Particularly one variant, which was first recognized within the UK. It’s now been detected in no less than 22 states, in accordance with knowledge posted Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We’re now in that second half of fighting this pandemic,” Washington Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah mentioned throughout a information convention. “It’s very important for us to really double down on our efforts to prevent this strain as well as any strain from taking over, because we want to make sure that transmission does not happen in our state and the best way to do that is prevention, prevention, prevention.”
‘More very unhealthy information’
A UK report launched Friday states there’s “a realistic possibility” that the brand new variant has the next demise charge than different variants.
“The data is mounting — and some of it I can’t share — that clearly supports that B.1.1.7 is causing more severe illness and increased death,” infectious illness skilled Michael Osterholm mentioned. “Already we know this variant has increased transmission, and so this is more very bad news.”
But National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins mentioned Saturday it is nonetheless too quickly to inform if the variant is extra lethal, telling MSNBC, “this is very preliminary data.”
“It looks as if, if you look at 1,000 people who got infected with Covid-19, generally about 1%, 10 of them, would die of it. Maybe with this virus, it would be 13 instead of 10,” Collins mentioned. “That’s a small difference.”
He added that the numbers might probably even be a “consequence of the fact that the UK health system is really overwhelmed.”
“That has an effect also on mortality,” Collins added.
More than 20 million vaccine doses administered in US
“I would anticipate that within a period of likely no more than two weeks, that the data will be looked at by the Data and Safety Monitoring Board,” Fauci instructed MSNBC. And if the info is powerful sufficient, the subsequent step can be presenting it to the Food and Drug Administration for an emergency use authorization, he mentioned.
“Let’s say they do … get an EUA in February, by the time they get a meaningful amount of doses, it likely will be a month or two following that,” he mentioned. “Once they get going into May, June, July, August, then you’re going to see a sharp escalation of additional doses of this one-dose vaccine.”
Meanwhile, the FDA additionally instructed Source Saturday that if completely vital, “modest delays” between first and second doses of the present Covid-19 vaccines will not be anticipated to lower safety towards the virus.
The company mentioned it “recognizes that getting as many people as possible across the country fully immunized will help to curtail the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and should be a priority.”
Previously, the FDA had warned modifications to vaccine schedules with out acceptable knowledge might put public well being in danger.
The CDC additionally up to date its steerage to say second doses of vaccines could also be scheduled as much as six weeks after preliminary doses, if vital, including second doses ought to be administered as shut as attainable to the really useful interval — three weeks after the primary dose for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and 4 weeks for the Moderna vaccine.
Hospital chief: ‘We actually are within the darkest days’
That all comes because the US continues to battle a brutal battle towards the virus.
And greater than 6,800 individuals stay hospitalized with the virus — 24% of whom are within the ICU.
In Georgia, one healthcare official described a grim picture of the grip of the virus.
“We truly are in the darkest days of this pandemic,” Dr. Deepak Aggarwal, on the Northeast Georgia Medical Center, instructed Source Saturday night time. “We are seeing more than 200 patients per day now, than we normally see at this time of the year. “
“And also, we’re dealing with the increasing number of deaths. Our system normally deals with less than 10 deaths per month and we have already had 169 deaths as of January 21.”
Source’s Michael Nedelman, Lauren Mascarenhas, Elizabeth Cohen and Carma Hassan contributed to this report.