The U.S. vaccine state of affairs appears good – however consultants say you must preserve sporting a masks

As the US pushes its mass vaccination campaign, public health experts warn of complacency – and a possible new surge in cases.

On Sunday, Dr. Michael Osterholm, Head of the Center for Research and Policy on Infectious Diseases at the University of Minnesota, discussed the current situation in the US with Covid-19 in an interview with host Chuck Todd at Meet the Press. According to Osterholm, coronavirus variants, which have higher transmission rates and are considered more deadly, are of particular importance.

“It seems that things are going very well,” said Osterholm. “You can see blue skies. We went through a terrible, terrible year. What we do know, however, is the situation with this B.1.1.7 variant. We must keep America as safe as possible from this virus by not abandoning any of the public health measures we have taken. “

NEW: @Mtosterholm says “We are in the eye of the hurricane right now” about the spread of the coronavirus. #MTP

Osterholm: “It looks like things are going really well, we even see blue skies … but we know what to expect is the situation with this B117 [UK] Variant. “

– Meet the press (@MeetThePress) March 7, 2021

One of these public health measures has been increasingly successful lately: White House Covid-19 Tsar Jeff Zients told Meet the Press on Sunday that a record 2.9 million Covid-19 vaccines on Saturday was administered, setting a new record for the third day in a year series.

According to Zients, the US is currently administering an average of 2.2 million shots per day, an increase of 1.3 million doses per day from mid-January.

Before: “It really is a big step forward to have enough vaccines for all adult Americans by the end of May,” said Jeff Zients, WH Coronavirus Response Coordinator. #MTP

“When we went into the office 6-7 weeks ago, there weren’t enough supplies and it was pushed further out.”

– Meet the press (@MeetThePress) March 7, 2021

And according to Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser on the White House’s Covid-19 response, a majority – 59 percent – of adults 65 and older received at least one dose of the vaccine, as did about 23 percent of all adults in the United States.

According to surveys, vaccine hesitation is also falling in the US, even as vaccine supply increases. According to a new poll by the Pew Research Center on Friday, a total of 69 percent of the US population have either already been vaccinated or plan to get a vaccine as soon as one becomes available.

This is a significant step from November, when only 60 percent of American adults said they would definitely or likely receive the vaccine when it becomes available, Pew said, and even more from the September nadir of US vaccine trust than it did at the moment 51 percent were planning to get vaccinated. Public health experts believe that 70 to 80 percent of Americans must be vaccinated for the US to have herd immunity.

The latest Pew poll showed that black Americans were even more reluctant to use vaccines, with 61 percent saying they either had a vaccine or were receiving a vaccine, compared with 42 percent in November.

These statistics are just the latest good vaccine news in the US after the Food and Drug Administration approved a third emergency vaccine late last month and President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that the US “is on the right track to get enough Vaccines to have supplies for every adult in America by the end of May. “

On Saturday, Biden set an even more ambitious target, suggesting that the US could have enough vaccines by mid-May.

Biden also announced a new partnership between pharmaceutical giants Merck and Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday. The two companies will work together to increase production of Johnson & Johnson’s newly approved single vaccine. Clinical studies have shown that Covid-19 is highly effective in preventing hospital stays and serious illnesses.

And billions of federal dollars for vaccine distribution are almost on the way after the Senate passed a stimulus package of $ 1.9 trillion on Saturday under strict party lines. The bill will be back in the house for the final vote this week and is expected to land on Biden’s desk for signature soon after.

Taken together, the vaccine news points to a far more optimistic move in the country towards the spring and summer, as Dr. Anthony Fauci noted by Face the Nation on Sunday.

Does warmer weather mean less mitigation for COVID-19? Dr. Anthony Fauci says to @margbrennan, not so quickly, “We’ve been through this movie before,” and warns of precedents for summer voltage spikes.

However, according to Fauci, vaccine supply will “increase dramatically” in the coming weeks.

– Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) March 7, 2021

“We must gradually withdraw [on restrictions] If we vaccinate more people, ”he told host Margaret Brennan. “And that happens every day, more and more people, and especially as we get more doses, which will go up dramatically in April and May.”

Don’t relax just yet, say health experts

Despite a flood of good news in recent weeks, Fauci also warned against resetting restrictions too quickly, pointing out in his appearance on Face the Nation on Sunday that US Covid-19 cases have declined sharply in recent weeks are, however, the decline “has gradually reached a plateau”. ”

“A plateau of 60,000 to 70,000 new cases per day is not an acceptable level,” said Fauci. “And if you look at what happened in Europe a few weeks ago, they are usually a couple of weeks ahead of us in these patterns, they are also down, then they have reached a plateau. And over the past week, they’ve seen a 9 percent increase in cases. “

Another peak of infection? A fourth wave? Dr. Anthony Fauci reiterates his concern that COVID-19 cases have fallen by 60,000 or 70,000 cases and have reached a plateau – he says that is “unacceptable”.

– Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) March 7, 2021

Not every US state has taken Fauci’s warnings to heart, however: Despite concerns over a variant-related surge in the US, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves have both decided to lift mask mandates and others Public health restrictions eased in their states last week, alarming public health officials.

“If you look at the numbers in Mississippi,” Reeves told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday. … Our main tool against the virus is shooting in the arms. “

Tate Reeves, CNN’s Mississippi governor, is defending his decision to lift his state’s mask mandate, despite public health officials insisting it’s a bad idea.

– Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 7, 2021

However, as of Thursday, Mississippi, like Texas, is lagging the rest of the nation in terms of vaccine distribution per capita, according to the Washington Post. And while vaccines are an important tool in harm reduction, Osterholm advocated sticking with other techniques to stop infection, telling Meet the Press, “You wouldn’t catch me in a crowded restaurant somewhere tonight, even with my vaccination.”

Some of Abbott and Reeves’ fellow Republican governors, such as West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, continued to express confusion over Texas and Mississippi’s decision to relax restrictions early.

“Because we screamed loudly,” Justice said on Sunday to Face the Nation West Virginia will take. “

West Virginia Governor @JimJusticeWV on other states lifting mask mandates during COVID-19

“To scream out loud when you could be a little more careful … to keep us on solid ground, that’s the approach West Virginia will take.”

– Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) March 7, 2021

Not only is the judiciary’s stance backed by public health experts, but the polls suggest it’s popular: a majority of Americans – about 56 percent – think mask mandates are increasing, according to a new poll by ABC and Ipsos can be loosened quickly.

Zients repeated this position to Todd on Sunday.

“We have to make sure we don’t give up our vigilance,” said Zients. “We have to stay on this path and defeat this pandemic.”

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