The five most vaccinated states in the United States—Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine, Connecticut and Massachusetts—are all experiencing surges in new COVID-19 cases, as the Biden administration urges people over 50 to get their booster jabs.
Vermont, which is the most vaccinated state, with 73 percent of its population fully jabbed, saw an 18 percent rise in new daily COVID cases over the last 14 days before November 24, according to New York Times data.
Waterford, in south-eastern Ireland, epitomises the country’s coronavirus conundrum. Why is there a surge in COVID-19 cases in a nation where around 92% of all adults are fully vaccinated?
A massive 99.5% of adults over the age of 18 in Co Waterford are double-jabbed. That’s thought to be one of the highest rates of any region anywhere in the world.
But, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, the county now tops the national infection league table, with a 14-day incidence rate of 1,294 per 100,000.
Why haven’t lockdowns worked? There are broadly two types of respiratory virus. There are those that spread person to person – like measles – in a continuous chain of transmission, uninterrupted by season and with every susceptible contact falling ill. Then there are those we do not understand so well, like influenza, which are much more complex. Instead of the simplistic close contact model, which assumes Covid spreads like measles, we should perhaps consider an alternative more sophisticated model based on influenza. The influenza virus model is unusual – it is predicated on the majority being exposed to a particular airborne virus but, oddly, only a minority appear to be susceptible to each year’s variant. To complicate matters further, influenza can also spread person to person.
Experts are surprised but cautiously optimistic as new coronavirus cases in Florida continue to fall despite the high prevalence of the UK ‘super COVID’ variant there, suggesting that the U.S. may escape a new surge fueled by viral mutations.
Florida now leads the nation in confirmed cases of the B117 variant, which now account for an estimated half of all new cases there, but has seen a 75 percent decline in total cases since early January.
The NHS’s London regional team has told its integrated care systems to draw up plans for ‘another possible [covid-19] surge later in 2021’, HSJ has learned.