“The question that is currently in balance is whether we will have a fourth ups and downs.” former director of the U.S. Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Dr. Tom Frieden, told CNN Wolf Blitzer on Thursday. “Any uncontrolled spread increases the risk that there are dangerous variants that are more contagious, more lethal, or avoidable from immune protection.”
The point is to continue to do what worked, ”Friedan said. “Very close tracking and masking recognition is here to stay for many more months and it’s very important to avoid sharing indoor air with others,” he added.
Such measures could help avoid a potential surge in the coronavirus variant first identified in the UK, which is thought to be more prevalent, said Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.
Ho said this could result in a reduction in the vaccine’s effectiveness on Thursday, although studies show that the vaccines may still provide strong protection against the variants. He added that the version may be more contagious, but his team currently has no evidence to prove it.
States are loosening restrictions on salons, stadiums, and socialization
Despite being cautious about overestimating the declining trends of recent weeks, many states are loosening their restrictions.
“By no means should we assume that this slope is inevitable. It could start again,” Collins said.
For example, by Monday, hairdressing salons and salons in Wyoming, including hair, nail and tattoo parlors, will no longer have capacity restrictions, Governor Mark Gordon said in a statement. Next month, the state will also ease other health restrictions, including allowing buffets to operate, and limit gatherings to 50 instead of 25.
In response to the “decline in the number of permanent cases,” the city of New Orleans is also making changes: Starting Friday, the city will increase the size of the gathering indoors to 150 and 150 outdoors, raising table barriers and increasing indoor and outdoor space. the capacity of the outdoor stadium is limited to 15 and 25% respectively.
A particular point of contention was the reopening of schools: While some officials and parents believe there is an urgent need to withdraw students to the classroom, there are teachers who fear it is too early and not yet safe enough to open universities.
In Virginia, the state senate on Thursday approved a bill that, if signed by Governor Ralph Northam, would require individual school boards to offer full-time personal education opportunities to students enrolled in the local school district, with a few exceptions. .
Schools may return to temporary distance education if, according to the bill, the school board and the local health department find that the level of transfer in the school is high.
Officials are expanding the suitability and availability of vaccines
As some states ease restrictions, others open up the right to vaccinations to more of their residents, including teachers.
From March 15, teachers and other key workers in Missouri will be eligible for the vaccination, Governor Mike Parson said Thursday.
In addition to instructors and staff for K-12 students, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced Thursday that parents of mentally and developmentally disabled adults, their caregivers and parents of children with complex illnesses will be eligible for vaccinations on March 8th.
And as of Thursday, everyone over the age of 16 and suffering from certain comorbidities is eligible for vaccinations in Utah, Governor Spencer Cox said.
“We also treat these individuals as a priority based on age and the underlying comorbidities because they have the highest risk of hospitalization or death,” Cox explained, asking Utahans not to jump in line and reassuring them that there are so many. more vaccinations coming soon.
Officials have been working in recent months to speed up and optimize the distribution of vaccine doses as states demand more to meet growing demand.
If Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine gets FDA emergency use permission this weekend, President Joe Biden said it would be introduced immediately.
“The FDA decides whether to allow the emergency use of the vaccine based on science, not because of political pressure and external factors from me or anyone else,” Biden said. “That’s what I’m going to tell the American people. If the FDA approves the use of this new vaccine, we have a plan to introduce it as soon as Johnson and Johnson can make it.”
Pfizer’s existing vaccine is also easier to distribute quickly, thanks to the FDA’s Thursday agreement, which allows it to be shipped and stored for up to two weeks at the “traditional temperature” typically found in pharmaceutical freezers.
The company and its partner, Biotech, are also responding with new variants to the growing threat of variants to find out how much a third dose protects against them.
CNN’s Christopher Rios, Lauren Mascarenhas, Nadia Kounang, Andy Rose, Jamiel Lynch, Rebekah Riess, Lindsay Benson, Artemis Moshtaghian, DJ Judd, Jacqueline Howard and Amanda Sealy contributed to this report.