10% of Americans have gotten COVID-19 shot; South Africa variant found in 3rd state — 5 updates

About 10 percent of the U.S. population — or nearly 31.6 million Americans — has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to Feb. 7 data from the CDC.

Four more updates: 

1. The U.K. coronavirus variant has been spreading rapidly in the U.S., according to early research published Feb. 6 by preprint server medRxiv. Prevalence of variant B.1.1.7 infections in the U.S. doubled every week and a half from December 2020 to January 2021, researchers found. "Our study shows that the U.S. is on a similar trajectory as other countries where B.1.1.7 rapidly became the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant, requiring immediate and decisive action to minimize covid-19 morbidity and mortality," the authors wrote. The study has not yet been peer reviewed.  

2. The South Africa coronavirus variant has been identified in Virginia, the third state to report a B.1.351 variant case, according to Feb. 7 data from the CDC. Maryland and South Carolina have also reported cases of the variant, bringing the nation's total to six known cases.

3. South Africa suspended the rollout of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine a week after receiving its first million doses of the vaccine, reports The Wall Street Journal. The pause comes after early research released Feb. 7 suggested the vaccine provides minimal protection against the variant circulating in the country. The study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, entailed a small clinical trial focused on young people and should not be used to draw firm conclusions about the vaccine's efficacy against the South Africa variant, WSJ said.

4. COVID-19 vaccine supplies will likely improve by March, Anthony Fauci, MD, said during a Feb. 7 interview with NBC's Meet the Press. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said increased stock will come from the already approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, along with Johnson & Johnson's single-shot vaccine, which the drugmaker submitted for emergency use authorization Feb. 4.

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 27,008,760

Deaths: 463,483

Americans receiving at least one vaccine dose: 31,579,100

Counts reflect Feb. 7 and Feb. 8 data from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University and the CDC.


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