The U.S. has reported 30% of adults are fully vaccinated and nearly 50% of the U.S. adult population has received at least one vaccine dose, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But herd immunity could require the number of fully vaccinated adults to be as high as 85%, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.
With cases also on the rise, more contagious variants are making up about half of all infections in the country, leading the White House COVID-19 advisory board on Friday to stress the need for more people to get vaccinated.
Also in the news:
► Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy says COVID-19 vaccines would be made available at key airports in the state starting June 1. He made the announcement Friday, as he unveiled plans aimed at bolstering Alaska’s pandemic-battered tourist industry.
►American Indian tribes and Alaska Native communities are getting more than $4 billion from President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief legislation, the White House said Friday. The money will help address a range of issues, including getting more people vaccinated, improvements in testing and contact tracing and reimbursing tribal health systems for lost revenue during the coronavirus shutdown.
► Michigan on Friday extended by five weeks a pandemic order that requires masks in public, limits capacity inside businesses and caps gathering sizes, as the state continued to confront the country’s highest daily coronavirus infection rate.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more than 31.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 566,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: more than 140 million cases and 3 million deaths. More than 258.5 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S. and 202.2 million have been administered, according to the CDC.
📘 What we’re reading: What do I do if I’ve gotten the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 shot? Your questions, answered.
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Coronavirus death toll tops 3 million people globally
The global death toll from the coronavirus topped a staggering 3 million people Saturday. The number of lives lost, as compiled by Johns Hopkins University, is more than the population of Chicago (2.7 million) and equivalent to Philadelphia and Dallas combined.
And the true number is believed to be significantly higher because of possible government concealment and the many cases overlooked in the early stages of the outbreak that began in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019.
The world passed the bleak threshold of 2 million deaths in January, when immunization drives had just started in Europe and the United States. Today, they are underway in more than 190 countries.
White House tackles COVID variants with $1.7 billion boost for genomic sequencing
The White House on Friday announced plans to help states detect and curb the spread of emerging COVID-19 variants by investing $1.7 billion in genomic sequencing, or the process to map the genetic code of a virus.
The funding, which comes from President Joe Biden’s nearly $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package, will be allocated through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help states and other jurisdictions monitor potentially more contagious COVID-19 strains, including the variants driving another surge in Michigan.
– Courtney Subramanian
Gym instructor one of the women who developed blood clots after J&J vaccine, company says
One of the six women who developed an extremely rare blood clotting disorder after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is a 26-year-old gym instructor from the New Jersey-Pennsylvania area, the pharmaceutical company told a federal advisory committee Wednesday.
Described as “overweight, but active,” the woman spent a week to 10 days in the hospital before being discharged with a prescription for anticoagulant medication, Dr. Aran Maree, the chief medical officer for the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, told the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
The woman went to the emergency room about a week after she received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Maree said. Neither she nor the hospital were identified. She was given Benadryl and the painkiller paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen, and sent home.
Later, diagnostic scans showed that she had several blood clots in major blood vessels in her brain, abdomen and lungs, he said.
– Lindy Washburn, NorthJersey.com
Contributing: Mike Stucka, USA TODAY; The Associated Press