This is the fourth time the number of doses administered has jumped more than 3 million in the following days. The previous one-day record was in excess of 3.2 million doses, on 13 March.
Although the news is good news, it does not mean that the pandemic is over, experts say. Evidence that Americans are planning to return to normal life is becoming clearer this week.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on NBC’s show today Thursday that the United States still sees about 1,000 deaths a day, which she noted was far too many.
Regarding the number of daily infections, Walensky said: “What worries me is the steady flow of 50,000, 60,000 ̵
Walensky pointed to early signs that vaccinations are working, citing the reduced mortality rate for those over 65 years of age. Even more infectious variants of Covid-19 are circulating, she warned.
The focus is now on getting enough Americans vaccinated to ward off waves of infections and hospitalizations.
Even for the fully vaccinated, Wen said that additional precautions must be followed when interacting with other people.
“We know that right now when there is such a high level of coronavirus circulating in our communities, that even people who are fully vaccinated where they are in public with others who have not been vaccinated, that it is polite and right for them to do from infection control point of view is to wear a mask, “said Wen.
Warning signs remain when states extend vaccine eligibility
While states and vaccine distributors are pushing to inoculate as many adults as possible, the latest projection from the University of Washington is a reminder of what is coming for the nation.
At least 600,000 people will have died from Covid-19 by July 1, according to the university’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, which means an estimated 59,000 people will die within the next three months. IHME says that 10,000 lives could be saved if mask use increased from the current 75% to 95% of the population.
“The majority of states in the northern half of the country now have increasing migration, with the most marked increases in Michigan. The increase is probably related to the combination of the spread of the B.1.1.7 variant and the recent increases in mobility,” it said.
With the increase in vaccine supplies, states are opening up qualifications for more adults to receive vaccinations.
California, Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota, New Hampshire and North Carolina recently announced that adults of almost all ages will be given the green light for vaccinations by mid-April.
Six states have already extended coronavirus vaccine eligibility for anyone 16 and older, according to a recent CNN poll, and at least 26 more plan to open to people 16 and older by the end of April.
Vaccines for children are being tested
Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies are beginning to test the effects of vaccinating children, which will be a new defense against a wave of infections as school districts hope for full personal learning.
The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine may be ready for children ages 12 to 15 by the start of the upcoming school year, said Dr. William Gruber, Pfizer’s senior vice president of clinical research and vaccine development, in an interview with NBC News on Thursday.
The entire population can benefit from school-age children being vaccinated, Gruber noted.
“I think adding the school population, based on recommendations from the FDA and the CDC, can go a long way in helping us achieve herd protection,” he said.
Childcare has become the source of some recent outbreaks. In Douglas County, Nebraska, more than 100 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant were linked to an outbreak at Rosewood Academy Childcare and Preschool, according to the Douglas County Health Department.
“It is crucial that childcare providers are vaccinated,” said Dr. Adi Pour, department director. “Childcare providers are eligible for the vaccine and can easily make an appointment on the DCHD website.”
The school confirmed the variant on the school’s northwest location, according to a statement from the school. The school works with the health department and has employees and families in quarantine before they can return.
Vaccinations for pregnant women can also provide benefits, as Dr. Wen told CNN on Thursday.
“There is accumulating evidence of the safety and efficacy of vaccines for pregnant women,” she said. “Originally in clinical trials, pregnant and lactating women were not included. But since then we have had thousands of pregnant women choosing to take the vaccine.
“There have been no adverse safety signals or safety concerns in thousands of women who have taken the vaccine so far. And now there is growing evidence that they also have a strong immune response that protects them. In fact, the antibodies produced cross the placental barrier and become excreted in breast milk and may protect the newborn, “said Wen.
“If I was pregnant right now, I would talk about it with my doctor, but I would probably choose to take the vaccine.”
CNN’s Maggie Fox, Jacqueline Howard, Nadia Kounang, Amanda Sealy, Naomi Thomas and Greg Wallace contributed to this report.