The US, at present, is grappling with skyrocketing COVID 19 infections and the number of deaths is on the rise. And hospitals are stretched to their full capacity.
Health professionals, in the meantime, are preparing for a tough winter. According to them, the country is back to the point when the number of deaths per day is more than 2000.
Health Officials Are Racing Against The Clock Towards Winter
Hospitals are struggling to keep up with the influx of patients. Shortage of staff and frustration among workers has reached a tipping point. Certain healthcare systems in Pennsylvania are forgiving loans, offering bonuses and other incentives to encourage staff to get to work.
Wyoming had to activate the State National Guards to handle the surge in infections. 100 of its members were present to support hospitals in the region.
It still remains unknown as to what is in store during the flu season. Still, health professionals worry that it is going to add up to the already stressed out hospitals in the nation.
Flu is not as fatal as COVID 19. Even then, up to 50000 Americans succumb to flu each year.
The instances of flu were quite low last year. But the country cannot treat it as a shadow of what is to come the next season.
Experts also warn against being complacent when dealing with flu. Last year, the entire nation was masked up. It also maintained social distancing. That is not going to be the situation this time for a vast majority of people.
Getting vaccinated is the surefire way to eliminate the pandemic. But the current rate of inoculation against COVID 19 is quite low. 54.8% of our residents are fully protected.
According to CDC, the rate of vaccination fell by 30% last month. Today, health officials are requesting the general public to take both the two-dose regimen of the COVID 19 vaccine and the flu shot. Pediatrics is encouraging children and adults in the country to get both shots before Halloween.
Certain vaccination sites are offering both the shots. And they are asking those who come to receive the one to get the other too. Experts now want health professionals to encourage people to do the same. If they do it, the country will go a long way in eradicating the virus.
In the meantime, Pfizer is recommending a third dose of its vaccine to those who have received its two shots. Johnson & Johnson to have joined the chorus. The company said that the second dose of its vaccine is greatly helpful.
According to it, an additional dose increases the efficacy of the vaccine against symptomatic infection up to 94%. This way, Johnson & Johnson made its vaccine similar to the two-dose vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna.
The Food and Drug Administration allowed J&J’s single-dose vaccine emergency use authorization on 27th February. As per the data available with CDC, 14.8 million people have received Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose shot against COVID 19.
J&J published certain details of the three studies it conducted in this regard. The studies, according to the vaccine manufacturer, offer long-term protection against COVID 19. And a booster dose adds up to it.
Johnson & Johnson is conducting the second phase of its trials. The company said that the trials showed the following factors:
- A booster dose at an interval of 56 days provided 100% protection against severe infection and 94% against moderate infection.
- As per a second trial, a six-month interval between the first and second dose of the vaccine showed a 12-fold increase in the level of antibodies.
Reports also show that the rate of deaths is four times higher in low-vaccinated States when compared with those highly vaccinated.
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