Over 26 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the US
By Deepak Arora
NEW YORK, Jan 29: The pace of vaccinations in the U.S. has picked up after a shambolic start, with more than 1 million Americans vaccinated over the past several days.
More than 26-million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the U.S. That’s according to data published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On average, about 1.2 million doses have been distributed since president Biden took office a little over a week ago.
The Biden administration has raised its goal to 1.5 million vaccinations per day, and if Johnson and Johnson’s one-shot vaccine shows promising results, the picture could become even brighter.
Nearly 21.7 million people have now received at least one dose of the vaccine.
About 4.3 million have been fully vaccinated with both doses.
Iha Kaul, a medical student at the University of Massachusetts, said she was happy to get the second dose. She said pandemic has created an enormous stress on the society and the speed with which the vaccines are being given would help bring life back to normal soon.
Similarly, Dr Amit Bhargava, working at the Allegheny Hospital in Pittsburgh Philadelphia, was happy and excited to get a jab.
Both Ihal Kaul and Dr Amit Bhargava said the vaccine is safe for all.
Meanwhile, the covid cases continue to polummet in the US.
According to the COVID Tracking Project, the seven-day average is the lowest since the end of November, and has fallen 30 percent since the peak in mid-January. This dip constitutes the sharpest fall throughout the pandemic. And there is reason to believe that, unlike after previous drops, the numbers may not climb back up again.
The beginning of winter saw the worst coronavirus surge in the U.S. so far, with cases, hospitalizations, and deaths all rising to horrific levels and hospital systems around the country overwhelmed.
The number peaked in early to mid-January, when cases regularly surged well past the 200,000 daily mark, hospitalizations eclipsed 130,000 for the first time, and deaths often surpassed a hard-to-fathom 4,000-plus per day.
Deaths, a lagging indicator of the overall situation, are still at the abominably high levels they were weeks ago. But, in a hopeful sign, both hospitalizations and cases are falling — and fast.
Over 25 million people have contracted COVID, according to official statistics — but the actual number is thought to be multiples higher, perhaps more than 100 million. With tens of millions of vaccinations thrown in, the virus may be finding it more difficult to spread so easily among the U.S. population.
And with more and more elderly Americans being vaccinated, the cohort most vulnerable to hospitalization and death will increasingly be protected from the virus’s worst effects.
The X factor: new coronavirus variants that are more contagious than the original. The coronavirus strain that recently brought the British health-care system to its knees has already been found in many U.S. states, and epidemiologists have warned that, given its contagion level, it could become the dominant strain in America by March.
So the “infections versus injections” race is on, with reason for optimism about the long-term picture — but with even more ample reason for caution over the next few weeks.
UN chief receives COVID-19 vaccine in New York
By Deepak Arora
NEW YORK, Jan 29: The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in The Bronx, a few miles uptown from UN Headquarters in New York.
In a Tweet, Guterres expressed his gratitude and good fortune at receiving the jab, and urged the international community to ensure that vaccines becomes available to everyone, on an equitable basis. “With this pandemic, none of us are safe until all of us are safe,” he wrote.
71-year-old Guterres was eligible to receive the vaccine on the basis of his age: New York residents over the age of 65 are included in the current phase of vaccinations in the city, which also includes school workers, first responders, public transit workers and grocery workers.
In December, Guterres declared that he would happily receive the vaccine in public, and said that, for him, vaccination is a moral obligation: “Each one of us provides a service to the whole community”, he said, “because there is no longer a risk of spreading the disease.”
Journalists and camera crews were invited to observe the UN chief receive his shot, which took place at a time when many countries are seeing a significant proportion of their citizens expressing “vaccine hesitancy”.
UN regional offices have noted a significant level of mistrust and, in some countries, including Japan and several European nations, around half the population are reportedly unsure about getting a COVID-19 vaccine at this stage.
Commenting on the UN chief’s vaccination appointment on behalf of the Mayor’s Office, Penny Abeywardena, Commissioner for International Affairs, said that she was heartened that the Secretary-General had secured his appointment online, and received the vaccine in a New York City public school, in the same manner as many other city residents.
“This will go a long way in building trust in our communities that the vaccine is safe for all”, she said.
Over Half Of Delhi Has Had Covid, Shows Latest Sero Survey
NEW DELHI, Feb 2: One in two residents in Delhi has been exposed to the coronavirus and developed antibodies for the infection, the fifth serological survey in the capital has found, the government said on Tuesday.
The data suggested that the city of 2 crore is inching towards herd immunity - when the majority of the population becomes immune to a disease, slowing its spread - but people should not let their guard down, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said.
"In the fifth sero survey done in the national capital of Delhi, antibodies have been detected in 56.13 per cent of the population. This was the largest survey in any state involving around 28,000 samples conducted from January 15 to 23," Jain said.
The city's north district had the lowest seroprevalence - the number of people found with antibodies - at 49 per cent. The southeast district had the highest at 62.18 per cent.
"The last survey found 25-26 per cent seroprevalence. This means Delhi is inching towards herd immunity. Cases are also declining at less than 200 per day and low positivity rates. But I would appeal not let your guard down. Keep your masks on," the minister said.
With 8,635 fresh coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, India recorded the lowest single-day rise in its tally in nearly eight months, the government data this morning showed.
After reporting its first case in late January, the country was reporting fewer cases until April 2020, but from May onwards cases started rising and peaked by mid-September to close to 1 lakh daily cases. Since then, the infection rate has slowed significantly.
India has around 1.6 lakh active COVID-19 patients, the lowest since June 2020. It has reported 1.07 crore infections and 1.54 lakh deaths - one of the world's lowest fatality rates, attributed partly to its relatively young population.
The country has recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world after the United States and, with the likely true rate of infection even higher, some experts have suggested pockets of India have attained herd immunity through natural infection.
India started its immunisation programme on January 16, with healthcare workers and a target of reaching 30 crore people by July-August.
The world's most populous country after China has vaccinated around 39 lakh healthcare workers in the first two weeks of the campaign.