Renewed concern over COVID-19 trajectory, even as vaccinations rise
There are renewed concerns that the trajectory of COVID-19 cases in the U.S is moving in the wrong direction. Hospitalization rates are on the increase and the number of cases is climbing in 33 states.
Nearly 15% of the total U.S. population, however, is now fully vaccinated, according to the CDC, and almost half of seniors 65 and over are fully vaccinated.
A daily record of more than 3.3 million shots wwas reported on Friday, pushing the total number of doses administered in the United States to more than 136 million.
"We have the weapon that wins the war, we have the weapon that kills the enemy. But, it has to be here," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday, pointing to his arm.
The push for vaccinations went into even higher gear this week — from pop-up centers opening in New York to the Salvation Army reaching out to the underserved in Los Angeles, Michael George reports for "CBS This Morning: Saturday." The administration has also announced plans to double the number of troops to bolster the vaccine distribution effort.
The U.S. is now one of the top countries in the world for COVID-19 vaccination, with more to come. U.S. vaccine supplies are set to get a big boost this week. Johnson & Johnson says it's ready to provide an extra 11 million doses.
Forty-seven states say anyone 16 or older will be eligible to get a vaccine by May 1. New York, Arkansas and Wyoming have yet to commit.
"It's clear there is a case for optimism but there is not a case for relaxation," White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said Friday.
As cases are on the rise in many states, many people are still dying.
"The most recent seven-day average is about 57,000 cases per day, which is an increase of seven percent from the prior seven days," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on Friday. "The most recent seven-day average of new hospitalizations, about 4,700 per day, represents also a slight increase from the prior seven-day period. The seven-day average of deaths continues to hover at 1,000 deaths per day."
"I remain deeply concerned about this trajectory," she said.
Scientists are still trying to figure out if vaccinated people can spread the virus. They're studying 12,000 vaccinated college students and their contacts to try and answer that.
"We hope that, within the next five or so months, we'll be able to answer the very important question about whether vaccinated people get infected asymptomatically and if they do, do they transmit the infection to others," said Dr. Anthony Fauci.
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