Almost 150 million doses of Covid vaccine have been administered in the United States. Most adults are now at least partially vaccinated, and more and more people are choosing to get vaccinated every day. But some people may be wondering if their second shot is necessary. The answer is yes.
If you got one dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna), don’t skip the second dose. Without it, your vaccine-induced protection won’t be as strong or long-lasting. The second dose greatly reinforces the protection your immune system started building after the first shot.
Because of Covid-19, awareness of epidemiology and public health has blossomed this past year. With this increased focus has come increased criticism: never in our lifetimes has there been as much controversy about public health action.
Few Americans question the role of government in preventing the sale of contaminated food, providing safe drinking water, reducing alcohol-impaired driving, or protecting workers and communities from industrial toxins — all of which are matters of public health. Control of infectious diseases is the reason public health practices were developed in the first place.
Good governance matters
This past week, we learned that our vaccine safety monitoring system works. Reports that a small number of people developed a rare form of blood clot after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine led to quick investigation, quick action, and transparency about what is known, not known, and what next steps should be. Vaccines remain our way out of the pandemic.
The U.S. vaccination campaign is facing a fundamental challenge: getting the vaccine where it’s needed most. Millions of Americans are still unprotected, many of them at high risk of severe illness. Our fourth surge is beginning. Lives are at stake.
As reported by CDC in its Covid Data Tracker, one in three people in the U.S. have received at least one dose of vaccine — but that means two in three haven’t. …
There’s lots of good news to report on vaccines, but the virus and variants are also gaining ground. Variants are spreading rapidly in the U.S., driving (along with premature re-opening) the fourth surge that’s now underway. Here, I’ll explain why equity is not just about fairness, but essential for pandemic control.
The feared fourth surge is building. CDC reports in its Covid Data Tracker Weekly that cases are up more than 8% nationally over the past week, and test positivity rates have risen slightly, to 5.1%. …
As predicted, a fourth surge of Covid appears to be beginning in the U.S., fueled by spread of variants and premature reopening. As CDC reports in its Covid Data Tracker, cases are up 7% nationally, and the test positivity rate is also inching up, now at 4.7%. Because the pace of vaccination has been accelerating, my prediction is that despite a fourth surge, deaths won’t increase substantially. But we must solve systemic issues of vaccine inequity, both in the United States and globally.
One particularly concerning trend is in Michigan. Hospitalizations in Michigan are increasing rapidly, especially among 40–49 year…
Vaccinations have already saved at least 40,000 lives in the United States, and the pace keeps increasing. But explosive spread of variants in Brazil and lower interest in vaccination are ominous portents.
A fourth surge is likely in the U.S., but most likely a less deadly one.
First, the epidemiology. Cases are trending down, but have stopped decreasing in many places, and are increasing in some areas. New cases are plateauing nationally at about 50,000 per day, as reported by the CDC Covid Data Tracker (shown below), as are test positivity rates, with a concerning trend of PCR test positivity…
The U.S. has now hit two milestones in the Covid-19 pandemic: 100 million total infections (most of them undiagnosed), and as reported by the CDC, 100 million vaccine doses administered.
In the race of vaccination vs. variants, we’re gaining on the virus. It’s slow progress that we hope to accelerate as more people get vaccinated. But nobody should declare victory in the third quarter. As I’ve said before, safer doesn’t mean safe.
CDC reports encouraging progress in its weekly Covid summary and website, both of which continue to get better:
Are we finally nearing the new normal? By May things will be much safer, but we’re not there yet. Vaccine rollout continues to gain momentum, saving lives. Cases are still trending down, although the declines are slowing. But transmission is still high in most of the country, and variants could quickly derail the progress we’ve made. We need to hang in there.
I want to offer a huge thank you to all who worked on the Covid Tracking Project, which wound down this week. Their final weekly metrics are reported in the graphs below — this comprehensive level of data…
There is now steady good news about Covid-19 in the United States. Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to decrease, and the pace of vaccination is accelerating. Serious risks remain from variants, vaccine inequity, and failure to learn the lessons of Covid-19.
First, the good news. As reported by the CDC, cases in the United States have decreased 75% from their peak in early January, with hospitalizations and deaths following. Vaccinations (after a weather-related disruption) are increasing, and much more supply is on the way — the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will add millions of doses to the supply. …