Within days of the COVID-19 vaccine being licensed in the United States, most of California was headed for another lockdown on Sunday due to the spike in cases, and senior health officials warned Americans that it is not time to let your guard down.
“The vaccine is crucial,” said Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coordinator for the coronavirus response, during NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “But it is not going to save us from this current rebound. Only we can save ourselves from this rebound ”.
An advisory panel from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is scheduled to review an application Thursday to authorize the emergency use of the vaccine developed by Pfizer. The vaccination campaign could start days later, although the first supplies will be rationed and vaccines are not expected to be widely available until the spring.RELATED
Faced with what could be a catastrophic winter in the United States, senior government officials asked Americans to wear face masks, comply with social distancing measures and follow other basic rules – precautions that President Donald Trump and other members of the administration have disdained in several occasions.
“I hear members of the communities parroting those situations, repeating like parrots that the masks do not work, that we should work for herd immunity, that the meetings do not become high-spread events,” said Birx. “And I think our job is to constantly say that those are myths, that they are wrong and that you can see the evidence base.”
The virus has caused more than 280,000 deaths and more than 14.6 million confirmed cases in the United States. New infections per day have risen to all-time highs of more than 190,000 on average.
Daily deaths have risen to an average of more than 2,160, a level last seen in April, when the outbreak was centered in the New York metropolitan area. The number of Americans hospitalized for coronavirus reached 100,000 for the first time in recent days.
The death toll in the United States could reach 400,000 by the end of January, warned former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“Although things are already very bad,” he said, “they are going to get a lot worse.”
In California, the first place to implement a statewide lockdown last spring, new stay-at-home orders would take effect Sunday night in the southern part of the state, across much of the San Francisco Bay area. and in other areas.
New rules in the state of 40 million people prohibit meetings between people from different households. Retail stores, including supermarkets and shopping centers, can operate at 20% capacity. Restaurants will have to suspend their face-to-face service and beauty salons, cinemas, museums and playgrounds will have to close.
The number of beds available in California hospital intensive care units is decreasing as infections increase. State health authorities imposed the lockdown measures after intensive care capacity fell below 15% in some regions.