The numbers of new daily COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. ticked higher but were still down significantly over the past couple of weeks, as more than two in every five Americans are now fully vaccinated.
And a new “real world” study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines, from Pfizer Inc. PFE, -0.36% and partner BioNTech SE BNTX, -7.43% and from Moderna Inc. MRNA, -2.99%, reduced the risk of infection by 91% for fully vaccinated people.
The CDC study also showed that the “few” fully vaccinated Americans who still contract COVID-19 have milder and shorter illness and are less likely to spread the virus.
The findings came from data collected from Dec. 13, 2020 to April 10, 2021 in a study of healthcare workers, first responders and frontline workers, or people more likely to be exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 because of their jobs.
“COVID-19 vaccines are a critical tool in overcoming this pandemic,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. “These benefits are another important reason to get vaccinated.”
In the U.S., fully vaccinated means it has been two weeks since the second of the two-dose vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna have been administered, or it’s been two weeks since receiving the lone dose of Johnson & Johnson’s JNJ, -0.88% vaccine. J&J’s vaccine is adenovirus-based and doesn’t use mRNA-based technology.
The seven-day average of new cases rose to 15,091 on Monday from Sunday’s 13,927, a New York Times tracker showed, but that marked a 39% decline from two weeks ago.
The seven-day average of new daily deaths nudged up to 459 on Monday from Sunday’s 437 but has dropped 19% from two weeks ago.
The upticks in cases and deaths come as 22 states are now showing an increase in the weekly trend of cases, up from just three states a last week, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.
A total of 302.85 million vaccine doses have now been administered, according to the latest data from the CDC, and the number of Americans fully vaccinated has increased to 139.75 million, or 42.1% of the total population.
Within age groups, 49.9% of Americans who are at least 12 years old are fully vaccinated, as are 53% of the U.S. adult population and 75.6% of Americans at least 65 years old.
There are now three U.S. states — Vermont (53.5%), Massachusetts (52.7%) and Connecticut (50.6%) — in which more than half of the entire population has been fully vaccinated, Johns Hopkins data show. The states with the lowest percentages of their population fully vaccinated are Mississippi at 25.7%, Alabama at 27.5% and Louisiana at 29.6%.
At the White House COVID-19 Response briefing Tuesday, Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said that over the weekend, Washington became the 13th state to reach the milestone of 70% of its adults receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“If you don’t get vaccinated, you are at risk,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical advisor, at the briefing. “If you get vaccinated, you dramatically, dramatically diminish the risk of getting infected and almost eliminate the risk of serious disease; why it’s so, so important for all of us to seriously consider vaccination if you have not already been vaccinated.”
The global case tally for the coronavirus-borne illness climbed to 137.74 million on Tuesday, while the death toll rose to 3,739,884, according to Johns Hopkins.
The U.S. leads the world in total cases with 33.38 million and deaths with 598,094.
India continues to move closer to the U.S., with 29 million cases, but is third in the world in deaths with 351,309.
Brazil is second in deaths at 474,414 and third in cases with 16.98 million.
The U.K. is fourth in deaths worldwide, and it leads Europe in deaths at 28,117, while France leads Europe in cases with 5.78 million.
China, where the virus was first discovered late in 2019, has had 103,219 cases and 4,846 deaths, according to its official numbers, which are widely held to be massively underreported.