As the country nears 600,000 deaths from COVID-19, the United States is unlikely to meet President Joe Biden’s target of having 70% of Americans at least partially immunized by July 4.
More than a dozen states have already reached this goal, and a dozen more are on the verge of reaching the milestone. But analysis from USA TODAY shows U.S. vaccinations are on track to reach just 67% of adults by July 4.
California has already reached the target and is expected to lift its historic stay-at-home order on Tuesday as cases in the state remain low.
Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday signed an executive order lifting most state restrictions on coronaviruses, effective June 15. In addition to the canceled stay-at-home order, there will also no longer be capacity limits or social distancing requirements placed on businesses.
A handful of orders will remain in effect indefinitely, including guidelines making state fairgrounds available for pandemic response and allowing pharmacy technicians to administer doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
Residents who have been fully vaccinated will not be required to wear masks in most public places, while those who are not vaccinated will still be required to do so.
Also in the news:
► Starting June 15, Walt Disney World will no longer require guests who have been fully vaccinated to wear face masks in most areas. However, all guests must continue to wear their masks while on Disney transportation, including Disney buses, monorails, and Disney Skyliner aerial gondolas.
► Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson has been suspended from posting content to YouTube for a week after the company says Johnson violated the platform’s COVID-19 “medical disinformation policies” with a series of video clips .
► Last year, about 19.5 million children missed the fun of summer camp because of the pandemic. This year, although most camps are set to reopen, COVID-19 restrictions and a pandemic-induced labor shortage will keep numbers well below a normal threshold of around 26 million of summer campers, said Tom Rosenberg of the American Camp Association.
►Even though the pace of vaccinations has slowed in Major League Baseball, two more teams were able to relax coronavirus protocols after reaching the 85% vaccination threshold for players and other field staff, bringing the total at 22 of the 30 clubs.
►Honolulu is relaxing some of its COVID-19 restrictions on social activities now that more than half of its population has been vaccinated against the virus, including allowing outdoor social gatherings for up to 25 people and indoor gatherings for up to 10.
► Growing spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in England may jeopardize the suspension of the country’s remaining lockdown restrictions; the variant “now accounts for over 90% of cases,” according to a report from Public Health England. The variant also accounts for about 6% of infections in the United States, recently said Dr Anthony Fauci.
The numbers of the day: The United States has more than 33.4 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus and more than 599,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: over 175 million cases and nearly 3.7 million deaths. More than 142 million Americans have been fully immunized, or 42.8% of the population, according to the CDC.
What we read: Scientists say biology is telling us why it has been so much easier to get the COVID-19 vaccine when other medical issues remain unsolved.
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Richest democracies in the world pledge to donate 1 billion doses of vaccines
Faced with criticism that they monopolize vaccines, the leaders of seven wealthy industrialized countries are competing to be the world champion of so many injured by the virus.
With 3.7 million people lost in the pandemic, the world’s richest democracies are eager to champion the afflicted and have pledged to share at least 1 billion vaccines with struggling countries.
The US is expected to donate 500 million doses of Pfizer vaccine next year, while the UK plans to share 5 million doses – out of a total of 100 million – in the coming weeks; France and Germany each plan to donate 30 million vaccines.
The COVAX vaccination campaign got off to a slow start as wealthier countries locked in billions of doses through contracts directly with drug makers. The alliance has only distributed 81 million doses worldwide, and large parts of the world, especially in Africa, remain vaccine deserts.
“It is vital that we do not repeat the mistake of the last great crisis, the last great economic recession of 2008, when the recovery was not uniform in all parts of society,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson after executives posed for a formal seaside photo.
America’s vaccine surplus grows day by day
The United States faces an ever-growing coronavirus vaccine surplus, looming expiration dates, and stubbornly overdue demand /
Stocks get more and more intimidating every week. Oklahoma has over 700,000 doses on the shelves, but only administers 4,500 a day and 27,000 Pfizer and Moderna doses are scheduled to expire at the end of the month. Millions of doses of Johnson & Johnson across the country were set to expire this month before the government extended their dates by six weeks, but some executives recognize that it will be difficult to use them even by then.
“We really can’t let the doses expire. It would be a real scandal, given the need to vaccinate some under-vaccinated communities in the United States and the glaring gap in vaccinations and the inequity of vaccinations we have around the world, ”said Dr Kirsten Bibbins- Domingo, president of epidemiology. and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco.
Each week, states receive a number of doses from the government and are permitted to order injections. But more states, including Oklahoma, Alabama, Utah, Delaware and New Hampshire, have stopped ordering new doses in recent weeks because they have such a large inventory. . This added to the skyrocketing federal stocks.
Despite their limited effectiveness in reducing vaccine hesitancy, incentive programs – $ 1 million prizes, free beer and marijuana, and raffled shotguns – can be a useful tool for states struggling to improve their vaccination rates and convince reluctant citizens.
Government says Kentucky has successfully tackled COVID-19 by putting science above politics
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said on Friday his state’s murderous fight against COVID-19 was a ‘success story’ as he ended most pandemic restrictions and said his state had eased the crisis for the Kentuckians finally put science ahead of politics.
Kentucky has “pushed back” three outbreaks of infection without its hospitals being overrun with patients infected with the virus, the governor said. The vaccine rollout has been “fairly successful”: more than 2.1 million Kentuckians have received at least one dose of the vaccine, he said.
Beshear lifted the Kentucky statewide mask mandate with a few exceptions, retaining the measure for “high-risk establishments” such as public transportation, healthcare facilities, and institutions. long-term care. Before lifting the mask’s warrant, he expressed frustration over the divisions over donning a face cover.
“Masks have been used to reduce infections in healthcare facilities for decades,” Beshear said. “Yet it has become a matter of freedom.”
Shortly before announcing that he was lifting capacity restrictions for restaurants, bars and other public places, Beshear said the pandemic was “a test of our humanity” and posed “the deadliest threat” to his country. life. Kentucky’s virus-related death toll has surpassed 7,000. Beshear said that containing the coronavirus requires the collective efforts of Democrats and Republicans, offering a lesson in moving beyond partisan conflicts that “can just be toxic ”.
“I’m the guy who has to try to lay my head every night and sleep knowing the Kentuckians we’ve lost, the heartache that so many people couldn’t say goodbye and be by this bedside, ”Said Beshear. “Whether we’ve had thousands of Kentuckians dead alone or with a nurse holding their hand. And so that prospect, every day, I’ve never looked at any of this in any of the red or blue threads, and the rest of it. of the country should not either.
Contribution: The Associated Press