Recent months have seen a marked increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths among the fully vaccinated section of the Pennsylvania population;.
And the data is at best five weeks old.
The latest sign of the trend is the latest Tower Health update, which was released Tuesday that eight of the 11 patients were considered fully vaccinated.
This criterion is the two-dose course of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single-dose of the Johnson & Johnson product. But the fully vaccinated designation holds true no matter how long it has been since the last shot and the vaccinations have dropped to a drip.
“The Ministry of Health recommends that everyone who is eligible for vaccines receive up to date (for most people over 12, it means fully vaccinated and boosted) with their vaccine regimen to protect themselves from COVID-19 and its many variants, “said Mark O’Neill, press secretary of the agency in an email statement, and added the bold font. . “While the effectiveness of vaccines may decline over time, booster shots have been and remain widely available to provide additional protection to people across the state and nation.”
The growing number of people whose vaccination protection has declined comes amid the second omicron wave, born of the derivatives of the original omicron that swept through the population in a matter of weeks in early 2022.
The derivatives have been shown to be less likely to cause hospitalization and death.
As the total number of cases decreased through February and into April, the percentage of cases among those vaccinated began to increase. Baseline had been in the range of 20% to 25%, but:
• 56% of cases in the 35 days ending on 11 April.
• 37% of admissions in the same period.
• 47% of deaths in February.
It is unclear why the death data are no longer up to date.
In Berks County, nearly 2 in 3 residents are considered fully vaccinated, but in the last five weeks, vaccination statistics have been dominated by the category of second booster and fourth dose for immunocompromised.
Many of these people would be booster candidates now.
“The reality is that across the United States, there are a lot of people who are eligible to receive a booster shot, but who have not received one yet,” O’Neill said. “The department continues to strongly urge anyone who qualifies for a booster shot to get one as soon as possible. “As the department has repeatedly stated over the last few months, the pandemic is not over and families should use all available resources to protect themselves, including getting up to date with their vaccines.”
Plus, people who die from any cause are not removed from the vaccination rolls. It is unclear how large a number has been on 18-month vaccinations.
Berks weekly update
The upward trend of COVID cases continued for the sixth week in Berks County and across Pennsylvania in latest Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
It was the largest weekly increase yet in the second omicron increase across Pa., With the state now averaging about 3,000 cases daily.
Berks, however, remains well below the state averages in key polls, with the state rise being driven in some counties that had previously been relatively safe havens.
Berks experienced a jump of almost 50% in the infection rate to 77.4 cases per. 100,000 of the population and a positivity rate of 10.8%, an increase of more than 2 points in a week. The population is 429,000.
The overall state figures are 128.9 cases per. 100,000 and a positivity rate of 13.9%.
Adjacent counties that had previously fared well in the pandemic but are getting hot are:
• Chester: 143.6 cases per. 100,000 and 15.4%.
• Montgomery: 175.2 pr. 100,000 and 17.4%.
Chester has about 100,000 more inhabitants than Berks, and Montgomery has almost double the population. Both were as Berks is now for most of last year: below the state average.
Another county in the region that contributes to the state numbers is Lucerne with 215.2 and 18.2%, respectively.
Some of the statistics in this second omicron increase would have alerted state health officials in phases of the pandemic. The pandemic has not been officially declared over.
Pennsylvania dropped daily updates on May 4, going to weekly updates of its major COVID dashboard and monthly press releases on cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and vaccinations.
The latest vaccination totals for Berks include:
• 246,490: Completed two-dose Pfizer or Modern treatment.
• 113,855: Had at least one booster dose or extra shot for immunocompromised.
• 11,650: Received another booster or another extra dose for immunocompromised.
The number of COVID deaths among Berks residents is 1,595, with COVID deaths recorded in Berks at 1,455.
Hundreds of Berks residents have died outside the county, and a small number of non-residents have died in Berks. The exact numbers are no longer tracked.
The national image
According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the third omicron derivative, known as BA.2.12.2, continued to gain ground. It has been blamed for at least part of the mild increase in cases.
At the national level it is at 46.2%, but in the middle of the Atlantic at 48.1%.
The second derivative of omicron, BA.2, remains dominant at 56.4% nationally and 51.3% in the Mid-Atlantic.
The original omicron and its first derivative have almost been pushed out of existence.
The last seven-day average is 87,382 cases, according to the CDC. The low point in 2022 in the seven-day average was 24,843 on March 29th.
The current seven-day average is still less than 11% of the same average at the height of the omicron rise.
The unknown component is still the number of people testing at home who do not report the results.