Coronavirus, COVID-19, coronavirus variants, and vaccine updates for 10-20-2021

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This is Coronavirus 411, the latest COVID-19 info and new hotspots for October 20th, 2021.

Cases are going down worldwide, but in many countries, you certainly wouldn’t know it. For instance, some scientists are calling on the U.K. government to reimpose social restrictions and speed boosters as infection rates, which are Europe’s highest, keep going up. Russia had another daily record of deaths, and the country might declare a nonworking week. Romania hit daily records for infections and deaths…vaccine uptake is very low there. Latvia is going into a nearly monthlong lockdown that includes a curfew, with a vaccination rate that’s among the lowest in the EU. The Czechs just had the highest daily tally since late April. Poland is reporting an increase of almost 85% in new cases compared to the previous week. And New Zealand counted its most new cases of the pandemic Tuesday even as Auckland is in a two-month lockdown.

U.S. federal regulators are expected to authorize mixing and matching booster doses this week. The idea is to provide more flexibility and get more boosters into more arms. The FDA is expected to say using the same brand is preferable, especially for Pfizer and Moderna, but studies have found an extra dose of any type revs up antibody levels.

Yes, fully vaccinated people can still transmit the virus, but how likely is it that will happen? A new study shows not very likely. Experts at the University of Colorado School of Medicine examined several studies on breakthrough cases and concluded the CDC guidance on transmission from those cases may have been overstated. The study saw definitive proof the infected vaccinated pass along much less virus than the unvaccinated. This could affect guidance on mask requirements in the future.

News you don’t want to hear, a newly detected variant that’s an offshoot of Delta appears to be rising in England. You may start hearing about AY.4.2. Now, experts at the University of Cambridge say the two mutations involved should not be of concern because they don’t have that large of an effect on the virus. But it could be 10-15% more transmissible than the original Delta.

In the United States cases were down 20%, deaths are down 11%, and hospitalizations are down 19% over 14 days. The 7-day average of new cases has been trending down since September 13.

There are 9,584,770 active cases in the United States.

With not all states reporting daily numbers, the five states with the greatest increase in hospitalizations per capita: Michigan 26%, Minnesota 20%, New Hampshire 15%, Colorado 14%, and Montana 10%.

The top 10 counties with the highest number of recent cases per capita according to The New York Times: Lake, MT. Goshen, WY. Stark, ND. Hill, MT. Waynesboro, VA. Lewis and Clark, MT. Arenac, MI. Todd, MN. Hale, AL. And Orleans, VT.

There have been at least 726,538 deaths in the U.S. recorded as Covid-related.

The top 3 vaccinating states by percentage of population that’s been fully vaccinated: Vermont at 70.6%, and Connecticut and Rhode Island unchanged at 69.9%. The bottom 3 vaccinating states are West Virginia still unchanged at 40.8%, Idaho unchanged at 42.9%, and Wyoming unchanged at 43%. The percentage of the U.S. that’s been fully vaccinated is unchanged at 57%.

The top five countries with a 24-hour increase in the number of fully vaccinated people: Oceana up 3%. Taiwan, South Korea, and Bangladesh 2%. And Australia 1%.

Globally, cases were down 8% and deaths were down 12% over 14 days, with the 7-day average trending down since August 26.

There are 17,765,495 active cases around the world.

The five countries with the most new cases: The United States 53,135. The U.K. 49,018. Russia 34,325. Turkey 29,240. And India 12,338.

There have been at least 4,909,698 deaths reported as...


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