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Another Covid-19 surge hangs in the balance. This is how experts say we keep it from becoming reality

February 26, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 41.4%. 2 min read.

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 20: UCHealth healthcare workers talk to patients at a tent outside Coors Field as they receive their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine during a mass vaccination event on February 20, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. UCHealth plans to administer 10,000 second doses to seniors over 70 during the drive-up event this weekend. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

Even with slowed infection rates and increased vaccinations, officials say another devastating Covid-19 spike could be on the horizon depending on what the United States does next.

(CNN)Even with slowed infection rates and increased vaccinations, officials say another devastating Covid-19 spike could be on the horizon depending on what the United States does next.

Such measures can help avoid the potential surge feared from the coronavirus variant first identified in the UK that is believed to be more transmissible, said Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health.

In addition, a new variant discovered in the Northeast is increasing at an alarming rate, said Dr. David Ho, one of the researchers who helped identify it.

Ho said Thursday this could result in a loss of vaccine efficacy, although studies indicate vaccines may still provide strong protection against variants.

Over the next month, the state will also ease other health restrictions, including allowing buffets to resume operation and limiting gatherings to 50 people instead of 25.

As some states ease restrictions, others are opening up vaccine eligibility to more of their residents, including teachers.

Starting March 15, teachers and other essential workers in Missouri will be eligible for the vaccine, Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday.

As well as educators and staff of K-12 students, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced Thursday that adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers and parents of children with complex medical conditions will be eligible for vaccines on March 8.

And as of Thursday, all people who are older than 16 and have certain comorbidities are eligible for the vaccines in Utah, Gov. Spencer Cox said.

Officials have been working over the past months to speed up and optimize the distribution of vaccine doses as states clamor for more to meet the increasing demand.

If Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine gets FDA emergency use authorization this weekend, President Joe Biden said it will be rolled out immediately.

"The FDA will decide on emergency use authorization of a vaccine based on science, not due to any political pressure from me or anyone else, no outside factors," Biden said.

"What I will say to the American people is this, if, if the FDA approves the use of this new vaccine, we have a plan to roll it out as quickly as Johnson and Johnson can make it. "

The existing vaccine from Pfizer could also become easier to distribute quickly, thanks to the FDA agreeing Thursday to allowing it to be transported and stored for up to two weeks at "conventional temperatures" typically found in pharmaceutical freezers.

by summa-bot

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