New COVID-19 infections and deaths fell significantly in the United States over the past week. The reasons for this are not entirely clear but may be that we’re getting far enough out from Thanksgiving that those additional infections have resolved. The overall number of infections remains high, and there are still hot spots in places like Tennessee and California, but Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana in particular have seen infections drop.
It will be important to monitor these parameters in the week leading up to Christmas to see what happens with these numbers going into the next holiday.
The Pfizer vaccine is in wide distribution in Great Britain and in the U.S. Approximately 200,000 doses have been given in Great Britain, and, fortunately, no additional allergic reactions have been reported. There was a single allergic reaction identified in Alaska according to the news, however this one was in a patient who did not have a prior history of allergies. While the rates of these reactions appear to be very low, they clearly need to be investigated.
Tomorrow the advisory committee for the FDA meets to review the Moderna vaccine. Given the positive review from the FDA earlier in the week, it appears likely that the committee will recommend that the vaccine be approved. Moderna has manufactured significant numbers of vaccine doses and also has less stringent refrigeration requirements. This should markedly accelerate the vaccination program in the United States.