Coronavirus Morning News Brief – July 29: U.K. Cases at All-Time High, U.S. Orders 171 Million Reformulated Vaccine Doses

By Jonathan Spira on 29 July 2022
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The Marble Arch monument in London

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 841st day of the pandemic.

In news we cover today, the United States will receive 171 reformulated doses of a bivalent coronavirus vaccine later this year and cases in the United Kingdom have reached an all-time high.

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

UNITED STATES

The Biden administration said that, come September, it will offer bivalent booster doses from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna that will target the newest and highly-transmissible subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, of the omicron variant in addition to the original virus.

As a result, federal officials will wait to expand eligibility for a second booster dose until after the reformulated versions of the vaccine become available.  Currently, only Americans over the age of 50 or over the age of 12 with certain immune deficiencies are eligible for a second booster or dose.

On Friday, the White House said it has reached an agreement with Moderna to purchase 66 million doses of the company’s next generation bivalent coronavirus vaccine that would target the highly transmissible omicron variant.  The number of doses under contract would allow anyone who wants an additional booster to receive one.

The deal comes one month after the government announced a similar deal with Pfizer-BioNTech for 105 million doses of a similar vaccine, bringing the total number of doses to be available later this year to 171 million.

Meanwhile, in New York, A judge on the state’s highest court, Jenny Rivera, has reversed her refusal to get inoculated against Covid months after refusing to comply with a vaccination mandate that would allow her to retain her position.

Rivera said she would get inoculated with the newly authorized Novavax non-mRNA vaccine as soon as it becomes available, saying that her physician had signed off on the new vaccine.

GLOBAL

The United Kingdom’s latest wave of Covid infections appears to have passed its peak. According to data from the Office for National Statistics, coronavirus infections fell by more than half a million over the week ending July 20.

Nonetheless, the number of Covid infections, 3,173,800 people or about 1 in 19, remains at an all-time high.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Friday, July 29.

As of Friday morning, the world has recorded 579.9 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 1 million cases, and 6.42 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 549.9 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 1.1 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Friday is 23,653,887, an increase of 23,000. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 23,606,550, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 47,337, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical is unchanged over the pat 24 hours.

The United States reported 148,149 new coronavirus infections on Friday for the previous day, compared to 227,253  on Thursday, 163,367 on Wednesday, 167,463 on Tuesday, and 21,500 on Monday, 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 131,220.  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 127,022, a 2% decrease, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 438, an increase of 4% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 43,972, an 11% increase.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Friday, recorded 92.9 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of over 1.05 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, over 43.9 million, and a reported death toll of 526,258.

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, 678,147, and has recorded over 33.7 million cases.

France continues to occupy the number four position in total cases with over 33.7 million cases, and Germany is in the number five slot with just under 30.8 million.

The other two countries with total case figures over the 20,000 mark are currently United Kingdom, with 23.3 million cases, in sixth position, and Italy, with 20.9 million, in the number seven slot.

VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Friday, over 261.2 million people in the United States – or 78.7% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 67.2%, or 222.9 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 601.5 million. Breaking this down further, 89.9% of the population over the age of 18 – or 232.1 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 77% of the same group – or 198.9 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 51.4% of that population, or 102.3 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Starting on June 13, 2022, the CDC began to update vaccine data on a weekly basis and publish it on Mondays by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.

The figures for July 28 were not available to the Morning News Brief because, at the time of publication Friday morning, the CDC’s website for vaccine tracking was down.

Over 67% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Friday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 12.33 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 7.36 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 19.9% 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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