By March 29, over one-third of Americans had received a minimum of one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. Efforts are being taken continuously to vaccinate most Americans so “herd immunity” can be reached. A poll was conducted on March 30 which showed that vaccine hesitancy had decreased amongst Americans which is a hopeful sign that maybe finally this pandemic will be over.
However, we are also seeing a new surge of COVID-19 cases in some areas of the country. This is making the top disease experts in the country very concerned. Last week, 43% of all the new COVID cases were from the states of New York, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, as per data from the Johns Hopkins University. Michigan is seeing an average of over 6600 new coronavirus cases daily. A month ago, that average was 1350 new cases daily.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and also the chief medical advisor to President Biden told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday that the deaths from COVID had reduced and even the hospitalizations had gone down but “the number that is disturbing, Anderson, is the number of cases each day.” Fauci also added that the amount of new cases has “plateaued at a disturbingly high level”. He added that the United States is at a stage where it may suffer through another surge of coronavirus which may overwhelm front-line medical workers and hospitals.
He said, “The way we’re looking at it now: it’s almost a race between getting people vaccinated and this surge that seems to want to increase and do what’s going on, for example, in Europe, where they’re having some surges now that are really quite alarming.” He said that almost 3 to 4 million people were receiving vaccinations daily and that the “vaccination program is going on really very well,” but he did request people to “hang in there a bit longer” so that most of the population can get vaccinated and thus COVID-19 may come under control.
So, we wonder why only some states are seeing a surge of new cases despite the vaccination numbers increasing. Experts believe that it is because of the highly contagious variants of COVID-19. Dr. Rochelle Walensky who is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director recently said in a COVID-19 response team briefing at the White House, “Based on our most recent estimates from CDC surveillance, the B.1.1.7 variant is now the most common lineage circulating in the United States.”
Experts believe as a response to these new cases, the government should make more vaccines available to the states that are experiencing a more overwhelming number of new cases. Dr. Ashish Jha who is the dean of the Brown School of Public Health told CNN on Wednesday that “the federal strategy has to be to shift more vaccines to places like Michigan that are surging so they can use more vaccinations to stop that surge and save lives.”