India variant now 6% of new US cases
Fauci stresses importance of two-dose vaccine regimen as variants surge; studies progressing towards COVID-19 shots for kids later in the year
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines could be offered for children as soon as this fall. Both companies report making progress in their testing of vaccines in children and aim to seek FDA authorization for children’s vaccinations once data is available, the New York Times reports.
Two doses of Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines are highly effective against the “delta” variant that originated in India. However, vaccine effectiveness is below 50% between the first and second dose. This variant is emerging in the USA - now accounting for at least 6% of new cases, according to White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci. The AstraZeneca vaccine is in wide use around the world but not authorized for use in the USA.
“Make sure you get that second dose,” said Fauci at Tuesday morning’s briefing.
Disinformation Watch: The federal judge who ruled last week that California’s “assault weapons” law is unconstitutional included false information about COVID-19 vaccinations in his opinion:
While many people, like the protesters I encountered at a farmers market over the weekend, claim that COVID-19 vaccines have caused “thousands of deaths,” there is simply no evidence to back that up. In fact, the data overwhelmingly demonstrates that the vaccines have prevented tens of thousands of deaths.
COVID-19 cases and deaths in the USA have dropped precipitously since vaccinations began. New cases and new deaths are down 94% and hospitalizations are down 83% since their peaks in January.
A newly released CDC report shows that among those over 65, deaths in the USA are down 66%. Vaccination coverage in this age group is higher than in younger people, largely because the initial vaccination campaign aimed at those most vulnerable to COVID-19.
Joints for Jabs: Washington State is allowing cannabis retailers to give one free prerolled marijuana joint to people who get COVID-19 shots.