senior citizens have accounted for about 8 out of 10 deaths from COVID-19 since the virus hit the United States.

Overall, COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have plummeted to about 700 per day on average, compared with a peak of over 3,400 in mid-January. All told, the scourge has killed about 570,000 Americans.

“What you’re seeing there is exactly what we hoped and wanted to see: As really high rates of vaccinations happen, hospitalizations and death rates come down,” said Jodie Guest, a public health researcher at Emory University.

U.S. vaccination pace holds above 3 million shots per day for two weeks straight


The U.S. vaccination pace has held above 3 million shots per day for two weeks straight, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

That figure is based on a seven-day average of daily reported vaccinations, and has fallen slightly in recent days, down from a peak of 3.4 million reported shots per day on April 13 to just over 3 million Tuesday.

About 40% of Americans have received at least one shot, CDC data shows, and roughly 1 in 4 are fully vaccinated.

Breakthrough Covid-19 infections “rare” among fully vaccinated nursing home residents, CDC says


Most fully vaccinated residents of nursing homes were not infected, even after someone in the same facility tested positive for Covid-19, according to a new study that looked at infections in nursing homes in Chicago from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Among the nearly 8,000 residents and nearly 7,000 staff that have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine since December, there were only 22 breakthrough infections among the fully vaccinated, according to the CDC’s Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report published on Wednesday.

The CDC considers people to be fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after the single Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Of the 22 breakthrough cases, there were 12 residents and 10 staff members who tested positive for Covid-19 after being fully vaccinated. Two-thirds of those who tested positive, 14 people, were asymptomatic. Two residents were hospitalized and one of those residents died, the CDC said. The person who died had three underlying conditions, according to the CDC.

There was no facility-associated secondary transmission.