“We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
“You are not here merely to make a living, you are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” – Woodrow Wilson
In Pennsylvania, 5,385,761 people or 42% of the state has received at least one dose.
Overall, 2,886,185 people or 22% of Pennsylvania's population has been fully vaccinated. The population of Pennsylvania is 12.8 million.
COVID-19 vaccine distribution began in the United States on Dec. 14, 2020. As of April 17,2021, more than 202 million doses have been administered, fully vaccinating over 80.6 million people or 24.3% of the total U.S. population of 330 million. There are approximately 2.72 million doses being delivered each day.
At this rate it will take approximately 122 days or 17.5 weeks to get the country fully vaccinated. As you can see, we are making progress but we still have a long way to go. Therefore, we must all still exercise caution until 90% of the country is vaccinated. This is what it will take to create herd immunity according to Dr. Fauci
How Successful Are The Vaccines? More than one in five Americans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. But vaccinated people can still get the coronavirus, though infections are exceedingly rare and typically quite mild.
Of the 75 million people across the US who were fully vaccinated as of Tuesday, April 13,2021, some 5,800 had still tested positive for COVID-19, in what's known as a "breakthrough infection," according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A few of those infections in vaccinated people were severe. About 400 of the 5,800 people with breakthrough infections, or 7%, required hospitalization, and 74, or 1.3%, died from the disease, the CDC said in a statement.
The report is another reminder that, as Dr. Anthony Fauci and other public-health experts have been stressing for months, vaccination is not a one-and-done way to end the pandemic. Wearing masks and social distancing remain critically important until we have enough immunity to stop the virus' circulation.
What is the Endgame of COVID Vaccines: Dr. Fauci said that the ultimate endgame is a universal coronavirus vaccine. Booster shots against dangerous variants like the one first discovered in South Africa are already being tested, but beyond that, Fauci says a universal coronavirus vaccine is the ultimate goal.
“There are a number of ways of doing that, we have important and new platform technologies and we believe for example that we can apply the mRNA technology to get to that goal of getting a broad response against all possible variants.”
What is the Mission of the COVID -19 Vaccines: Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases looked at blood samples from 30 people who'd recovered from the coronavirus before the emergence of the variants. They found that their T cells did indeed respond to these variants well enough to give protection.
A similar study from the La Jolla Institute for Immunology in California reached the same conclusion. That team measured how T cells from people who'd been previously infected with COVID-19 responded to new variants. The research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, found that after people recovered from the original virus, their T cells could respond to the variants first identified in the UK, South Africa, Brazil, and Southern California.
The same should then be true of T cells developed as a result of vaccines, since the shots prompt our immune systems to respond in the same way they would to an infection.
The likeliest explanation for why the same set of T cells can recognize different variants, according to Fauci, is a phenomenon called cross-reactivity: Helper and killer T cells developed in response to a given virus and are capable of reacting to a similar but previously unknown variant.
Summer Surges: Will COVID Vaccines End the Pandemic?
The Government Accountability Office isn't satisfied that COVID-19 vaccine makers can provide enough shots for all U.S. adults, despite their commitments to ship more than a billion doses.
However, Moderna said it will need more than a few months to further expand manufacturing capacity for its vaccine. (Reuters)
As of Friday, the U.S. COVID-19 toll stood at 32,308,557 positive cases and 564,405 deaths and 24,836,187 recoveries. This is up 75,457 (Positive Cases) and 956 (Deaths), respectively, over the previous 24 hours.
Vaccination rates continue to increase as many states have opened availability to all adults. But also increasing are the COVID-19 surges, apparently resulting from a combination of eager travelers, relaxed distancing and mask mandates, and new variants that are more transmissible and perhaps more dangerous. What does that mean for vaccines and the ability to stop this pandemic?
Concerns: 1. The majority of us still are not vaccinated. So, what you're seeing is a shift in the number of positive cases. 2. The young are left as the vulnerable populations and the variants cause in theory more severe disease and causes potentially more lethality in the younger population. 3. Viruses mutate every time they replicate (variants). The UK variant is the variant of concern because it changes the way that the virus causes disease and how it is transmitted. 4.The fully vaccinated individual probably do not transmit the virus with the same frequency to other people and do not get infected with the same frequency and have more social liberties than the unvaccinated. But the unvaccinated are changing their behavior because restrictions are down, mask mandates have gone away and that's what's putting people at greater risk in the setting of these variants.
CDC advisors back continued "pause" on J&J Vaccine until more data available: Citing the need for more information on risk factors, members of CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), during an emergency meeting on Wednesday, agreed that the pause on Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine should be extended.
As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine have been administered in the U.S. CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered. Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given.
Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and they take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously. People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.
Until next time, Stay Safe, Stay Well, Stay Distant, Avoid Crowds and Wear Your Mask
James A Vito, D.M.D.