Number of Americans fully vaccinated tops 100 million – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports
DALLAS (AP) – Disneyland reopened on Friday and cruise lines hailed the news that they could sail again in the US by midsummer as the number of Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 hit another milestone: 100 million.
Visitors cheered and screamed with glee as the Southern California theme park opened its doors for the first time in 13 months, becoming a powerful symbol of the US recovery, even though the self-proclaimed happiest place on earth only allows domestic guests now and with only 25% capacity .
The reopening and similar moves in other parts of the country reflect growing optimism as the number of COVID-19 deaths falls and the number of those vaccinated grows – a stark contrast to the worsening disaster in India and Brazil and the low availability of vaccines in many poor parts of the world.
In fact, the US announced on Friday that it would be restricting travel from India starting Tuesday, citing the devastating spike in COVID-19 cases in the country and the emergence of potentially dangerous variants of the coronavirus.
While the total number of lives lost to COVID-19 in the US has dwarfed 575,000, deaths have fallen from a high of around 3,400 in mid-January to an average of 670 per day.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 39 percent of the country’s adult population have been fully vaccinated. Over 55% of adults received at least one dose, up from 30% a month ago.
However, about 8% of those who received a dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine did not return for their second shot, officials said. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said it was important to take the course to get maximum protection against the virus.
“Make sure you get that second dose,” he said at a meeting at the White House.
Dr. Leana Wen, former Baltimore health commissioner and visiting professor of health policy at George Washington University, said having about 40% of American adults fully vaccinated was a great accomplishment, but not enough.
“The hardest part is ahead of us,” she said. “I am very concerned that we will not come close to herd immunity in 2021.”
Wen noted that Fauci estimated that 70% to 85% of the US population must be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.
The vaccination surge has slowed down in recent weeks, even though all adults have fired shots. Wen said better weather and falling case numbers will make it harder to reach people who have not yet been vaccinated.
“Those on the fence about a vaccine may have less reason to get one now because they no longer see the coronavirus as an existential crisis,” she said.
CDC officials also reported Friday that it was fear – not a problem with the gunfire – that caused fainting, dizziness and other reactions, which were reported in 64 people at vaccination clinics in five states in early April. Nobody got seriously ill.
Cruise Lines, meanwhile, welcomed the news that the CDC is required to resume sailing in the US by mid-summer and is amending some rules to expedite the process.
The CDC said in a letter to the industry this week that it will allow ships to cruise without prior training cruises when 98% of the crew and 95% of the passengers are fully vaccinated.
“The voices of community leaders and the wider cruise community are heard – and we are grateful for that,” said Laziza Lambert, spokeswoman for the Cruise Lines International Association.
US cruises have been closed due to the pandemic since March 2020.
In other travel news, the Transportation Security Administration expanded the requirement that passengers on planes, trains, and buses wear masks. The rule expired on May 11th but will now run until September 13th. The airlines and their unions had pushed for an extension, saying masks would help keep passengers and workers safe.
In Michigan, which became the worst hot spot in the US in recent weeks, the numbers are finally showing improvement, and Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a plan to lift restrictions on the state’s vaccination rate.
In New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday that he expected the prevention measures to be lifted and the city “fully reopened” by July 1. he said on MSNBC.
But New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has claimed during the crisis that such decisions are his alone, and he said Thursday he would like to end restrictions sooner.
“I don’t want to wait that long. I think if we do what we have to do we can reopen sooner, ”he said.
Cuomo said Friday that from May 7, New York City can increase indoor dining to 75% capacity.
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