Resources mentioned during the episode:
- Deaths here in the US have been rising slowly – we’re now at 572k
- U.S. cases are now at 32 million
- Highest daily cases are currently in MI, NJ and PA
- In terms of vaccinations, the pace is slowing recently, with fewer than 3 million given per day in the last week after a peak of around 3.3 million
- We now have 29% of eligible Americans vaccinated, and 42% with at least one dose
- Globally, one billion shots have been administered, but with 8 billion people on the planet, we have a very long way to go.
Canada is struggling as Ontario hits an all-time Covid positivity rate of 10.9%. The military has been deployed to support mitigation efforts with medical and other resources, including field hospitals. Vaccine supply is also an issue and will hopefully ramp up in May.
- India is averaging 300k new cases and 2-3k deaths per day
- Some are dying from suffocation simply due to a lack of available oxygen in hospitals in the capital of Delhi as well as other cities, not to mention a shortage of ventilators
- Concerns over a “double mutant”, B.1.617 contains genetic mutations found in two difficult-to-control versions of the virus (one is the dominant strain in South Africa, and the other is the highly contagious variant that plagued California)
- The Philippines, the US, Britain, Canada, Singapore, and other countries are restricting commercial flights from India at this time.
- Australia is donating ventilators,
- The US is donating raw materials for vaccine production, as well as 60 million doses of Astra Zeneca, a vaccine of which we have a large supply but has not been approved for us here by the FDA
- The WHO has deployed 2600 staff to India
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just took a major step, relaxing the rules on mask-wearing outdoors as coronavirus cases recede and people increasingly chafe against restrictions.
The mask guidance is modest and carefully written: Americans who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus no longer need to wear a mask outdoors while walking, running, hiking or biking alone, or when in small gatherings, including with members of their own households. Masks are still necessary in crowded outdoor venues like sports stadiums.
“High-income countries, representing just a fifth of the global adult population, have purchased more than half of all vaccine doses, resulting in disparities between adult population share and doses purchased for all other country income groups. We find that although high-income countries only account for 19% of the global adult population, collectively, they have purchased more than half (54%, or 4.6 billion) of global vaccine doses purchased to date. Of the remaining doses, 33% have been purchased by low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), who account for 81% of the global adult population; an additional 13% have been purchased by COVAX. Looking by country income group, the largest disparity between doses purchased and population share is for lower-middle-income countries (37% of the global population vs. 12% of purchased doses, or 989 million doses), followed closely by upper-middle-income countries (37% vs. 18%, or 1.5 billion doses).
“The disparity is even more pronounced when looking at the share who could be vaccinated. While enough vaccine doses have been purchased to cover more than 80% of the adult population, high-income countries own enough doses to vaccinate more than twice their populations while LMICs can only cover one-third.
“Providing all COVAX doses to LMICs could help but would still leave vaccines out of reach for most of the global population. COVAX, which currently accounts for 13% (1.12 billion) of the total number of global doses purchased, has not yet finalized the distribution plan for its full supply, though most doses are expected to be distributed to LMICs.”
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