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The Next COVID-19 Surge Will Affect Younger People

The Next COVID-19 Surge Will Affect Younger People

By    |   Monday, 05 April 2021 10:44 AM

More than 4 million people were vaccinated against COVID-19 in the U.S. over the weekend, but experts warn that this record number of inoculations may not be enough to dampen the next surge of the virus. Experts say that younger, unvaccinated people are fueling the rise in COVID-19 cases across the country.

According to CNN, only 18.5% of Americans are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and that is not enough to stem the tide of another wave of severe illness

“I do think we still have a few more rough weeks ahead,” Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease physician and epidemiologist told CNN. “What we know from the past year of the pandemic is that we tend to trend about three to four weeks behind Europe in terms of our pandemic patterns.”

Experts fear the B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus that was first detected in the U.K. is responsible for the rise in COVID-19 cases that is currently crippling parts of Europe. This mutation is more easily transmitted and likely more deadly than the original version of the virus.

Dr. Peter J. Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and a professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, says that young people who have not been vaccinated are at increased risk for this virulent mutation.

“We have to think about the B.1.1.7 variant as almost a brand-new virus,” he told CNN. “It’s acting differently from anything we’ve seen before, in terms of transmissibility, in terms of affecting young people, so we have to take this very seriously.”

According to Business Insider, the mutation was evaluated by several university and hospital research teams and found to be between 30% and 70% more lethal than SARS-CoV-2, the original coronavirus responsible for COVID-19.

Earlier studies found that the variant doubles every 10 days and is predicted to become the dominant variant in America. It is also 35% to 45% more transmissible than other strains currently circulating in the country, which is why scientists say it could be more deadly.

The three vaccines we have in the U.S. all appear to be protective against the variant, according to reports, but at the rate B.1.1.7  is spreading, we need to ramp up the vaccination rollout for younger people to boost immunity nationwide to slow the surge.

“We’re seeing in places like Michigan that the people who are now getting hospitalized by large numbers are people in their 30s and 40s,” Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician told CNN.

It is not only Michigan that is experiencing a high number of COVID-19 cases among younger people. About one-third of the COVID-19 hospitalizations in Orange County, Florida are individuals under the age of 45, according to CNN.

But we can protect ourselves against another deadly surge of the virus, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, stated. He advised doubling down on protective safety measures such ramping up vaccinations “as expeditiously as possible.”

Hotez advises that Americans need to hold on for another four to six weeks.

“All the vaccines seem to work just as well against this U.K. B.1.1.7 variant so this is really good news,” he told CNN. “But if you’re not vaccinated, you have to behave as though you’re highly vulnerable to this virus, this is not the time to get sick.”

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More than 4 million people were vaccinated against COVID-19 in the U.S. over the weekend, but experts warn that this record number of inoculations may not be enough to dampen the next surge of the virus. Experts say that younger...
coronavirus, surge, young people
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2021-44-05
Monday, 05 April 2021 10:44 AM
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