The Landgoed Hotel Groot Warnsborn in Arnhem
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children 5 to 11 years of age.  The move followed the unanimous approval by the CDC’s panel of scientific advisors.
“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus that causes Covid-19,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, in a statement shortly after the approval was made public.
Vaccinations of younger children started almost immediately.  One of Connecticut’s largest healthcare networks, Hartford Healthcare, began administering the vaccine to young children Tuesday.
Meanwhile, officials in the Netherlands made face masks mandatory in stores, university libraries, and hallways.  Masks were already mandatory on public transport.  Visitors to venues such as museums must show proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid, or a recent coronavirus test, for admission.
Finally, hospitals in Colorado are at 90% or higher capacity, and many are experiencing severe staffing shortages. The state, which has a 62% vaccination rate, is experiencing its worst surge of the virus in over a year.
As of Wednesday morning, the world has recorded 248.5 million Covid-19 cases and, as mentioned, over 5 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 225.1 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.
The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 73,007, a -8% change.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 1,277, a change of -18% over the same period.
In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Wednesday, recorded over 46.9 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 768,847. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 34.3 million, and a death toll of 459,203, although experts believe that both numbers are in reality significantly higher.  Finally, Brazil has recorded the second highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 608,118, and has seen over 21.8 million cases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Wednesday, 221.9 million people in the United States – or 66.8% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 58.1%, or 192.7million people, are now fully vaccinated, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 423.9 million. Breaking this down further, 80.1% of the population over the age of 18 – or 206.7million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 69.7% of the same group – or 179.9 million people – is fully vaccinated.
More than 3.91 billion people across the globe have received a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, a figure that roughly equates to 51% of the world’s population, a .4 percentage point increase in the past 24 hours. There remains, however, a countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, where at least 65% of the population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, and countries such as Ethiopia, Haiti, Syria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda, for example, where vaccination rates are in the single digits, if not lower.
Figures from the World Health Organization show that well-off countries are vaccinating people at the rate of one person per second, while the majority of poor countries have yet to give a single dose to its citizens.
It is critical that the world do a better job of sharing vaccines with poorer nations.
Sharing vaccines is not merely a form of charity.  Rather, the equitable distribution of vaccines is in every country’s health and economic interest and no country will be able to move past the pandemic until other countries have recovered as well.
Jonathan Spira contributed to this story.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)
Accura News
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