Long queues in US vax centres amid Omicron scare

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The report pointed out that the demand for vaccines grew from an average of under-a-million doses a day to an average of 1.5 million a day in recent weeks,…reports Asian Lite News

Omicron cases rising across the US led to queues across vaccination centres across several states, news agency the New York Times reported.

The nation has witnessed several debates about vaccines and inoculation mandates, with a section of people questioning the need for vaccines altogether.

The report pointed out that the demand for vaccines grew from an average of under-a-million doses a day to an average of 1.5 million a day in recent weeks, citing data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report also highlighted that many among those queuing across vaccination centres are there for their first dose.

The new variant was identified in more than a dozen Americans in at least 10 US states as of this weekend, early evidence of its presence across the country, as the federal government fights the pandemic with a consistent vaccination campaign, including broader use of vaccines.

Some of the people in the US who have contracted the new variant had recently travelled to southern Africa, where it was first identified, while at least two states reported community spread of the new variant. States to report Omicron cases span the country from Hawaii to California and New York.

“It’s certainly spreading in the US,” said Samuel Scarpino, managing director of pathogen surveillance at the Rockefeller Foundation, according to reports by The Wall Street Journal, which also said that US officials expect vaccines to provide at least some level of protection against severe disease from the Omicron.

The Washington Post said Saturday in an analysis article that, though about 1 in 420 Americans has died of Covid-19 and the country is still averaging more than 1,000 deaths per day, death rates are far below the national average in the most-vaccinated, often-urban areas.

“While the most-vaccinated states are significantly, incontrovertibly and increasingly better off than the less-vaccinated states, the difference is even starker at the county and city level — and even as many of these highly vaccinated counties also happen to be the most densely populated,” said the report.

Meanwhile, much has been written about the yawning gap in outcomes between less-vaccinated and more-vaccinated areas, especially as deaths in less-vaccinated, red states significantly and increasingly outpace more-vaccinated, blue states. Deaths in red counties are more than 50 per cent higher than in blue counties, it added.

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