In this week’s video, I go through the state of COVID worldwide. South America has the highest rate of new infections in the world. Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Columbia, and Chile are all in the top 10 in recent cases per 100,000 residents. Cases in India are declining from the peak reached in early May, but the situation is still terrible.
Japan is an area of concern, particularly since the Olympics are scheduled there for next month. Only 5.2% of the country has been vaccinated, putting the country way behind schedule. At this time, the CDC has recommended that all travel to Japan be avoided. The current plan is to limit Olympic spectators to residents of Japan.
Meanwhile, in the United States, case numbers continue to plummet. We are seeing the lowest number of daily new cases in almost a year. Half of all people in the U.S. have started the vaccination process and 40% are fully vaccinated. The U.K. variant has taken over in the cases we are seeing.
Also, this week, I take a look at research that helps answer the question of how long immunity will last and another study on the effect of boosters. Baylor’s Dr. Robert Atmar is leading a national multi-center study on boosters. The study will look at antibody responses to the original strain and variant strains, and whether you can get a different vaccine for a booster. First participants already have been enrolled.
It was an exciting week at Baylor for another reason – fully vaccinated employees are now able to go unmasked in non-healthcare settings. It was a nice sign of getting back to normal. If you have not been vaccinated or know someone who has not yet been vaccinated, please encourage them to do so. It will make the return to normal come much faster.
Have a great weekend. Stay safe!
Paul Klotman, M.D.
President & CEO