Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that there is a chance of a fourth level of Covid-19 pandemic in the US provided, America is able to control the surging numbers. Cases had started to fall between February 7 and 21, but have started to rise again as variants of Covid-19 are starting to emerge in the country.
As per CDC statistics, the country has already logged an average of over 68,000 new cases per day for the week ended February 28, with deaths averaging at 2,055 per day. According to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she has felt alarmed as to how some local governments have “rolled back restrictions on masks and social distancing just as more infectious variants of the virus are spreading. We stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained,” she said in a media statement.
It has been confirmed that almost 29 out of 50 states reported more new infections last week compared to the previous seven days, whereas only seven states in the prior week reported weekly increases, according to the Reuters analysis.
Walensky has warned the public not to go slack on their safety measures as the new variants are seeing surging infection numbers. Adding in her public statement, she said, “All our effort could come to knots end if we don’t stay strong and vigilant.”
The US is more hopeful about the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine which has now received clearance for an immediate roll-out. According to Dr. Eric Rubin, a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “with the new variant possibly developing resistance to the existing vaccine, it is important to get everyone vaccinated as soon as possible.”
About 3.9 million doses of the J&J vaccine will be distributed to states, tribes, territories, pharmacies, and community health centers, a senior Biden administration official has confirmed on State television. The new vaccine does not need to be kept in the freezer and is a single-dose vaccine that is now easier to administer, carry and store. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has shown a 72% efficacy rate against mild to severe/critical disease among US trial participants. It’s more effective against severe forms of the disease, with about 85% protection.