Almost half of all new coronavirus infections across the country are in just five states. This is a situation that is pressing the federal government to consider changing the way vaccines are distributed by sending higher doses to hotspots.
New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey combined have 44% of the new US COVID-19 infections, or nearly 197,500, in the latest available seven days, according to state health data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Reported a new case of. .. The total number of infections in the United States during the same week exceeded 452,000.
Dr. Elvin H. Gen, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Washington, said it makes sense to surge vaccines where vaccine numbers are increasing. But that’s also complicated.
“You wouldn’t want those people to wait because they were doing better,” Geng said. “On the other hand, it makes sense to send the vaccine to a place where the number of cases is increasing.”
So far, President Joe Biden’s administration has shown no signs of moving away from the policy of splitting vaccine doses between states based on population.
The surge in case numbers was particularly pronounced in Michigan, with an average of 6,719 new infections over the seven days on Sunday, more than double that of two weeks ago.
Michigan has the highest new infection rates in the last two weeks, but Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer says he has no plans to tighten regulations. She blamed the pandemic fatigue for the virus surge.
Whitmer received his first vaccination on Tuesday, the day after Michigan expanded his eligibility to everyone over the age of 16. She asked the White House in a conference call with the governor last week if she considered sending additional vaccines to states that are fighting the virus surge. She was told that all options are on the table.
In New Jersey, the 7-day moving average of new infections per day has increased from 4,050 to 4,250 in the last two weeks. Democratic Governor Phil Murphy said he was constantly discussing the demand for coronavirus vaccines with the White House. Due to the state’s high prevalence, he couldn’t say he was lobbying for more vaccines.
Murphy said Monday that vaccine shipments to New Jersey increased by 12% last week, but questioned whether that was enough.
“We are always watching, ok, we know we are rising, but especially considering the number of cases we have, we are rising at the speed we should be. “Is it?” Murphy said.
Former Commissioner of Food and Drugs Scott Gottlieb has urged the Biden administration to push additional coronavirus shots into parts of the United States experiencing outbreaks such as Michigan, New York, and New Jersey.
Gottlieb appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on March 28, saying, “What we have to do is continue vaccination and boost vaccines in these parts of the country. I think. ” “So the gradual vaccines on the market, I think the Biden administration can assign to the parts of the country that look hot now.”
Researcher Joshua Schwab of the University of California, Berkeley recently estimated that doubling Michigan’s current vaccine allocation for two weeks could reduce hospitalizations by 10,000 and deaths by 1,200 by July. He concluded that much greater savings could be achieved by combining additional vaccines with reverting some restrictions.
The story of sending additional shots to a state suffering from an outbreak occurs when the number of daily infections in the United States drops dramatically compared to the January surge after the holiday season. However, since mid-March, the seven-day average of daily infections has risen slowly.
The five states with the most infections stand out. California and Texas, which are far more populous than Michigan, report less than half of their daily infections. And as of Tuesday, 31 US states reported an average of less than 1,000 new daily cases over a seven-day period.
The White House’s coronavirus coordinator, Jeff Seiens, said Tuesday that more than 28 million COVID-19 vaccines will be delivered to the state this week. With this allocation, the US total has been distributed more than 90 million times in the last three weeks.
The news came when Biden announced that it had received more than 150 million coronavirus injections since taking office and that all adults would be vaccinated by April 19.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 40% of US adults receive at least one COVID-19 shot. Only 23% of American adults are fully vaccinated, including more than half of Americans over the age of 65.
Mr Gen said the country should step back and move slowly. Even just a few weeks of Americans sticking to social distance and other precautions can make a big difference.
“The take-away message here is, don’t jump over the gun. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. We all see it there. And we get there. Slow and steady.”
Bynum reported from Savannah, Georgia. Smith reported from Providence, Rhode Island. Associated Press writers Darlene Superville, Washington, David Eggert, Lansing, Michigan, and Michael Catalini, Trenton, NJ, also contributed to the report.