The United States is beginning to see a drop in the rate of COVID-19 infections, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).
COVID-19 cases fall: The national seven-day average of COVID-19 hospitalizations fell below 144,000 on Sunday for the first time in three weeks, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, while the seven-day average for recorded cases dipped below 500,000 for the first time since Jan. 3, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The declining numbers provide optimism that the U.S. has moved past the peak of the highly transmissible omicron variant, even as the seven-day figure for COVID-19 deaths passed 2,400 on Saturday, the highest figure since February 2021.
The omicron conundrum: Figures in the U.S. and abroad highlight the omicron variant’s relatively mild individual impact, especially on vaccinated people, as well as its high transmissibility, which led to skyrocketing case numbers and hospitalizations earlier this month. Today, the consensus among governments is that lockdowns are unlikely to stop the omicron variant, and vaccination is the most surefire way to protect people from serious illness or death.
Moderna vaccine gains full approval: More than a year after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020, the FDA gave its full approval to the drug for use in adults 18 and older. The approval makes Moderna’s vaccine, branded “Spikevax,” the second fully approved COVID-19 vaccine after the one from Pfizer.
- Spikevax by the numbers: Analysis of a 30,000-person clinical trial conducted in the summer of 2021 determined that the vaccine is 93% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19. The shot is given in two doses four weeks apart and provides protection for six months after the second dose.
Get vaxxed: Check out the This Is Our Shot project—a collaboration between the NAM and the MI—for more information about how vaccines can protect you and the people you care about from COVID-19.