The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reclassified the Delta variant of COVID-19 as “of concern,” highlighting how the B.1.617.2 variant first identified in India is becoming increasingly prevalent in the United States.
The variant was previously considered “of interest”, a categorization of less concern. Delta joins others in being classified as ‘of concern’, namely the Alpha variant, or B.1.1.7, which first appeared in the UK, the Beta, or B.1.353, which was detected for the first time in South Africa, and the Gamma, or P.1., which was first found in Brazil.
However, Dr Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said earlier this month that the variant appears to be more transmissible than the Alpha variant and may carry a higher risk of becoming sicker and ending up. in the hospital if someone is infected. .
The Delta variant has spread across the UK, accounting for 90% of new cases in the past week, and is the main reason Prime Minister Boris Johnson has postponed the country’s planned reopening for another four weeks earlier this week. The World Health Organization said this week that the variant is now found in 74 countries, raising fears that it will become the dominant strain worldwide.
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Health officials urge Americans who have yet to be vaccinated to get dosed as soon as possible, pointing out that the vaccines that have so far obtained emergency use clearance are all highly effective against the variant. .
The United States has fully vaccinated 145.8 million people, or 43.9% of the global population, according to the CDC vaccine tracker. This means that these people received two injections of the two-dose vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc. PFE,
and German partner BioNTech SE BNTX,
and the MNA of Moderna Inc.,
or a photo of Johnson & Johnson JNJ,
vaccin unique. L’AstraZeneca AZN,
the vaccine has not been authorized for use in the United States
Among Americans 18 and older, 141 million people are fully vaccinated, or 54.6% of that population. Among Americans 65 and older, nearly 42 million people are fully vaccinated, or 76.5% of this group. Almost 48 million people in this age group received a first jab, covering 86.9% of that population.
It will likely be an uphill battle to persuade unvaccinated Americans to get a jab, according to Civic Science, a real-time data analytics company.
“Over the past two months, it has become increasingly clear that the United States is unlikely to be able to maintain its current vaccination rate for much longer,” Civic Science said in its latest research report. “With the large number of Americans reluctant to get vaccinated, the US pool of volunteer vaccines is rapidly drying up. “
Data collected last month shows that 61% of those who are still unvaccinated say they are not at all likely to be vaccinated. That’s up 5 percentage points since the last data poll in May. The poll found that 14% of unvaccinated people are unsure, unchanged from May. The majority of those reluctant to roll up their sleeves are white women over the age of 35 living in households earning less than $ 100,000 a year, according to the survey. This group also tends to be politically conservative and live in suburban areas.
Medically, Regeneron Inc. REGN,
said its COVID-19 antibody therapy reduced the risk of death in hospital patients by 20%, as Jaimy Lee of MarketWatch reported. This is the first time that clinical research has shown that Regeneron antibody therapy improves the survival of hospital patients.
The study, which is being conducted in the UK in patients who have not yet developed antibodies, follows other research which has shown that treatment with the company’s antibodies may improve recovery times in people with mild or moderate forms of the disease. Regeneron said it plans to ask the Food and Drug Administration to extend emergency use authorization in the United States to include these types of patients.
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Moderna announced that the U.S. government is purchasing an additional 200 million doses of its vaccine and has the option of acquiring other COVID-19 vaccine candidates, which may include booster shots.
Internationally, Moscow’s mayor Sergei Sobyanin has made vaccines mandatory for all service workers, following a recent increase in the number of new cases, the Moscow Times reported. Companies operating in the hospitality, education, health and entertainment sectors will need to ensure that 60% of their workforce is vaccinated, according to the decree signed by the chief medical officer of Moscow.
Russia’s vaccination campaign has stumbled with only around 13% of the population vaccinated.
France is relaxing some COVID restrictions, including exterior face masks, and ending an eight-month nighttime curfew this weekend, the Associated Press reported.
The European Union recommends that member countries start lifting restrictions on tourists from the United States, the AP reported. The EU has also added North Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Lebanon and Taiwan to the list of tourist trips. The recommendations are expected to be formalized on Friday.
The global tally of coronavirus-borne illnesses climbed to 177 million on Wednesday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, as deaths topped 3.8 million.
The United States continues to dominate the world for the total number of cases with 33.48 million, while the deaths total 600,337, after crossing the threshold of 600,000 on Tuesday.
India is second for total number of cases with 29.6 million and third for deaths with 379,573, although those numbers should be underestimated due to a shortage of tests.
Brazil has the third-highest number of cases with 17.5 million, according to JHU data, and is second in terms of deaths with 490,696.
Mexico has the fourth death toll with 230,428 and 2.5 million cases.
The UK has 128,190 deaths and 4.6 million cases, the highest number of deaths in Europe and the fifth in the world.
China, where the virus was first discovered in late 2019, has recorded 103,425 confirmed cases and 4,846 deaths, according to its official figures, which are widely considered massively underreported.