National numbers, Feb. 28

After several weeks of declines, cases now appear to be in a plateau. But the COVID Tracking Project cautions that these numbers may also be the aftershocks of President’s Day and the winter storm, which led to artificially low numbers last week and delayed reporting arriving this week. One thing is for certain, though: vaccinations are recovering from the storm. We had two record vaccination days Friday and yesterday.

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National numbers, Feb. 21

The number of COVID-19 patients in U.S. hospitals is now the lowest it’s been since early November. About 7,000 new patients were admitted each day this week—while this is still a huge number, it’s a notable drop from the peak (18,000 per day) we saw earlier in the winter.

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Some optimistic vaccine news but variants still pose a major threat

Nobody who got any of the vaccine candidates was hospitalized or died from COVID-19. That’s huge, especially as variants continue to spread across the U.S. J&J’s numbers are especially promising when it comes to variant strains. Moderna and Pfizer released their results before the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) or B.1.351. (S.A.) variants reached their current notoriety, which makes J&J’s overall efficacy numbers look worse by comparison. But the fact that no one who got the J&J vaccine was hospitalized no matter which variant they were infected with is a cause for optimism.

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