Home Health News Despite dip in COVID-19 cases, expert says US is in the ‘eye of the hurricane’ as variants spread

Despite dip in COVID-19 cases, expert says US is in the ‘eye of the hurricane’ as variants spread

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While a current dip in COVID-19 infections could appear encouraging, consultants warn now is not the time for Americans to let their guard down.That’s largely as a result of of new variants circulating in the U.S., placing the nation as soon as once more in the “eye of the hurricane,” in accordance with one expert.”I’ve been on Zoom calls for the last two weeks about how we’re going to manage this,” Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, advised CNN Sunday. “The big wall is about to hit us again and these are the new variants.”Nearly 700 instances of COVID-19 variants first noticed in the UK, South Africa and Brazil have been reported in the U.S. thus far, in accordance with knowledge up to date by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The overwhelming majority of these instances are the B.1.1.7 pressure, which was first detected in the UK and has now been noticed in a minimum of 33 states. Experts say the extremely contagious variant will possible quickly develop into dominant in the U.S., and a brand new research discovered important neighborhood transmission could already be occurring.”This could be really, very dire for our country as we head into the spring,” Hotez mentioned of the variants. “Now, we’re in a race. We’re in a race to see how quickly we can vaccinate the American people.”On Sunday, the U.S. surpassed 27 million reported infections, in accordance with Johns Hopkins University knowledge. More than 31 million Americans have thus far obtained a minimum of their first dose of both the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, in accordance with CDC knowledge, as officers work to ramp up vaccinations throughout the nation. More than 9 million folks have thus far obtained each doses of a vaccine, in accordance with the knowledge.And a 3rd vaccine may very well be on its approach to the U.S. market quickly: Johnson & Johnson asked the Food and Drug Administration for an emergency use authorization of its vaccine final week.What we find out about variants and vaccinesBut COVID-19 variants have additionally sophisticated issues for some vaccines. Here’s what we do know.Health consultants proceed to encourage Americans to get vaccinated as quickly as they will. Research revealed final month provided reassuring proof that people who find themselves vaccinated towards the virus may even possible be protected towards rising new variants.Moderna beforehand mentioned two doses of its vaccine are anticipated to guard towards variants first detected in the UK and South Africa, however added it was planning to check booster pictures out of an abundance of warning. Pfizer additionally mentioned final month it was “laying the groundwork” to create vaccine boosters if a variant “shows evidence of escaping immunity by our vaccine.”Meanwhile, health officers in South Africa mentioned Sunday they’re pausing the nation’s rollout of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after a research confirmed it provided diminished safety from the variant first recognized there.Early knowledge launched Sunday urged two doses of the vaccine offered solely “minimal protection” towards delicate and reasonable COVID-19 from the variant. The vaccine’s efficacy towards extreme COVID-19, hospitalization and dying weren’t assessed.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An AstraZeneca spokesperson mentioned in a press release, “We do believe our vaccine will still protect against severe disease” from the variant and added that “neutralising antibody activity is equivalent to other COVID-19 vaccines that have demonstrated activity against more severe disease, particularly when the dosing interval is optimised to 8-12 weeks.”Concerns over Super Bowl eventsOfficials have continued to remind Americans it is not simply vaccines that may play a job in serving to sluggish the pandemic in the coming months. It’s additionally the public health measures which have proved efficient in curbing the spread of the virus: masks, social distancing, avoiding gatherings and common hand washing.But some opted to go away these options at house over the weekend forward of and following the Super Bowl. Images emerged out of Tampa, Florida, of crowded streets and venues as nicely as occasions with mask-less attendees and events hosted by celebrities.”I’m extremely concerned,” Dr. Melissa Clarke, a member of the District of Columbia’s advisory committee on vaccine distribution, advised CNN Sunday. “Now, we’re facing the issues not just of Super Bowl parties, but the fact that it’s going to be spring soon and spring fever is going to set in and people that have been caged up in their homes all winter are going to want to get out.””I would caution everybody: please remember to continue to practice those behaviors and not get Covid fatigue,” Clarke added. “Continue to mask, continue to distance, continue to avoid crowds.”What it would take to reopen facultiesMitigation measures will play an particularly key position in serving to faculties safely reopen, two officers mentioned Sunday, as the CDC is anticipated to quickly launch tips on how faculties can open throughout the pandemic.Schools’ protected reopening is “a simple question but with a complicated answer, because it really depends on the level of infection in the community,” Dr. Anthony Fauci advised NBC on Sunday.For one, communities ought to work to get lecturers shortly vaccinated, Fauci mentioned. And there must also be a give attention to getting faculties what they should reopen, together with masks and correct air flow, amongst different measures.Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner, advised CBS that in the case of reopening faculties, “the prerequisite is putting in place mitigation steps in the schools.”He famous that when folks wore masks and stayed socially distant, there was “very little transmission within the classroom.”And whereas it could be good to prioritize lecturers for vaccines, he mentioned, “I don’t think it’s necessarily a prerequisite. I think schools have demonstrated that they can open safely if they’ve taken precautions in the classroom.”Their suggestion comes amid an ongoing wrestle in many elements of the nation on the right way to safely resume lessons.Announcements on tentative agreements paving a path again to in-person instruction got here out of San Francisco and Chicago Sunday, the place officers have been at odds with college staff on what the greatest method for a return is.

