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Covid cases in US on rise as vaccinations resume under expanded eligibility guidelines

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Covid-19 cases in the United States are on the rise again, with nationwide infection levels well below the January peak of around 250,000 new cases per day, but approaching numbers seen during the summer surge when the average number of daily cases reached nearly 70,000.

In an effort to speed up the vaccination campaign, many states are expanding the eligibility criteria for those who qualify to be vaccinated. Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told UKTN’s “Squawk Box” Wednesday that the initial extended eligibility period could leave some Americans frustrated.

“Some states are prepared to make a larger population eligible for vaccination and tolerate the fact that the first two or three weeks of this period will be complicated,” Gottlieb said. “Once a state opens up eligibility widely, a lot of people are going to complain that they go to the website and can’t get an appointment. It will take a few weeks to make up for this excessive demand. “

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Covid cases in the United States

About 66,800 daily new coronavirus cases are reported in the United States, based on a seven-day average of data from Johns Hopkins University. That number is on the rise, raising concerns about a potential “fourth wave” of infections.

Covid Deaths in the United States

The daily death toll has dropped significantly from its winter peak, but remains high at nearly 1,000 per day, based on a weekly average of Hopkins data. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 550,000 Covid deaths have been reported in the United States, more than in any other country.

The deployment of the vaccine may be a reason for optimism on this front. If the most vulnerable populations of Americans are protected, the death toll may not increase as dramatically as it did in previous periods of increasing cases.

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American vaccines administered

As more states expand eligibility rules for who can receive a vaccine – President Joe Biden said on Monday that 90% of adults in the United States would be eligible for vaccines by April 19 – the daily rhythm of vaccinations continues to increase.

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After 1.8 million reported doses of vaccine given on Tuesday, the seven-day average of vaccines administered in the United States reached 2.8 million.

The reluctance to get vaccinated may be disappearing. The Kaiser Family Foundation’s latest Vaccine Monitor survey showed a decrease in the number of respondents wanting to “wait and see” for their vaccination, with 17% of respondents choosing this response in March, down from 39% in December.

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However, 13% of respondents in March said they would ‘definitely not’ get a vaccine and 7% said they would only get one if needed for work, school or other purposes. activities.

United States share of the vaccinated population

Nearly 30% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 16% of the population is fully vaccinated.

On Wednesday morning, Pfizer said its Covid-19 vaccine was 100% effective in a study of adolescents aged 12 to 15.

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a contributor to UKTN and is a board member of Pfizer, genetic testing startup Tempus, and biotech company Illumina. Gottlieb is also co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings ′ and Royal Caribbean’s Healthy Sail Panel.

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