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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

COVID Update


The Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health maintains a dashboard on global and national COVID statistics. Effective September 23rd the CDC reported 42.8 million diagnosed COVID-19 cases. The current 7-day average daily incidence rate is 126,760 but appearing to be trending downwards.  There are currently 89,260 COVID patients in hospital, down from 95,911 in late August.


The CDC has documented 686,346 fatalities. In effect the actual number of COVID deaths probably exceeds 750,000 based on the comparable 2019 mortality rate. Daily mortality that lags incidence is increasing and on September 21st 3,145 fatalities were reported. During the 1918 influenza pandemic, the U.S. with a population of approximately 105 million recorded 675,000 fatalities.


Currently 182 million of our population is fully vaccinated, representing 54.7 percent of the total.  Of this number, 66 percent are adults with approximately 12 million adolescents aged between 12 and 17 years. The respective proportions of vaccine types administered to date comprised 55 percent Pfizer-BioNTech; 37 percent Moderna and 8 percent single-dose J&J. The 7-day average daily vaccination rate is 126,760 down from 150,625 in late August.


As widely reported, most of the hospitalizations and virtually all fatalities are in non-vaccinated patients.  Serious cases of COVID amongst those who were vaccinated are generally confined to the frail elderly and those with underlying health conditions including diabetes, obesity or immunosuppression.  It is noteworthy that a high proportion of incident cases now involve children who are not yet eligible for vaccination and who have returned to school with diverse protective measures of varying intensity including distancing, masking and enhanced ventilation.


There is a clear correlation between low vaccination rates and hospitalization in all areas of the U.S.  States with the lowest vaccine compliance are recording the highest levels of hospitalization including admission to ICU wards.


Epidemiologists and immunologists have evaluated data from the U.K. the U.S. and Israel concerning the desirability of booster doses to enhance protection among those who have received one of the three vaccines available in the U.S.  At a recent meeting the FDA panel deferred on a firm recommendation for boosting of the public in general but did agree that those over 65 and people with immune suppression or conditions that would render them susceptible to the effects of COVID could receive a booster vaccine. On Friday 24th the CDC firmly recommended to the White House that all recipients over 65 years of age and those with immunosuppression and workers with a high risk of exposure to COVID should receive a booster dose six months after their second mRNA vaccine.


At this time the emphasis should be placed on vaccinating those who are hesitant by assuring them of the safety and efficacy of all three vaccines with the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA product having received full FDA approval. It is estimated that 70 million eligible residents of the U.S. have yet to receive their first dose of any of the three vaccines. These individuals, many clustered in rural communities, through disseminating the virus are prolonging the pandemic and delaying recovery of our society and economy. Covid is a public health problem and not a political issue.

Copyright © 2022 Simon M. Shane