Fourth Covid wave hitting US despite aggressive vaccine campaign

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A fourth wave of coronavirus appears to be hitting the US just as the nation ramped up vaccine availability in a massive campaign against the disease. New cases jumped by double digits over the past week at the same time that various states lowered age eligibility for residents to get the jab.

The US has seen an average of 65,000 new cases over the past seven days, which is up 10,000 cases daily since the last low point about two weeks ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The latest figure is far below the height of the third wave in January when a quarter-million people contracted the virus. However, officials are pleading that Americans not act like the pandemic is ending.

‘I’m going to lose the script, and I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom. We have so much to look forward to so much promise and potential of where we are, and so much reason for hope,’ CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said during a White House briefing on Monday.

‘But right now I’m scared,’ she continued while fighting back tears. ‘We do not have the luxury of inaction.’

Walensky issued the warning as the US surpassed 30million coronavirus cases and more than 151,000 deaths, according to John Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

Coronavirus cases are surging in about half of the states, with New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Connecticut and Pennsylvania seeing the biggest spikes.

The potential fourth wave is shaping up although more than 148million coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered across the country, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. Numerous states including Pennsylvania and South Dakota have opened vaccines to people of all ages, while other states have lowered the qualifying age. New York on Tuesday lowered eligibility to residents 30 years and older.

Despite millions of Americans getting vaccinated, the surge is outpacing the move toward herd immunity.

‘The war against Covid-19 is far from won. This is deadly serious,’ President Joe Biden said from the White House on Monday. ‘If we let our guard down now, we could see a virus getting worse, not better.’

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