The official global death toll from COVID-19 surged to over 4 million on Thursday, with the US continuing to lead the world on cases and deaths, but the numbers would have been much worse had the vaccines, which had received emergency approval, not been available would have been. according to a new report.
"Without a vaccination program, there would have been about 279,000 additional deaths and up to 1.25 million additional hospital admissions by the end of June 2021," according to the report produced by the Yale School of Public Health and Healthcare Foundation in the United States, The Commonwealth Fund .
However, the researchers warned that the highly transmissible Delta variant, which has become the dominant strain in the US and elsewhere, poses a serious risk to unvaccinated populations and could lead to a surge in new cases that would also reverse the trend of declining infections and deaths in the US
"Other new variants such as Delta will pose a particular threat to unvaccinated populations in the coming months."
Researchers analyzed the dynamics of transmission of the original virus, as well as the alpha, gamma, and delta variants, and included data on daily vaccine doses and results. They then ran simulation models to assess the virus trajectory with and without vaccines and found that with just half the current number of doses, there would have been nearly 121,000 additional deaths and more than 450,000 additional hospital admissions.
"If there hadn't been a vaccination program, daily deaths from COVID-19 during a second 'Spring Rise 2021' would have potentially risen to nearly 4,500 deaths per day – dwarfing the daily high of 4,000 observed during the first winter spike in 2021. “Researchers closed.
"Our results show the extraordinary effect of rapidly vaccinating large sections of the population in preventing hospitalizations and deaths," the researchers wrote.
"However, additional new varieties such as Delta will pose a particular threat to unvaccinated populations in the coming months," the researchers added. "A renewed commitment to expanding vaccine access will be critical to deliver the higher levels of vaccination needed to control the pandemic and prevent preventable suffering, especially for those in historically underserved populations and areas of the US with low vaccination rates."
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The rapid spread of the Delta variant has caused global concern and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was responsible for more than half of the most recent new cases in the United States. The vaccines used in the US – the two-dose vaccines developed by Pfizer, yes
and German partner BioNTech
and a single dose regimen developed by Johnson & Johnson
– offer protection against all variants, including Delta, but many Americans have not yet been vaccinated because they do not have access or because they refuse to go for political or religious reasons.
Last month, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Officer of President Joe Biden, reported that more than nine out of ten COVID deaths occurred in unvaccinated people. And cases are increasing fastest in states with low vaccination rates.
Source: Johns Hopkins University
The CDC's vaccine tracker shows that nearly 158 million Americans are fully vaccinated, which is 47.6% of the population. Of adults aged 18 and over, 58% are fully vaccinated, while 67.2% have received at least one dose.
Elsewhere, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, powered by the Delta variant, South Korea recorded its highest single-day case number of the pandemic to date, with 1,275 cases in the 24 hours to midnight on Wednesday.
Thailand reported a daily record death toll of 75, the Guardian reported. In Japan, the International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers are expected to announce a total ban on spectators for the upcoming games after a state of emergency to contain infections, the Associated Press reported.
In the UK, more than 4,000 scientists, doctors, nurses and other professionals signed a letter condemning the government's plan to reopen fully on July 19, CNN reported. "We consider this decision to be dangerous and premature," they wrote in a letter to the medical journal Lancet.
The UK counted more than 32,000 new COVID cases on Wednesday and has seen an increase since early July, driven by the Delta variant. However, the government has pointed to their high vaccination rate, with around 86% of adult residents receiving at least one dose of vaccine and around 65% fully vaccinated to lift restrictions.
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Dr. Mike Ryan, head of the World Health Organization's emergency program, urged governments during a briefing in Geneva this week not to "lose the profits you have made".
Ryan said it was a "dangerous assumption" that countries that have vaccinated large parts of their populations can control spikes in hospital admissions and deaths.
The global number of coronavirus-borne diseases rose to over 185 million on Thursday, while the death toll rose to over 4 million, according to aggregated data from Johns Hopkins University.
The US leads the world with a total of 33.77 million cases and has the highest official death toll at 606,218.
India joins the US with 30.70 million cases but ranks third with 405,028 deaths while Brazil ranks second with 528,540 deaths but third with 18.9 million.
Mexico has the fourth highest death toll at 234,192, but ranks 15th at 2.55 million.
In Europe, Russia leads with 138,441 deaths while the UK has 128,565, making Russia the fifth highest death toll in the world and the highest in Europe.
In China, where the virus was first discovered in late 2019, there were 103,969 confirmed cases and 4,848 deaths, which are widely considered underreported, according to official figures.
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