The weekly average of daily Covid-19 deaths is over 660, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. As of mid-January, that seven-day average was about 3,400 deaths per day.
And the country has averaged more than 49,400 new cases of Covid-19 per day over the past week, according to Johns Hopkins. As of January 8, the country averaged more than 251,000 cases per day – the highest seven-day average of the pandemic.
“We’re starting to see the effects of all these vaccinations,” Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told CNN on Monday.
Especially, he added, among the country’s older population, who was prioritized from the start for the shootings.
And now health and state leaders are focusing on young Americans, who polls are least likely to say they want an injection.
“This pandemic is now affecting young people and it is a very dangerous time not to be vaccinated in the country as it is spreading quite effectively among young people and unvaccinated people,” Jha said.
CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky warned last month that the country is seeing an increase in cases and hospitalizations, mostly among unvaccinated young adults. And in Michigan, which battled a violent spring surge, hospitals have welcomed more young patients with Covid-19 than ever before.
It is therefore essential that young Americans can also get vaccinated, experts say, both for their own protection and to help the country achieve widespread protection.
Governor: Oregon youth hospitalized for “severe” Covid-19
To help increase vaccination numbers and suppress the spread of the coronavirus, governors are now calling on young residents.
In Oregon, Governor Kate Brown recently tightened some restrictions amid an increase in new cases and hospitalizations.
“Younger, unvaccinated Oregonians are now coming to our hospitals with severe cases of COVID-19,” Brown said in a statement. “We need Oregonians to step up and take personal responsibility for getting vaccinated. “
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice said last week that the state is offering a $ 100 savings bond to residents aged 16 to 35 who choose to be vaccinated.
On Monday, he added, officials are now also focusing on “new communication strategies to be able to really target our young people through social networks and streaming services.”
“If we have to go door to door, we will go door to door,” Justice said in a statement. “We know these vaccines are incredibly safe and we know what can happen to those who are exposed and what is happening across this country.”
The United States could face this for “a long time”
The vaccination rate in the United States has slowed, and experts say the country is now at the heart of its vaccination efforts: reaching Americans who are not so eager to get vaccinated or who still have access issues.
More than 44% of the total United States population has received at least one dose of the vaccine and nearly 32% are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.
Among American adults, more than 56% have received at least one vaccine, according to the data, and more than 40.5% are fully immunized.
Once the United States is able to immunize more than 70% of its adults, we may finally be able to see some semblance of normalcy, Jha said on Monday.
“The number of cases will drop. We may not be immune to the herd, we will see small outbreaks here and there, but life will really start to return to normal, ”he said.
But what if we can’t do it?
“It’s a problem,” Jha said. “We’re going to be stuck with this for a long time. “
“If we just don’t do vaccines, then obviously one of the things we do know is that we have big epidemics, you can get more variants,” he said. “It’s going to be hard to do these big gatherings, indoor concerts, outdoor baseball games, this stuff will get much, much harder if we don’t make more progress on vaccinations,” he added.
What could likely happen, an expert said, is that communities with lower vaccination coverage will continue to see high transmission of the virus, while in other parts of the country with more vaccinations, case rates will be much lower.
“In this country there is a real gap around immunization,” former CDC acting director Dr Richard Besser told CNN. “People tend to live among people with similar beliefs. “
A major clearance could come next week
The only piece of the puzzle that experts lack is getting children immunized.
But there is good news on this front.
A federal government official told CNN that the Food and Drug Administration is set to approve Pfizer / BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine in children and adolescents 12 to 15 years old early next week.
Pfizer has applied for emergency use authorization. The FDA, which is currently reviewing data submitted by Pfizer, will need to change the vaccine’s emergency use authorization, but the process should be straightforward, the official said.
A group of CDC advisers will schedule a meeting after any FDA decision to expand EUA to new age groups and advise the CDC on whether to recommend the vaccine for use in 12 to 15 year olds.
Walensky will then have to decide whether the agency will recommend the use of the vaccine in the new age group.
“This will immediately add millions more people eligible for vaccination. I bet a lot of these kids will get vaccinated, ”Jha told CNN. “It will also make a big difference in terms of strengthening the immunity of the population. “
Pfizer and Moderna are both testing their vaccines in children as young as 6 months old and plan to apply to the FDA for a US covering infants and children later this year.
CNN’s Deidre McPhillips and Maggie Fox contributed to this report.