How long do I have to wait until I’m protected by the vaccine?

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  • More than 4 million people have died from COVID-19 globally.
  • More than half of U.S. adults are now fully vaccinated.
  • COVID-19 cases remain high in some parts of the world, like India, where few people have been vaccinated.

Update on COVID-19 numbers

  • Globally, there have been more than 187.6 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 4 million associated deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • The United States has reported more than 33.9 million confirmed cases and more than 607,000 associated deaths.
  • Currently, more than 184.5 million people in the United States have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose. More than 159.6 million people are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

Healthline updates this page on weekdays. For up-to-date information about the virus, go here.

7/13/21 3:10 p.m. PDT — Health officials want to investigate COVID-19 booster shots for side effects

The United States is reviewing the need for a third COVID-19 booster shot among people who have already been vaccinated, but more data is needed to know whether additional shots could increase the risk of serious side effects, a U.S. health official said today, reported Reuters.

The official added that the second dose for two-shot COVID-19 vaccine regimens was associated with higher rates of side effects, and suggested a third dose might come with more serious side effects.

“We’re keenly interested in knowing whether or not a third dose may be associated with any higher risk of adverse reactions, particularly some of those more severe — although very rare — side effects,” said Jay Butler, deputy director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during a media briefing, reported Reuters.

According to Reuters, Butler also said he hasn’t seen evidence of waning immunity to the coronavirus among U.S. residents who received vaccinations in December or January.

He said existing vaccines provide significant protection against the coronavirus delta variant, which has become the dominant variant in the United States.

COVID-19 outbreak tied to Ohio church retreat

A COVID-19 outbreak was reported among attendees of a church retreat, officials announced, reported ABC News.

Health officials confirmed at least 30 positive cases have been identified in people who took part in the event.

According to ABC, Dayton and Montgomery County Public Health said more than 800 people attended the Baptist Church retreat in Miamisburg, Ohio, from June 27 to July 3.

Dr. Michael Dohn, medical director for Dayton & Montgomery County Public Health, spoke about his concern, reported ABC.

“Unvaccinated people, including children under 12 years of age, are up to 100 times more likely to get sick after exposure to COVID-19 compared to fully vaccinated individuals,” he said.

“The outbreak demonstrates that the COVID-19 virus is still circulating and continues to make people sick,” Dohn added.https://c3dc38431e4a04a4f0245b84da8482b0.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

7/12/21 3:58 p.m. PDT — FDA to add warning about rare neurological disorder to Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to add a warning to the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine saying that it may lead to a slightly increased risk of a rare nerve disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome, according to The New York Times.

Officials have detected about 100 suspected cases of the nerve disorder in the 12.8 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines administered in the United States.

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare neurological disorder in which the immune system attacks part of the nervous system.

Symptoms can include mild, temporary weakness and tingling to more serious issues, including some cases of paralysis. Most people recover from even serious cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome.

An estimated 3,000 to 6,000 peopleTrusted Source develop Guillain-Barré syndrome every year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

COVID-19 cases increase nearly 50% in U.S.

As the coronavirus delta variant rapidly spreads, U.S. “hot spots” have seen rising cases.

The United States is averaging about 19,455 new COVID-19 cases over the last 7 days, a 47 percent increase from the week prior, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, reported CNN.

“In places like Missouri where ICUs are packed, you’re going to see a surprising amount of death,” CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner told CNN.

At Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, more than 90 percent of ICU patients are on ventilators. Many patients are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, Erik Frederick, chief administrative officer, told CNN July 11.

This is especially concerning, he explained, because during last year’s peak, there were only 40 to 50 percent of ICU patients on ventilators.

According to Reiner, rising COVID-19 death rates typically follow 3 to 4 weeks behind spikes in cases. It takes a week for people to get sick enough to need hospitalization, and then often another couple of weeks for the infection to become fatal, reported CNN.

“We will start to see an increase in mortality in this country,” Reiner said.

