New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey had more than 196,400 of the 453,360 cases in the country reported last week, according to data available Wednesday morning.
According to estimates by the US Census Bureau, only 22% of the US population live in these states.
Although vaccination rates have increased nationally, not enough people have been vaccinated to exceed the spread. And with the spread of communicable variants, waves like Michigan’s could soon be more prevalent, said epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm.
“I wish we had three or four months before this increase in variant B.1.1.7 started,” said Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, Tuesday.
The increase in variants in some states, such as Michigan, should lead the federal government to consider changing the way vaccines are allocated, said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University School of Public Health, told CNN on Wednesday.
“So the federal strategy must be to move more vaccines to places like Michigan where they are increasing so they can use more vaccines to stop this surge and save lives,” he said.
Half of adults in the US may have got their first shot over the weekend, the White House says
By the end of the weekend, the percentage of adults in the United States who received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine could reach 50%, the White House said Tuesday.
But that doesn’t mean the country is through with the pandemic, said an advisor to the Biden government.
“We need to remember that there are more than 100 million adults who have not yet been vaccinated,” Andy Slavitt, White House senior adviser on Covid-19 Response, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Tuesday. “They’re not there yet and you won’t win the war until you’ve brought them all with you.”
Some states are withdrawing mask mandates and opening up capacities for companies. But Fauci said Tuesday that it is a mistake to forego preventive measures while the majority of Americans are not yet vaccinated.
“It is premature to declare a victory,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases. “We have to go ahead and hang on a little longer by continuing the public health action.”
Fortunately, the US still has tools to stay on track even when the public is tired, Slavitt said. Opening up vaccine access and focusing on vulnerable groups, like the US did to get 80% of teachers and school staff to give at least one shot while the school is about to reopen, can help the nation keep Covid-19 going fight, said Slavitt.
Plans to reopen with increasing vaccinations
Although health experts point out that the fight against Covid-19 is not yet won, many states have already reopened and others are planning to do so soon.
Falling infection rates, low hospital stays, and rising vaccinations are reasons California may reopen, said Minister of Health and Human Services Mark Ghaly.
By that time, Vermont officials estimate that approximately 70% of citizens have received at least one dose of vaccine.
Many school districts are also preparing to change their plans. Of the country’s 101 largest school districts, more than half offer a full personal option, although a full remote control is still available to families who choose to do so.
Just over half of parents – 52% – said they are likely to have their children vaccinated against Covid-19 when a vaccine becomes available for their age group. This emerges from a new survey by Axios-Ipsos, which was published on Tuesday.
What is life like after vaccination?
Experts and officials are discussing how vaccinations can be monitored once life is back to normal in the United States.
Many experts have called for vaccination records – documentation of vaccination status that could give Americans better access to public facilities and large gatherings.
New York last month became the first state to introduce the Excelsior Pass, which gives residents access to events such as sports and concerts.
In California, certain companies are already looking into the possibility of verifying that their customers are vaccinated.
In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Tuesday banning organizations receiving public funding from providing evidence of vaccination for services or entry, his office said.
“The government shouldn’t require a Texan to provide proof of vaccination and private health information just to help them conduct their daily life,” Abbott said. “We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health – without compromising Texans’ personal freedoms.”
In addition to debates over vaccination documentation, the US also has to grapple with “long covid,” a condition in which even patients with relatively mild illnesses could experience symptoms long after being infected, Osterholm said.
“I’m afraid it will be one of the main problems in this pandemic,” said Osterholm. he said
CNN’s Deidre McPhillips, Lauren Mascarenhas, Ashley Ahn, Jennifer Henderson, Michael Nedelman, Cheri Mossburg, Ryan Prior, Lauren del Valle and Elizabeth Stuart contributed to this report.