According to recently released data by the John Hopkins hospital, at least one in five Americans have been infected with COVID-19 since the country’s pandemic began almost two years ago. The recent data indicate that nearly 20 percent of the American population has had Covid.
At present, the U.S. has had 66,498,299 confirmed cases of Covid-19, a number the CDC believes could be even higher. A number will certainly trend up given the transmissibility of the Omicron variant.
“Omicron is spreading at a rate we haven’t seen with any other variant,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a Covid update in Geneva late last month.
And even more jarring is that the United States is currently racking up 777,453 new cases and 1,797 new deaths per day, According to JHU data. Covid-related deaths have gone up to 854K people in the United States alone.
However, the virus appears to be slowing down, as the United States reported a 10% drop in the average number of new cases over the past week, dropping from 766,939 to 684,457.
Despite the widespread availability of vaccines over the last year, only 62 percent of the country’s population has already been fully vaccinated against the disease, according to the CDC.
According to preliminary lab data released by Pfizer and BioNTech last month, the omicron variant significantly reduces the protection against infection provided by Pfizer and Biotech’s two-dose vaccine. On Monday, researchers at the University of Oxford published a study that discovered that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are less effective against omicron.
As people are still being encouraged to get vaccinated, Tedros in the Geneva meeting said that vaccines alone would not be enough to protect against omicron. He urged countries to use masks, social distance, proper ventilation, and hand hygiene to prevent new infections.