by Associated Press and Natalie Rahhal at The Daily Mail
Nearly half of new coronavirus infections nationwide are in just five states – a situation that is putting pressure on the federal government to consider changing how it distributes vaccines by sending more doses to hot spots.
New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey together reported 44 percent of the nation’s new COVID-19 infections, or nearly 197,500 new cases, in the latest available seven-day period, according to state health agency data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
And Minnesota officials are now warning the state is poised to follow the alarming trends seen in nearby Michigan.
Total US infections during the same week numbered more than 452,000. To date, the US has recorded more than 30.8 million cases and 556,509 deaths.
Average daily new cases are hovering around 65,000 in the US – up from the 2021 low of 53,000 cases a day seen week before last.
Encouragingly, deaths remain below 1,000, with 915 new fatalities recorded Tuesday. But the seven-day rolling average of new fatalities rose slightly for the first time in a week, to 790.
Dr Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that he believes the rapid U.S. vaccination campaign – which is now administering an average of three million shots a day – will stem the increasing infections and prevent a fourth wave of the pandemic.
The heavy concentration of new cases in states that account for 22 percent of the US population has prompted some experts and elected officials to call for President Joe Biden’s administration to ship additional vaccine doses to those places.
So far, the White House has shown no signs of shifting from its policy of dividing vaccine doses among states based on population.
Nearly half of new coronavirus infections nationwide are in just five states – New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey – according to Johns Hopkins data
New York had the highest number of new cases over the latest seven day period with 53,088
Michigan recorded 46,879 new cases in the week ended Tuesday. The seven-day average of daily new infections reached 6,719 on Sunday – more than double what it was two weeks earlier
Florida recorded 38,421 new cases in the week ended Tuesday. The state’s seven-day average of daily new infections has exceeded 5,400, an increase of 20 percent in the past two weeks
Pennsylvania recorded 29,458 new infections in the week ended Tuesday
New Jersey recorded 28,592 new infections in the week ended Tuesday. The state’s seven-day rolling average of daily new infections has risen over the past two weeks
Sending extra doses to places where infection numbers are climbing makes sense, said Dr Elvin H Geng, a professor in infectious diseases at Washington University.
But it’s also complicated. States that are more successfully controlling the virus might see less vaccine as a result.
‘You wouldn’t want to make those folks wait because they were doing better,’ Geng said. ‘On the other hand, it only makes sense to send vaccines to where the cases are rising.’…Continue Reading