Revelers flock to the beach to celebrate Spring Break, amid an outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Miami Beach, Florida, United States, March 6, 2021.
Marco Bello | Reuters
With the possibility of throwing summer barbecues only a few months away, along with the promise of wide circulation Covid-19 Vaccine supplies in the United States By the end of May, many Americans may feel as if the nation has finally crossed the corner on the pandemic.
But for the leading experts on infectious diseases, the country is not there yet.
When he asks me a lot, ‘Shall we turn the corner? “My response is really like” We’re in the corner, “White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a press conference on Wednesday.
Before the United States can reach its long-awaited destination – some semblance of normality before a pandemic – it needs to get more vaccinations in arms, infectious disease experts told CNBC. But as the United States continues to report new daily vaccination records, the number of new cases is increasing again at the same time.
The United States records a weekly average of 61,821 new cases of Covid-19 per day, an increase of 12% compared to last week, according to CNBC’s analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Daily cases are now increasing by at least 5% in 27 states and in the capital
Hospitalizations due to the Coronavirus have also started to bounce back. United State I reported an average of seven days Of 4,790 hospital admissions for Covid-19 on Thursday, an increase of 2.6% compared to the previous week, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We are in a delicate and fragile transition period,” Dr. William Schaffner, an epidemiologist and professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, told CNBC. “We are working well, but we are not there yet.”
The rise in infections coincides with an accelerated vaccination campaign that has begun to reach more people.
The United States now administers an average of 2.6 million injections per day and more than a third of American adults have received at least a dose, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Almost half of people age 65 or older have completed all necessary snaps, CDC data Offers. However, only 19.4% of the adult population is considered fully immune, which is required for investigation High level of protection Provided by the vaccines currently circulating from PfizerAnd the Modern And the Johnson & Johnson.
While most states have released plans to open vaccine eligibility to all adults ahead of President Joe Biden’s May 1 deadline, only six states have moved to introduce vaccines on a large scale so far, according to To the most recent data tracked by The New York Times.
“We are on the proverbial ten-yard line,” Schaffner said. “We’ll pass the ball and smash it, but the ball doesn’t get stuck in the 10-yard line.”
some countries Reopen their economies on a grand scale Schaffner added while dropping mask authorizations too early. Spring break travelers return Take advantage of cheap flights and hotels It exacerbated the risk of developing further infection.
“All of these things could combine to create another surge in cases before vaccinations begin to reduce transmission,” Schaffner said. “We have a risk – and I mean the risk – of another increase in the next two months.”
Variables are on the horizon
Another concern is the spread of highly contagious coronavirus variants, particularly the type first identified in the UK called B.1.1.7, infectious disease experts told CNBC. CIA Director Dr. Rochelle Walinsky said on Wednesday that the CDC is carefully tracking another variant found in New York City, called B.1.526, which is also believed to be more transmissible compared to previous strains.
Experts warn that the more transmissible virus could inevitably lead to more infections, hospitalizations and deaths even as the most vulnerable groups are vaccinated against the disease, making the race to vaccinate more people crucial.
“The variables really throw a wrench in the response,” said Dr. Angela Hewlett, professor of infectious diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, noting that Vaccines should protect.
“We just have to vaccinate more of our population to get this out,” Hewlett said.
Cindy Prinz, an epidemiologist at the University of Florida, said increased travel could boost the spread of virus B.1.1.7, which is a particular concern in Florida where visitors from outside the state can bring the virus back into their communities.
Florida has identified more than 1,000 cases of coronavirus with the B.1.1.7 variant, the largest number of any state to date, according to the most recent CDC data.
“There is no doubt that there are a lot of people coming from out of state. This happens every year on spring break,” Brenz said. “And then the concern is what is being returned to their country. Will they return the alternative?”
– CNBC channel Hannah Miu Contribute to this report.