At a White House briefing on Wednesday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that Covid cases around the country are beginning to decline, along with the daily hospital admissions and deaths due to the virus. However, she added that though in decline, the number of cases and hospitalizations were still too high in numbers and, therefore, called for scaling up the country’s vaccination process.
Experts Warn Against Easing Public Health Restrictions
The US has witnessed more than 29 million cases of the Coronavirus since the pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) last year. Since then, the country has witnessed several rounds of infection surges, with all the states going into lockdown with safety restrictions and even curfews.
The John Hopkins University data showed that the country had lost more than 529,000 people due to the virus, a number greater than the two Great wars combined. The situation had left the healthcare system crippled, as many morgues asked for mobile units for support.
This situation had well exceeded Dr. Anthony Fauci’s predictions a year ago, as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said at a Congressional hearing that ‘ things in the US would get much worse before they start to get better.
Hope was restored with the rollout of vaccines in the states, with Moderna and Pfizer gaining emergency authorization to manufacture and distribute vaccines. They were later joined by Johnson & Johnson as the three pharmaceutical giants mass manufactured the vaccines to be sent to various parts of the country.
The vaccination efforts have been intense, but still not enough as only 1 in 10 Americans have been fully vaccinated so far. Top health experts in the country are speculating that another wave of the Coronavirus could just be weeks away. The fears have been exasperated with a new variant that was previously found in the UK that has been rapidly spreading across the country.
Experts have touted the importance of precautions to supplement the vaccination drive, which includes social distancing norms, face masks, hand sanitizers, etc.
Walensky said that these proven prevention methods are still necessary to curb the virus spread.
Guidelines for fully vaccinated people released by CDC
The US Center for Drug Control (CDC) released new guidelines for people fully vaccinated to enable them to return to normalcy, which was published in a JAMA Viewpoint article. Dr. Walensky, along with other experts, co-wrote the papers, citing that these guidelines would evolve as more data comes in regarding the vaccine administrations.
They wrote that though these guidelines aimed to bring back the pre-pandemic lifestyle for fully vaccinated people, public health precautions would still be in place as a large number of Americans still remained unvaccinated.
The guidelines set to ease some of the restrictions for fully vaccinated people, but travel recommendations for those people were still the same, as the virus surges became a trend across the country soon after public holidays like Labor Day and Christmas when many Americans were traveling.
More than 62 million Americans vaccinated
CDC data showed that more than 62 million Americans had been administered at least one vaccine dose, while almost 33 million were fully vaccinated.
With increased vaccinations, many states are easing restrictions for those who have been vaccinated with at least a single shot. As the drives have extensively covered the elderly population in America, it now times for the teachers and childcare workers to get vaccinated.
With the proper supply channels in place, all 50 states are expected to open up the vaccination drives to all adults above 16 years of age.