US President Joe Biden held a ceremony on Thursday to commemorate 50 million coronavirus vaccines, amid growing concerns about the emergence of new variants in at least two states.
Biden, who took office on Jan.20, has pledged to vaccinate 100 million people in his first 100 days in office. Now, in his 37th day in office, Biden has said he is on track to surpass that target.
“Today I’m here to announce that we’re halfway there,” Biden said, adding that he would also celebrate the 100th million dose once it is reached.
Three people – a firefighter, a nurse and a pharmacist – were vaccinated during the televised ceremony held at the White House on Thursday.
“We’re going in the right direction,” he said, “despite the mess we inherited from the previous administration that left us with no real plan to vaccinate all Americans.”
The United States immunizes an average of 1.3 million Americans every day, but that rate derailed last week after severe winter storms across large swathes of the country impacted transportation and led to the shutdown temporary dozens of vaccination sites.
This rate could increase soon. US May Grant Emergency Single Dose Clearance This Week Johnson & johnson vaccine after the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released documents claiming that the vaccine is safe and effective against the coronavirus.
An independent expert regulatory committee is due to meet on Friday to decide whether or not to approve the shot. If approved, Biden said he would “deploy it as quickly as Johnson & Johnson do.”
The campaign to vaccinate more Americans takes place against a backdrop decline in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths, but this also occurs amid the emergence of two variants that some researchers believe may be more transmissible and may show resistance to currently administered vaccines.
A new variant of the coronavirus that shares some similarities with a more transmissible and intractable variant found in South Africa is on the rise in New York City, researchers said Wednesday.
Columbia University researchers found this variant B.1.526 shares some disturbing characteristics with B.1.351, the strain first identified in South Africa, and P.1., which was first identified in Brazil. Several studies have suggested that these new variants are more resistant to certain existing vaccines than earlier versions of the coronavirus.
New York Health Commissioner David Chokshi said on Thursday the city was monitoring the variant “very closely”.
“We have no evidence at this point that the variants, that this New York variant, the 1.526 is what contributes to the trajectory of cases, which we should point out continue to decrease,” Chokshi said at a point Press.
Researchers have also detected a new variant in California that may be more contagious than the original strain, according to a to study by the JAMA medical journal published on February 11.
The study found that the California strain called CAL.20C, first appeared in July last year, and as of January accounted for about 35% of all COVID-19 cases in the state and 44% of samples collected. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the spread of CAL.20C has been over the ascend since September.
Charles Chiu, professor of laboratory medicine and infectious diseases at the University of California at the San Francisco School of Medicine, and principal scientist on coronavirus mutations, said that the variants – even when they are highly transmissible – can still be controlled through social distancing, by wearing masks, washing hands and continuing to immunize people.
“Basically, it doesn’t change the direction we’re going,” Chiu told the Washington Post, “that is, we want to limit cases to where we can bring the pandemic under control. to circulate a more infectious variant will not be the end of the world. ”
And other studies have shown that recently launched coronavirus vaccines are still likely to neutralize the virus and protect against serious illness, even for infections with newer variants. Vaccine makers are also working to develop booster shots to combat mutated versions of the virus.