DELAYED SEND / COVID-19, Year 2: 📈 Fewer than half of US adults fully vaccinated as Delta variant looms : 06 July 2021

The pandemic is not over. Globally, more people died of COVID19 in the first six months of 2021 than all of 2020.

I thought this had been published. It was not.

One year ago, this was the 168th day after the first case of COVID-19 case had been announced in the United States and the outbreak had been labeled a global pandemic.

On 04 May, President Biden set a goal of having at least one vaccine dose administered to 70% of US adults by 04 July. The US daily vaccination rate peaked mid-April; a rebound the last weekend in June was insufficient to meet Biden’s goal.

The CDC reported on 04 July 2021 that about 67% of the adult population (~173 million) had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. About 58% (~150 million) are fully vaccinated. For the entire population, about 55% have received one shot and 47% are fully vaccinated.

However, 20 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico met President Biden's Fourth of July goal by 01 July, according to the New York Times. They are California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. 

Full protection comes from having two doses of the vaccine; one dose is significantly less protective against variants.

On Friday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters that 25% of new infections are now linked to the Delta variant; in early June, it was 6%.

News from Israel on Monday suggests that the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine may not be as effective against the Delta variant as many have hoped and news media have reported. In Israel, more than 90% of new cases are of the Delta variant.

As of Monday, the number of active COVID19 cases Israel — about 2,600 — was more than double that of the previous week.

Israeli Health Ministry data reportedly show that between 02 May and 05 June, the vaccine had a 94.3% efficacy rate. The government canceled coronavirus restrictions - masks and physical distancing on 01 June. From 06 June until early July, the efficacy rate reportedly dropped to 64%. However, protection against serious disease appears to remain robust. The mask requirement has been reinstated.

This is not the first time that Israel has lifted restrictions only to have the disease rebound. In mid-September 2020, Israel entered its second lockdown after daily per capita cases more than doubled in 20 days. The world should take notice.

How much of real-world vaccine efficacy is linked to physical distancing and masks?

On Monday we also learned that in Texas, more than 125 campers and adults have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a church camp in late June. More than 400 people attended the Student Ministry Camp for 6th - 12th grade children. Vaccination rates in this group are low, according to CDC:

  • For 12-15 year olds, 2.4% are fully vaccinated

  • For 16-17 year olds, 1.9% are fully vaccinated

Is this an outbreak of the Delta variant? We don’t know; the US still does not perform genomic testing on many COVID samples.

COVID-19 data in review

Globally, more people died of COVID19 in the first six months of 2021 than all of 2020. Johns Hopkins reported 1.88 million deaths as of 31 December 2020. From 01 January 2021 through 30 June 2021, the global death total was 2.07 million. Last week we reached the lowest global weekly mortality numbers since early November 2020. 

The good news is that the United States has finally ended the first wave of the disease (case rate dropping to near zero); it took 16 months. However, the 7-day new case average was 12,600 on 01 July, which is a 10% increase from the prior week’s 7-day average.

In the US, 352,210 people died in calendar 2020; in the first six months of 2021, we have had 252,539 known deaths. We still have more than 200 deaths per day. And our per capita death rate is among the worst in the world.

Where we are today (06 July 2021)

Summary, Johns Hopkins

  • US: 33,723,157 cases; 605,567 deaths

  • Global: 605,567 cases; 3,984,557 deaths

Vaccine report, CDC 💉

  • Doses distributed to states: 383,068,740

  • Doses distributed within states (“administered”): 330,604,253

  • Vaccinations given: 182,412,776 (54.9% population)

  • People fully vaccinated: 157,323,738 (47.4% population)

Context

16 September 2020: “We’ll be able to distribute 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and a large number much sooner than that.”

08 October 2020: “We may have up to 100 million doses by the end of the year, enough to cover especially vulnerable population.” 

15 December 2020: “We expect to have immunized 20 million of our American people” during the month of December. The Administration also pledged to distribute at least 40 million doses.

25 March 2021: Biden Administration doubles its first-100-days distribution goal from 100 million to 200 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines. There is a significant lag between distribution to states and shots-in-arms.

04 May 2021: Biden Administration sets goal of having 70% of American adults undergo at least one shot of the vaccine by the Fourth of July.

Vaccine map, Bloomberg

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