Key COVID-19 indicators in the United States have been on the rise this week with daily new cases marking a nearly 40 percent increase. Health agencies and experts have urged the public to get a booster dose to better protect themselves from infection.
The United States has recorded an average of about 120,000 daily new cases this week, an increase of nearly 40 percent compared to a week before, according to data updated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday.
Currently, two variants, Omicron and Delta, are classified as "Variants of Concern" in the United States. Delta remains the predominant variant in the United States, causing over 99 percent of all the infection cases in the country.
The Omicron variant currently accounts for less than 0.1 percent of variants circulating in the United States, according to the CDC.
COVID-19 hospitalizations increased about 40 percent compared to last month.
The country currently averages about 7,500 daily hospital admissions, a 15.9 percent increase from the prior week, according to the CDC.
An average of about 1,000 daily deaths were reported this week in the country, an increase of 27.8 percent compared with the previous week.
The CDC urges everyone ages 18 years and over to get a COVID-19 booster dose.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday authorized the booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to individuals 16 and 17 years of age.
On Nov. 19, the FDA authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech booster for all individuals 18 years of age and older after completion of primary vaccination with any FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine. The new move on Thursday has expanded the age group eligible for the booster dose.
"As people gather indoors with family and friends for the holidays, we can't let up on all the preventive public health measures that we have been taking during the pandemic," said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock on Thursday.
With both the Delta and Omicron variants continuing to spread, vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19, Woodcock said.
About 201.2 million people, or 60.6 percent of the total U.S. population, have been fully vaccinated as of Friday. About 51.7 million booster doses in fully vaccinated people have been reported, according to CDC data.
Published : December 11, 2021
By : Xinhua