Yesterday President Joe Biden said in the next 10 days, he would meet his campaign promise of 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered during the first 100 days of his presidency, with about 40 days to spare. He said the vaccines, along with 100 million stimulus checks, are signs that America is on the road to recovery.
12% of Americans fully vaccinated
“Shots in arms and money in pockets. That’s important,” Biden said at the White House.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) COVID Data Tracker shows 142,918,525 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered in the US, and 110,737,856 doses have been administered, with 38,335,432 Americans fully vaccinated.
According to the New York Times, about 12% of the US population is fully vaccinated, and at least 21% have one dose.
The White House is motivated to vaccinate as many Americans as quickly as possible to avoid a fourth surge of virus activity, one influenced by highly transmissible variants. According to CNN, the White House is preparing for the surge by planning to rush vaccines to virus hotspots, and potentially administer monoclonal antibody treatments in hotspots as a prophylactic treatment.
Spring break activity to test national progress
The White House continues to urge states to go slow with reopening efforts, warning that tossing aside mask mandates and indoor limitations too soon will only contribute to more cases.
Despite the warning, some states are reporting a rush of spring break travelers. In Miami Beach, visitors have “forgotten there’s a pandemic” Mayor Dan Gelber told USA Today.
“It’s like a triple threat: We’ve got too many people, too many coming with a desire to go wild, and we have the virus,” Gelber told the newspaper.
National Public Radio reports roughly 60% of US colleges have canceled spring break this year and are urging students not to travel, but many students taking online courses are traveling anyway and bringing their computers with them to Florida and other spring break destinations.
At the University of California, Davis, administrators are offering students $75 “staycation” grants if they don’t travel over the break.
Daily new cases of COVID-19 are still high across the country. Yesterday the country reported 56,649 new COVID-19 cases, and 740 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker. In total, the nation has confirmed 29,512,462 cases and 536,068 fatalities.
Moderna announces trial in kids
Moderna announced this morning that the phase 2/3 study of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 6 months to 12 years has begun, with five participants receiving their first dose. Moderna intends to enroll 6,750 children in the study.
“We are encouraged by the primary analysis of the Phase 3 COVE study of mRNA-1273 in adults ages 18 and above and this pediatric study will help us assess the potential safety and immunogenicity of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate in this important younger age population,” said Stephane Bancel, MBA, chief executive officer of Moderna.
Moderna’s vaccine is a two-dose mRNA vaccine administered 28 days apart. It is approved for use in adults ages 18 and up, and was the second COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in the United States in December.
In related news, as many of the nation’s school children return to in-person learning, some states are moving from the CDC’s recommended 6-feet-apart guidelines to 3 feet apart, including Illinois, Indiana, and Massachusetts. Other states, including Oregon, are considering it, according to the Associated Press.
Physical distancing requirements have been a major hurdle to reopening schools, and many superintendents say relaxed distancing will allow more kids to return to classrooms.