Coronavirus Morning News Brief – June 27: FDA Considers Whether to Update Vaccines, Sweden and Romania Drop in Travel Risk

By Jonathan Spira on 27 June 2022
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Stockholm, the capital of Sweden and most populous area of Scandinavia

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 809th day of the pandemic.

Here’s a look at what has taken place over the past 24 hours.

UNITED STATES

On Tuesday, an independent panel of outside advisors will recommend whether drug makers should update existing coronavirus vaccines to target newer versions and variants of the virus in a booster for the fall.

Given the speed with which the coronavirus mutates, the outcome of the recommendation is far from certain.

TRAVEL

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moved two destinations, namely Botswana and Cape Verde, to Level 3, its highest-risk category.

In addition, the agency lowered the risk rating for two European nations, Sweden and Romania, to Level 2 from Level 3.

The Travel Health Notice system provides coronavirus risk ratings for non-U.S. destinations.

Levels 3, 2, and 1 are primarily determined by 28-day incidence of Covid, and, as of mid-April, Level 4, previously the highest category, is reserved for “special circumstances, such as rapidly escalating case trajectory or extremely high case counts, emergence of a new variant of concern, or healthcare infrastructure collapse.”

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Monday, June 27.

As of Monday morning, the world has recorded 549.1 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.3 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and 6.35 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 524.2 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.5 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Monday is 18,600,789, a decrease of 115,000. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 18,564,455, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 36,334, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical is unchanged over the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 18,240 new coronavirus infections on Monday for the previous day, compared to 46,781 on Sunday, 118,491 on Saturday, and 156,487 on Friday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The 7-day incidence rate continues to be over 100,000 and is now 110,386.  Figures for the weekend (reported the following day) are typically 30% to 60% of those posted on weekdays due to a lower number of tests being conducted.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 102,818, a figure that is largely unchanged, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 348, an increase of 5% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 31,650, a 7% increase.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Monday, recorded 88.8 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 1.04 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 43.4 million, and a reported death toll of 525,020.

New data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed at the end of May that the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 812,890, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, after the United States.  Rosstat reported that 11,583 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in April, down from 35,584 in March and from 43,543 in February.

Meanwhile, Brazil now has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 670,459, and has recorded 32.1 million cases.

France continues to occupy the number four position in total cases with 30.5 million cases, and Germany is in the number five slot with 27.8 million.  The United Kingdom, with 22.6 million cases, is now number six and is the only other country in the world with a total number of cases over the 20 million mark.

VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Monday, over 259.4 million people in the United States – or 78.1% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 66.9%, or 222.1 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 593.7 million. Breaking this down further, 89.5% of the population over the age of 18 – or 231.2 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 76.8% of the same group – or 198.4 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 50.7% of that population, or 100.5 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Starting on June 13, the CDC began to update vaccine data on a weekly basis and publish it on Thursdays by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.

Over 66.4% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Monday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 12.03 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 5.21 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 17.8% 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 75% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine.

Only a handful of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70% mark in vaccinations. Many countries, however, are under 20% and, in countries such as Haiti, Senegal, and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits, if not lower.

In addition, North Korea and Eritrea are now the only two countries in the world that have not administered vaccines.

Anna Breuer contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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