Coronavirus News Update – April 29: Biden Touts 220 Million Shots in First 100 Days of Administration

World Surpasses 150 Million Covid Cases, 30% of U.S. Population Fully Vaccinated

By Jesse Sokolow on 29 April 2021
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Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square in Moscow

President Joseph Biden, in his first presidential address to Congress, touted his administration’s achievements in its first 100 days, with an emphasis on the number of Covid-19 vaccinations that have been administered. Biden noted that over 220 million shots have been given and underscored the fact that 90% of Americans now live within five miles of a vaccination site.

As of Thursday morning, the world has recorded over 150.5 million Covid-19 cases and has seen over 3.16 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, over 127.9 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year, the world has administered more than 1.08 billion doses, the equivalent of 13.6 doses for every 100 people as of Thursday morning.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Thursday, over 142.6 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.  Approximately 54.5% of the population over the age of 18 – some 140.7 million people – has received at least a first inoculation, including 97.5 million people, or 37.8% of the same population, over a third of all adults in the country, who have received both doses. Overall, 29.5% of the population, or 98 million people, has been fully vaccinated against the virus.

India and Brazil continue to be the world’s coronavirus hotspots, with India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reporting over 18 million cases so far and over 375,000 new cases on Thursday. Meanwhile, Brazil has seen 14.5 million cases since the beginning of the pandemic, including over 79,000 that were reported on Wednesday.

In Russia, officials in Moscow began to offer incentives to older adults to get vaccinated. The city will give residents over the age of 60 a certificate for 1,000 Rubles  ($13) which can be redeemed at stores and restaurants. To date, only approximately 5% of Russia’s population has been vaccinated.

Organizers for the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo released new guidelines for both athletes and spectators. Every athlete will be tested for the virus daily, and while overseas spectators have already been barred from coming to the event. Visitors from other parts of Japan will be asked to refrain from using public transportation. In addition, officials of the Games, as well as members of the media, are being asked to have takeout meals alone.

Since the beginning of the year, over 240,000 cases of coronavirus connected to American universities and colleges have been reported, in addition to more than 100 cases of death among students and faculty. A recent survey conducted by the New York Time showed that at least 50 colleges have reported over 1,100 cases each this year. Meanwhile, over 100 colleges and universities will require students to be fully vaccinated in order to return to campus.

Meanwhile, in India, only 2% of the country’s population of 1.37 billion people has been fully vaccinated as of Thursday. Vaccine production has slowed in the country, leaving hospitals and vaccine centers without the required number of doses. One clinic in the capital city of New Delhi was told by the Serum Institute of India, the country’s largest drug manufacturer, that it could take five to six months to deliver the requested 3,000 dosesit needs per month.

Because of the ever-worsening situation in India, the United States is urging all American nationals who are currently in India to leave as soon as possible. American citizens have also been told not to travel to the South Asian country.

Finally, researchers are currently working on tests that can determine how long current Covid vaccines are effective for. One study currently being conducted at the University of Oxford entails exposing volunteers – all of whom are young and healthy individuals who have previously had Covid – to the virus, and studying the levels of antibodies in their blood. Studying the results should help researchers determine how long a vaccine could remain effective.

Anna Breuer contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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