While a current dip in COVID-19 infections could appear encouraging, consultants warn now is not the time for Americans to let their guard down.

That’s largely as a result of of new variants circulating in the U.S., placing the nation as soon as once more in the “eye of the hurricane,” in accordance with one expert.

“I’ve been on Zoom calls for the last two weeks about how we’re going to manage this,” Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, advised CNN Sunday. “The big wall is about to hit us again and these are the new variants.”

Nearly 700 instances of COVID-19 variants first noticed in the UK, South Africa and Brazil have been reported in the U.S. thus far, in accordance with knowledge up to date by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The overwhelming majority of these instances are the B.1.1.7 pressure, which was first detected in the UK and has now been noticed in a minimum of 33 states. Experts say the extremely contagious variant will possible quickly develop into dominant in the U.S., and a brand new research discovered important neighborhood transmission could already be occurring.

“This could be really, very dire for our country as we head into the spring,” Hotez mentioned of the variants. “Now, we’re in a race. We’re in a race to see how quickly we can vaccinate the American people.”

On Sunday, the U.S. surpassed 27 million reported infections, in accordance with Johns Hopkins University knowledge. More than 31 million Americans have thus far obtained a minimum of their first dose of both the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, in accordance with CDC knowledge, as officers work to ramp up vaccinations throughout the nation. More than 9 million folks have thus far obtained each doses of a vaccine, in accordance with the data.

And a 3rd vaccine may very well be on its approach to the U.S. market quickly: Johnson & Johnson asked the Food and Drug Administration for an emergency use authorization of its vaccine final week.

What we find out about variants and vaccines

But COVID-19 variants have additionally sophisticated issues for some vaccines. Here’s what we do know.

Health consultants proceed to encourage Americans to get vaccinated as quickly as they will. Research revealed final month provided reassuring proof that people who find themselves vaccinated towards the virus may even possible be protected towards rising new variants.

Moderna beforehand mentioned two doses of its vaccine are anticipated to guard towards variants first detected in the UK and South Africa, however added it was planning to check booster pictures out of an abundance of warning. Pfizer additionally mentioned final month it was “laying the groundwork” to create vaccine boosters if a variant “shows evidence of escaping immunity by our vaccine.”

Meanwhile, health officers in South Africa mentioned Sunday they’re pausing the nation’s rollout of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after a research confirmed it provided diminished safety from the variant first recognized there.

Early knowledge launched Sunday urged two doses of the vaccine offered solely “minimal protection” towards delicate and reasonable COVID-19 from the variant. The vaccine’s efficacy towards extreme COVID-19, hospitalization and dying weren’t assessed.

An AstraZeneca spokesperson mentioned in a press release, “We do believe our vaccine will still protect against severe disease” from the variant and added that “neutralising antibody activity is equivalent to other COVID-19 vaccines that have demonstrated activity against more severe disease, particularly when the dosing interval is optimised to 8-12 weeks.”

Concerns over Super Bowl events

Officials have continued to remind Americans it is not simply vaccines that may play a job in serving to sluggish the pandemic in the coming months. It’s additionally the public health measures which have proved efficient in curbing the spread of the virus: masks, social distancing, avoiding gatherings and common hand washing.

But some opted to go away these options at house over the weekend forward of and following the Super Bowl. Images emerged out of Tampa, Florida, of crowded streets and venues as nicely as occasions with mask-less attendees and events hosted by celebrities.

“I’m extremely concerned,” Dr. Melissa Clarke, a member of the District of Columbia’s advisory committee on vaccine distribution, advised CNN Sunday. “Now, we’re facing the issues not just of Super Bowl parties, but the fact that it’s going to be spring soon and spring fever is going to set in and people that have been caged up in their homes all winter are going to want to get out.”

“I would caution everybody: please remember to continue to practice those behaviors and not get Covid fatigue,” Clarke added. “Continue to mask, continue to distance, continue to avoid crowds.”

What it would take to reopen faculties

Mitigation measures will play an particularly key position in serving to faculties safely reopen, two officers mentioned Sunday, as the CDC is anticipated to quickly launch tips on how faculties can open throughout the pandemic.

Schools’ protected reopening is “a simple question but with a complicated answer, because it really depends on the level of infection in the community,” Dr. Anthony Fauci advised NBC on Sunday.

For one, communities ought to work to get lecturers shortly vaccinated, Fauci mentioned. And there must also be a give attention to getting faculties what they should reopen, together with masks and correct air flow, amongst different measures.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner, advised CBS that in the case of reopening faculties, “the prerequisite is putting in place mitigation steps in the schools.”

He famous that when folks wore masks and stayed socially distant, there was “very little transmission within the classroom.”

And whereas it could be good to prioritize lecturers for vaccines, he mentioned, “I don’t think it’s necessarily a prerequisite. I think schools have demonstrated that they can open safely if they’ve taken precautions in the classroom.”

Their suggestion comes amid an ongoing wrestle in many elements of the nation on the right way to safely resume lessons.

Announcements on tentative agreements paving a path again to in-person instruction got here out of San Francisco and Chicago Sunday, the place officers have been at odds with college staff on what the greatest method for a return is.

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