According to Johns Hopkins, the country reported an average of more than 49,400 new cases of Covid-19 per day last week. On January 8, there were an average of more than 251,000 cases per day in the country – the highest seven-day average of a pandemic.
“We’re starting to see the impact of these vaccines,” Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, told CNN on Monday.
Especially, he added, among the country’s older population, which was brought to the fore early in the shots.
“This epidemic is now really among young people and is a very dangerous period for vaccination in the country because it is spreading quite effectively among young people and the unvaccinated,” Jha said.
So it is critical that younger Americans too be shot, experts say, both for their own defense and for the country to gain widespread protection.
Governor: Young Oregonians hospitalized with ‘severe’ Covid-19
In Oregon, Governor Kate Brown has recently tightened some restrictions amid new cases and a rush of hospital care.
The United States could deal with this “for a long time”
More than 44% of the total U.S. population has received at least one vaccine dose, and nearly 32% are fully vaccinated, CDC data show.
Data show that more than 56% of U.S. adults received at least one shot and more than 40.5% were fully vaccinated.
As soon as the U.S. can vaccinate more than 70% of adults, we can finally see the appearance of a normal condition, Jha said Monday.
“The number of cases is going to fall. We may not have stock exemptions, we may experience small outbursts here and there, but life is really back to normal,” he said.
But what if we don’t get there?
“That’s a problem,” Jha said. – We’ve been stuck with this problem for a long time.
“If we just don’t vaccinate, it’s obviously one of the things we knew about getting big outbreaks, you can get more variants,” he said. “It’s going to be hard to do these big gatherings, indoor concerts, outdoor baseball games, these things are going to be much, much harder if we don’t go any further on vaccinations,” he added.
According to one expert, it is likely that viral infections will remain high in communities with lower vaccination coverage, while in other parts of the country where there are more vaccinations, the incidence will be much lower.
“There’s a real division around vaccination in this country,” Dr. Richard Besser, former acting director of CDN, told CNN. “People usually live among people of similar faith.”
An important mandate could come next week
Experts say the only piece of the puzzle is missing, the children are vaccinated.
But there is good news on this front.
Pfizer has requested permission for emergency use. The FDA, which is currently reviewing the data submitted by Pfizer, needs to amend the vaccine’s emergency use authorization, but the process should be simple, the official said.
A group of CDC advisors will hold a discussion following any decision by the FDA to extend the EUA to new age groups and will advise the CDC on whether to recommend the use of the vaccine at the age of 12-15.
Walensky will then have to decide whether the agency recommends using the vaccine in the new age group.
“This will immediately hire millions more people eligible for vaccinations. I bet many of these kids will be vaccinated,” Jha told CNN. “It’s also a big change in terms of building the population’s immunity.”
Both Pfizer and Moderna are testing the vaccine in children under 6 months of age and expect the FDA to apply for the EUA for infants and children later this year.
CNN’s Deidre McPhillips and Maggie Fox contributed to this report.