Coronavirus News Update – May 25: CDC Ramps Up Monitoring of Highly-Contagious India Covid-19 Variant

Royal Caribbean to Require All Passengers to Be Fully Vaccinated

By Jesse Sokolow on 25 May 2021
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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it would ramp up its monitoring of the highly-transmissible India Covid-19 variant B.1.167.  Experts warn that under-vaccinated areas in the country could become hotspots for virus mutation if no action is taken.

As of Tuesday morning, the world has recorded over 168.1 million Covid-19 cases and has seen over 3.48 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, over 149.4 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 1.7 billion doses as of Tuesday morning, the equivalent of approximately 21.5 doses for every 100 people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Tuesday, 163.9 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Around 61.5% of the population over the age of 18 – some 158.7 million people – has received at least a first inoculation, including 128.6 million people, or 49.8% of the same population, who have received both doses. Meanwhile, 58.5% of the population over the age of 12, or 163.8 million people, have received at least one shot, including 130.6 million, or 46.6% of the same population, who have received both doses. Overall, 39.3% of the population, or 130.61 million people, has been fully vaccinated against the virus.

Moderna said Tuesday that its coronavirus vaccine had proven powerfully effective in young people ages 12 to 17 and that it would apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for authorization to use the vaccine in adolescents.

Royal Caribbean announced a Covid-19 vaccine requirement for all passengers. Previously, the cruise line had mandated vaccination only for crew members. “We want you to be more comfortable walking on board a ship than walking down Main Street,” Richard Fain, the line’s CEO, told the BBC.

Health officials in Hong Kong are practically begging residents to get inoculated before the millions of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the territory expire, a date that is roughly three months away.  Less than 20% of the city’s population has received at least one dose.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an apology Monday after a photo showed her in violation of her state’s rules on gatherings.  The photo depicted Whitmer out dining with 12 friends.  “I am human,” she said in a statement. “I made a mistake and I apologize.”

A study that will be published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association found that the Covid-19 infection rate of dentists was lower than of other health care professionals.  The cumulative infection rate for dentists over the six-month period of the study was 2.2%, while the rate for other health care professionals ranted from 3.3% for Chicago-based hospital physicians to 35.2% for U.S.-based emergency medicine services.

The governor of Alabama signed legislation that will ban vaccine passports in the state. The move bans government institutions as well as universities and private businesses from refusing goods, services, or admission based on vaccination status.

Jonathan Spira and Anna Breuer contributed reporting to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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