A hospital in Southern California is facing the possibility of legalizing the limited number of intensive care beds and treatment equipment due to the increase in the number of cases, which means that health care providers may have to make decisions about who receives treatment and who does not, infectious disease specialist Dr. Kimberly Schreiner told CNN on Sunday.
Shriner said Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena is preparing for “final triage” if cases continue to rise in the coming weeks.
And with waves of holiday travel, health experts predict that cases will only increase. More than 1.1 million people were screened at airports on Saturday, according to the TSA. More than 616,000 were screened on Christmas Day alone, and hundreds of thousands traveled in the days leading up to the holiday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci described the potential effects of the holiday season as “an excess of troop”.
“If you look at the slope, the slope of the cases that we went through in the late fall and soon with the advent of winter, that’s really worrisome,” Fauci said.
He added: “As we approach the next few weeks, things may get worse.”
The complexity of each step of inoculum distribution
Nearly two million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and more than 9.5 million doses have been distributed.
In response to a question about the apparent slowdown in the introduction of vaccines, Fauci told CNN on Sunday that large and comprehensive vaccination programs with a new vaccine start slowly before gaining momentum.
“I am quite confident that as we gain more and more momentum, as we move from December to January and then from February to March, I think we will catch up with expectations,” he said.
Dr. Esther Chu, professor of emergency medicine at the University of Oregon Health and Science, explained that vaccine dispensing is “just a very complicated thing”.
“In every step, there is complexity and there is the possibility of delays, whether it is individual country planning, allocation, training, vaccine supply or storage … there are a lot of factors at this stage,” Chu said.
“We need to be prepared for the fact that it will be a slow spread in many places and that it will not change our behavior or necessarily the course of the epidemic in this country in the short term,” Chu said.
With vaccines likely not being widely available until the summer, American experts caution not to let their guard down as vaccinations start, continue to wear masks, social distancing, avoid gatherings and gatherings, and wash their hands regularly.
Triggering herd immunity targets
Fauci said Sunday that for the vaccines to really take hold and bring about herd immunity to the virus, 70% to 85% of the population will need to have immunity to it.
Fauci acknowledged that the statement was moving the goalposts, which he had previously set at 70% to 75%.
“We have to realize that we must be humble and realize what we do not know,” he said. “These are pure estimates and the calculations I’ve made, 70 to 75%. It’s a range.”
“The range will be somewhere between 70 and 85%,” Fauci said, adding that the reason he first started saying 70% to 75% and then buying it up to 85%, which he said was not a big jump was really based on calculations and pure extrapolation from measles. “.
Fauci said the measles vaccine is 98% effective, and when less than 90% of the population is vaccinated against measles, progression against herd immunity begins and people start getting infected.
“So, I calculated that Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, is not transmissible like measles, measles is the most transmissible infection you can imagine,” he said. “So, I imagine you’ll need something a little under 90%, and that’s where I got to 85.”
“We believe that the vaccine will be effective against the alternative.”
Although there is a threat from a different type of Coronavirus making its way from the United Kingdom to the United States, a US official said Americans are still able to protect themselves with the same mitigation measures.
“We believe a vaccine will be effective against this alternative,” US Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services Admiral Brett Giroyer told Fox News on Sunday.
Giorer said the United States has an extra layer of protection from the CDC’s announcement last week of new testing requirements for travelers from the United Kingdom, which will take effect on Monday.
Passengers must have a PCR test or negative antigen test within 72 hours of boarding a flight from the UK to the US, along with documenting their laboratory results. Airlines will be required to confirm testing prior to flight.
“I think we will be very safe with these drugs, once again we are launching vaccines that will be very effective against all the strains that are out there,” Gerwier told Fox.
Although Fauci said the decision should have been argued earlier, he described the test requirements as “wise”.
CNN’s Christina Maxoris, Holly Silverman, Naomi Thomas, Virginia Langmid and Pete Montaigne contributed to this report.