The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States has risen exponentially in recent weeks despite some breakthrough in medical researches to combat the disease as the UK government already approved the use of Pfizer’s Vaccine starting from next week.
According to reports from Reuters, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that the coronavirus pandemic is still raging with unprecedented fury throughout the country which could lead to a serious health crisis over the next few months even before vaccines are eventually approved and made publicly available.
As the winter season draws closer, this period is thought to be much more devastating and could result in the disease spreading even farther making the CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield call the winter to be the most difficult time for public health.
According to him, he urged the need for a much stricter adherence and precautionary measures which includes face coverings, good hand hygiene as well as social distancing which is meant to slow the spread of the disease which is said to be resulting the loss of lives of more than 2000 people in the U.S. everyday.
The sober message from one of the nation’s top health officers followed Thanksgiving holiday observances in which millions of Americans disregarded warnings to avoid travel and large gatherings even as COVID infections and hospitalizations surged largely unchecked.
As the health crisis continues to rise, Redfield stated that the country might face the prospect of a healthcare system which could be so overwhelmed to the level of collapse.
The number of cases has surged exponentially in recent times and contagion is said to have reached every corners of the country with some 90% of all hospitals in areas designated as coronavirus “Hot Zones” even as the disease continues to spread.
“The reality is that December, January and February are going to be rough times,” Redfield told a livestream presentation hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation.”
One of the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic is the loss of millions of jobs and many small businesses being put out of business because of the lockdown measures in place. Also multiple businesses had to go entirely remote with activities being carried out over the internet.
This prompted a roundtable talk with workers and small business owners who have been hard hit by the effects of the pandemic on economy by the U.S. President-elect Joe Biden who stated that this month of December will be much harder based on forecasts on further effects of the disease.
“Christmas is going to be a lot harder. I don’t want to scare anybody here, but understand the facts – we’re likely to lose another 250,000 people dead between now and January. You hear me?” Biden said.
As of now, there have been well over 270,000 fatal cases of the COVID-19 in the United States alone and according to the University of Washington’s influential Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the death toll has been predicted to rise to almost 450,000 by 1st of March 2021 if stricter measures aren’t put in place to curb the spread.
Progress made on the coronavirus Vaccines
Meanwhile the UK government has approved the emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine which is a sign that the U.S. government might as well follow this route pretty sooner.
With the constant increase in the number of hospitalizations in the country jumping through the roof, the U.S. government might also give an emergency approval for either of the currently successfully tried COVID-19 vaccines from big pharmaceutical giants such as Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca all which have gotten about 90% positive results on efficacy.
The UK Government further mentioned that it would start inoculating high-risk people early next week before going public.
“This should be very reassuring. An independent regulatory authority in another country has found this vaccine to be safe and effective for use,” U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar told Fox Business Network on Wednesday.
The British approval is also likely to “put a little pressure on” U.S. regulators to move swiftly, said Kirsten Hokeness, an immunology and virology expert at Bryant University in Rhode Island.
Regulations and public defiance of Vaccines
According to a CDC advisory committee’s recommendation on Tuesday stated that medical workers and residents of long-term care facilities should be the ones to first receive initial doses of the vaccines when approved in the country.
Majority of health care workers are constantly staying very close to people who have the disease and considering the way the disease spread, it doesn’t necessarily have to do with viral load in the patient.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States hit record for a fourth consecutive day on Tuesday as numbers was quickly approaching 100,000 according to Reuters.
At the same time, exhausted healthcare professionals are short-staffed, with many of their colleagues falling sick.
Meanwhile the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel of outside advisers are going to be meeting by Dec. 10th in order to discuss the emergency-use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine.
While some U.S. health officials described a rollout timeline that assumed FDA authorization would come within days of the Dec. 10 meeting, FDA officials have said it could take weeks.
Meanwhile the three successful COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have started manufacturing with distribution said to begin almost immediately upon approval.
In the case of AstraZeneca a U.K. based pharmaceutical giant, it might need to conduct an additional trial in order to gain the U.S. approval due to a dosing error led to better results in recently released data than for its planned regimen.
Beyond regulatory hurdles, vaccinations face opposition from significant numbers of Americans who reject medical science and fear vaccines as harmful.
Just as such, many Americans still refuse the basic public health guidance on wearing face masks as well as avoiding crowds.
In hopes of increasing compliance, the CDC on Wednesday added new guidelines to shorten the duration of quarantines.
According to the Health agency, it stated that 7 days with a negative COVID-19 test and 10 days without a test should be the time for self isolation for individuals who are showing no symptoms after exposure to the virus even though it still recommends a 14s day quarantine as the most preferable.
For more information about the COVID-19, please visit the US CDC for more.