The U.S. has averaged fewer than 40,000 new cases of COVID-19 daily this week, a 21% improvement over the week before. That also marks a whopping 85% drop from more than a quarter-million cases reported at the pandemic's peak in early January.
According to Axios, the number of new cases declined in 37 states and there were no reported increases in any state. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 also tumbled, according to news reports. An average of 600 Americans died per day – the lowest level in 10 months. The number of lives lost dropped to single digits in well over half the states, on some days hitting zero.
Massachusetts reported no deaths Wednesday, according to the Boston Herald. The state has over 3 million fully vaccinated people. Indiana reported only one COVID-19 fatality Tuesday and Kansas has been in the single digits since February.
Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert and assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said vaccinations are the key reason America is winning the COVID-19 battle.
"The primary objective is to deny this virus the ability to kill at the rate that it could, and that has been achieved," he said, according to AP. "We have, in effect, tamed the virus."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 45% of adults Americans have been fully vaccinated, and nearly 59% have received at least one dose. Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine obtained authorization for use in 12- to 15-year-olds this week, which will further propel the nation toward achieving herd immunity.
According to Axios, more than 107 million Americans have been fully vaccinated during the six months of vaccine rollout in the U.S. And real-world data based on studies show the vaccines are both safe and effective, even for older Americans.
One study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found, "in a multistate network of U.S. hospitals during January-March 2021, receipt of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines was 94% effective against COVID-19 hospitalization and 64% effective among partially vaccinated adults over 65 years of age."
The CDC conducted another real-world study among healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential frontline workers in 8 U.S. locations from December 2020 to March 2021. According to the summary of the CDC report, 3,950 of these individuals were tested weekly for COVID-19.
After they were fully vaccinated — that means two weeks after the final dose of the two mRNA vaccines- research data showed the shots offered 90% protection against the virus. The CDC reported the vaccines were 80% effective after the first dose.
A landmark study by the Cleveland Clinic this week showed 99.7% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients did not get a vaccine, more real-world evidence vaccines prevent the serious illness that was killing 3,000 Americans daily a few months ago, Axios reported.
While the demand for vaccines appears to be slowing down, experts say getting more shots into more arms is the only way Americans can return to pre-pandemic normalcy at home, in school and in the workplace as well as enjoying restaurants, sporting and entertainment events, and travel.
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