Friday Stats and More

Based on the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker here is the FEHBlog’s chart of new weekly COVID cases for 2021 using Thursday as the first day of the week.

New cases are trending down. Here is a link to weekly COVID hospitalizations and here is the FEHBlog’s chart of new weekly COVID deaths for 2021:

Here is the FEHBlog’s chart of weekly COVID vaccinations distributed and administered over the 51st week of 2020 through the 38th week of 2021 again using Thursday as the first day of the week.

As of today, 64.5% of the U.S population eligible to be vaccinated and 83.1% of the U.S. population over age 65 are fully vaccinated. Here is a link to the CDC’s interpretation of its COVID statistics which happily is released on Fridays.

Following up on the CDC advisory committee’s decision, the CDC Director Rochelle Walensky issued her final decision last night. Here’s a link to MedPage Today’s report on the Director’s decision. The FEHBlog thinks that this Wall Street Journal best sums up the Director’s action:

An FDA outside panel last week hedged by backing boosters only for those over age 65 or at “high risk.” FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock on Wednesday endorsed this recommendation, but she defined “high risk” broadly to include workers who might have higher Covid exposure. 

But experts on a CDC advisory panel on Thursday disagreed with her decision. Some said young, healthy people were at low risk for severe illness, so boosters weren’t necessary. Others worried that recommending boosters broadly would send the message that vaccines didn’t work. But the CDC’s job is to make decisions based on public health costs and benefits, and our guess is that tens of millions who are vaccinated will want booster shots as breakthrough cases increase. 

Dr. Walensky overruled the CDC advisers and affirmed Dr. Woodcock’s recommendation, which is broad enough that most people who want a booster should be able to get one. The government will leave individuals to assess their own benefits and risks.

Finally the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force released more guidance today on the President’s executive order directing federal government contractors and subcontractors to implement a vaccine mandate for their employees.

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