Coronavirus News Update – Nov. 22: ‘Almost Everyone Will Be Vaccinated, Recovered, or Dead,’ Says Germany’s Spahn

By Anna Breuer on 22 November 2021
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The Nyugati (Western) Railway Station, designed by Gustav Eiffel.

Germany’s health minister issued a grim prognosis for the immediate future on Monday.  By the end of winter, “almost everyone will be vaccinated, recovered or dead,” said Gesundheitsminister Jans Spahn.

Europe is currently battling a fourth wave of the coronavirus and one country, Austria, became the first Western nation to issue a vaccine mandate for its population.  It also entered on Monday its fourth full lockdown.  Discussions continue about a nationwide lockdown in Germany, officials said.

In neighboring Hungary, consumer confidence plunged to its lowest level since April, according to a survey by the think tank GKI.  Households presented a gloomy outlook about their financial prospects amidst a strong surge in both inflation and new coronavirus cases.

Finally, as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches in the United States. Officials are reporting a significant rise in new coronavirus cases, especially in the Upper Midwest and in some states in the Northeast.

The situation in Minnesota, where caseloads have doubled since the start of November, is dire enough to have necessitated the dispatch of federal medical teams to help overwhelmed hospitals.  In New England, which enjoys high vaccination rates, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont are struggling to contain major outbreaks.

As of Monday morning, the world has recorded 258 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.4 million, and 5.2million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 233.6 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 93,689, a 29% increase.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 1,113, a change of -9% over the same period.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Monday, recorded 48.6 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 793,659. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 34.5 million, and a death toll of 465,911, 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, 612,722, and has seen just over 22 million cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Monday, 230.3 million people in the United States – or 69.4% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 59.1%, or 196.3  million people, are now fully vaccinated, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 451.5 million. Breaking this down further, 82.1% of the population over the age of 18 – or 212 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 70.9% of the same group – or 183.2 million people – is fully vaccinated.

Some 53.3% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 7.71 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis.

Meanwhile, only 5% of people in low-income countries have received one dose, while in countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, at least 65% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine. In countries such as Ethiopia, Haiti, Syria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda, for example, vaccination rates remain 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)

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