Axios reported on May 6 that 20 of the United States have declined in reported cases of COV19 and only 10 have increased slightly. The sharpest declines were reported in NJ (40%) and Connecticut (30%). The New York Post reported that as of May 2, less than 1.5 % of NY State’s population tested positive for Covid for the first time since Nov. 6, 2020. Hospitalizations and death rates continue to decline in the US as well. Axios reported that as of May 6, 41% of American adults were fully vaccinated. Both articles attribute the declining infections rates to this effort. A Bloomberg article posted on May 6 reports that COV19 incidence is down 96% in the UK and 99% in Israel due to high levels of vaccination.
Meanwhile, in much of the world, there has been an alarming spike in new infections. According to the World Health Organization, the number of COV19 cases reported worldwide in the last two weeks of April exceeded the total of confirmed infections during the first six months of the pandemic (New York Daily News report, May 3) . India and Brazil have been the hardest hit and are severely lacking in resources to care for the sick. The WHO is calling on other nations to share vaccines and medical supplies with those being hardest hit. President Biden pledged to send multiple military transports to India with oxygen and medical supplies. Although the WHO states that the lack of vaccines are “part of the problem” these outbreaks have raised fears of new variants that may be vaccine resistant popping up across the world.
Surprisingly, the most highly vaccinated nation in the world, Seychelles, is among those experiencing a recent surge in cases. While over 62% of their adult population is fully vaccinated, they saw an almost 75% increase in active cases in the last week of April. Sixteen percent of those who became ill were tourists, two thirds of whom were not fully vaccinated, There was a slight relaxing of restrictions during Easter and the presence of the South African B.1.351 variant was found in Seychelle in February. In spite of these possible contributing factors, the question remains why this surge in Seychelles? Over 50% of the adult population received the Sinopharm vaccine and the remainder, a version of the AstraZeneca vaccine called Covshield, which in a study proved to be less effective against the South African Covid variant. Daniel Lucey, Clinical Professor of Medicine at Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine, was quoted as saying, “Given the widespread international use of these two vaccines there are global implications to what is happening now in the Seychelles.” Much research remains to be done!