It’s a virtual race against time as the United States is trying to vaccinate as many people as possible before the peak of the third wave sets in. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention is conducting a large number of tests on vaccines and their effects on the American people. A recent study has shown that the effectiveness of the vaccines presently being administered, Pfizer and BioNTech along with Moderna, reduced from 91% to 66% when tested against the Delta variant of the Sars-COV-2.
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Dr Ashley Fowlkes, an epidemiologist with the CDC Covid-19 emergency response, informed CNN that even with the reduced efficacy, people still a two-thirds reduction of risk, at least in terms of severity of the infection, leading to hospitalization and even death. This study was conducted after it was established that the delta variant of the Sars-COV-2 virus is causing minor infections among fully vaccinated people who are also spreading them to the unvaccinated, especially children below the age of 12 years who have not been given permission to be vaccinated as yet.
This study used a more realistic database than conventional test results which are conducted mostly on symptomatic people as asymptomatic people and people with very mild symptoms and infection are less likely to get themselves tested. This study was based on the routine weekly tests being conducted all over the United States. The study team, however, pointed out there is still a degree of uncertainty in the tests as infections were found in 19 out of 488 unvaccinated people and 24 out of 2352 fully vaccinated people. It is significant that the current study could not establish that reducing immunity may cause reduced protection from the virus.
The CDC also published the results of a study by a Los Angeles County in California that found that infections among the unvaccinated were 4.9 times more than fully vaccinated people and that the rate of infected unvaccinated people who had to be hospitalized for covid-19 was 29.2 times than those among fully vaccinated people.
Meanwhile, the states of Mississippi and Florida have reported a record number of deaths due to the effects of Covid-19. Mississippi epidemiologist Dr Paul Byers revealed 111 deaths in the state just on Tuesday which was a record one-day casualty and that 87% of those who had died were unvaccinated and that 50% of the dead were people over the age of 65 years. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves expressed gratitude for the 1000 health workers who had arrived in his state to support the shortage of health care workers.
Florida has been recording a daily average of 212 covid-19 related deaths each day of the past week.
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Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Medical Advisor to the White House, has been urging more and more Americans to get themselves vaccinated so that the Delta and other variants of the Sars-COV-2 virus could be brought under control by the spring of 2022.
Dr Sanjay Gupta of CNN questioned the meaning of control over the virus and how it was possible for a virus that is here to stay for a very long time. But the CNN Doctor agreed that if more people were vaccinated, this would reduce the rate of hospitalizations and there would be some degree of control as the virus would be restricted for places to circulated and spread or further mutate itself.
The United States Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy welcomed the FDA’s move to approve the Pfizer vaccine and mentioned the vaccine to be a milestone in vaccination efforts.
It is expected this move will increase the rate of vaccination in the United States which continues to remain just above 51%.