Rare case shows it’s possible to contract 2 coronavirus variants at same time, says expert

Scientists have found evidence that it’s possible to contract two different coronavirus variants at the same time.

Researchers from Belgium have presented a case study of an unvaccinated older woman who was found to have infections with both the alpha and beta coronavirus variants.

Experts presented the case study at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases this weekend, announcing it’s believed to be the first known case of double infection, which underscores the need to be alert to this possibility.

The research has not yet been peer-reviewed.

The 90-year-old patient died in a hospital in Belgium in March.

“This is one of the first documented cases of co-infection with two SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern,” said lead study author and molecular biologist Dr. Anne Vankeerberghen from the OLV Hospital in Aalst, Belgium, in a statement.

“Both these variants were circulating in Belgium at the time, so it is likely that the lady was co-infected with different viruses from two different people. Unfortunately, we don’t know how she became infected,” she said.

Israel will start giving COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to high-risk adults

Israel has become the first country to start giving COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, according to The Washington Post.

The Israel’s Ministry of Health is giving booster shots only to severely immunocompromised adults.

In the United States, the CDC has said there’s not enough evidence that booster shots are needed.

However, Pfizer and BioNTech have said they will ask for emergency use authorization for their COVID-19 booster shots.

7/9/21 2:57 p.m. PDT — Booster shots not yet needed, CDC-FDA joint statement says

On July 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a joint statement regarding whether fully vaccinated people in the United States require a “booster” shot of COVID-19 vaccine.

“The United States is fortunate to have highly effective vaccines that are widely available for those aged 12 and up,” reads the statement. “People who are fully vaccinated are protected from severe disease and death, including from the variants currently circulating in the country such as delta.”

The CDC and FDA also emphasized that people who are not vaccinated remain at risk, and “virtually all” COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are among unvaccinated people.

“We encourage Americans who have not yet been vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves and their community,” advised the agencies.

In a statement to CNN today, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, “We don’t know whether booster vaccines will be needed to maintain protection against COVID-19 until additional data is collected,” adding that “limited data available on how long the protection from current doses lasts and whether an additional booster dose would be beneficial and for whom.”

Pfizer, BioNTech ask for emergency authorization for booster shots

While the FDA and CDC say U.S. people do not need a booster shot at this time, Pfizer and BioNTech are already planning to ask for authorization to start administering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, according to Reuters.

The pharma companies will ask that a booster shot be allowed under emergency circumstances due to a greater risk of infection about 6 months after the vaccine and due to the rise of new, more infectious variants.

CDC says vaccinated students, teachers don’t need to wear masks

CDC officials have released new back-to-school guidelinesTrusted Source about how to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

The CDC now prioritizes reopening schools to avoid learning loss for children.

While vaccinations are recommended for those eligible, the CDC also has guidance for what teachers and school officials can do to cut down on the risk of transmitting the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Among its recommendations, the CDC is advising unvaccinated students and teachers to stay masked indoors, and that physical distancing measures be used to decrease the risk of transmission.

The CDC says students and teachers don’t need masks outdoors. Additionally, the CDC says testing measures should be used to ensure an outbreak isn’t missed.

7/8/21 3:41 p.m. PDT — Global COVID-19 deaths top 4 million

Eighteen months into the COVID-19 pandemic, its death toll has now topped 4 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

While cases have slowed in some countries, like the United States and United Kingdom, due to vaccinations, low vaccination rates and new, more infectious variants have led to a surge in cases in other areas.

Fauci says healthy vaccinated people don’t need to mask indoors

Dr. Anthony FauciTrusted Source, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, clarified his statements about wearing a mask while being fully vaccinated.

In an interview set to air tomorrow, July 9, on SiriusXM Doctor Radio’s “Doctor Radio Reports” with Dr. Marc Siegel, Fauci said most vaccinated people will be safe without needing to wear a mask.

“If you’re a healthy person, you really don’t have to wear a mask indoor or outdoors because the protection that’s afforded to you by the vaccines that we have available, particularly the mRNA vaccines that are 94 and 95 percent effective,” he said. “You’re really very, very highly protected.”

Fauci clarified that in a previous interview he had mentioned that in rare cases, vaccinated people living in places with low vaccination rates may want to consider going the “extra mile” depending on the state of their health.

“I said, depending on your personal situation, you… might want to consider wearing a mask even if you are fully vaccinated,” he said.

“For example, someone who’s an elderly person who may not actually have a full robust protection, even though the protection is very, very high, or someone with an underlying condition,” he said.

FDA approval for vaccines could be this month, says expert

Twenty-four states have seen COVID-19 cases increase by at least 10 percent over the past week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Health experts and the federal government are pressing for more people to get vaccinated, reported CNN, and the delta variant has only increased the pressure.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates, the delta variant accounted for nearly 52 percent of all new COVID-19 cases in the United States over the last 2 weeks that ended July 3.

“We should think about the delta variant as the 2020 version of COVID-19 on steroids,” Andy Slavitt, a former senior adviser to Joe Biden’s COVID Response Team, told CNN. “It’s twice as infectious. Fortunately, unlike 2020, we actually have a tool that stops the delta variant in its tracks: It’s called vaccine.”

Slavitt also explained that for fully vaccinated people, the delta variant “presents very little threat to you, very unlikely that you’re gonna get sick.”

According to Slavitt and other experts, full approval for COVID-19 vaccines from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) might encourage more people to get vaccinated, reported CNN.

According to the network, Slavitt added that full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could come as early as this month.

Tokyo bans Olympic spectators amid COVID-19 emergency

The Tokyo Olympics will take place without spectators, organizers said today, as rising infections force Japan to declare a state of emergency in the capital that will continue throughout the event, reported Reuters.

According to Reuters, although widely expected, this move still marks a sharp turnabout from weeks before, when organizers claimed they wanted to hold the global sporting showpiece with some spectators.

“It is regrettable that we are delivering the Games in a very limited format, facing the spread of coronavirus infections,” Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said following talks between government officials, Tokyo organizers, and Olympic and Paralympic representatives, reported Reuters. “I am sorry for those who purchased tickets.”

7/7/21 2:43 p.m. PDT — COVID-19 vaccines protect against latest variant, says White House

The White House issued a vote of confidence that COVID-19 vaccines are effective against a new coronavirus variant that’s causing concern among health experts.

The new variant is called lambda. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called it a “variant of interest” because it has mutated in a way that might make it more transmissible among humans, and it may not be affected by “neutralizing antibodies” produced inside the body by the vaccines, reported Yahoo! News.

“I’ll certainly leave it to doctors to discuss this, but early data suggests that the vaccines continue to work against the variants, including this variant, and that’s why we’ve been focusing so much on increasing vaccinations across the country,” press secretary Jen Psaki said in a White House briefing yesterday.

She emphasized that, as with every variant, getting vaccinated is the “best way” to protect yourself and others, and the administration will continue to assess data as it becomes more widely available.

Global health officials are also downplaying the lambda variant as a major new threat as the pandemic wanes in the United States and across the world, according to Yahoo.

“So far, we have seen no indication that the lambda variant is more aggressive,” Jairo Mendez-Rico, PhD, a WHO virologist, told a German media outlet, reported Yahoo! News. “It is possible that it may exhibit higher infection rates, but we don’t yet have enough reliable data to compare it to gamma or delta.”

Biden warns nation that millions are still unvaccinated

In a July 6 briefing, President Biden again pushed for all eligible people in the United States to get vaccinated against COVID-19, emphasizing the importance of being protected against the rapidly spreading delta variant.

“So, if you’re vaccinated, you’re protected. But if you’re unvaccinated, you’re not, and you’re putting yourself and more importantly maybe, from your perspective, your family and your friends at risk,” Biden said. “So, please get vaccinated now. It works. It’s free. And it’s never been easier, and it’s never been more important.”

During the briefing

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