By Adam Martin
Nearly a third of all Americans have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, and newly reported cases of Covid-19 in the U.S. have been trending downward for more than two weeks.
The U.S. reported more than 29,000 new cases for Sunday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and published early Monday morning Eastern time. The data may update later in the morning. Sunday’s figure was down from a day-earlier 45,303 and a week-earlier 32,065.
Daily case counts tend to be lower at the beginning of the week, as fewer people are tested over the weekend. Still, Sunday’s initial figure was the lowest single-day tally in the U.S. since Sept. 8, when the tally was 27,393. In all, more than 32.4 million cases have been reported in the U.S.
The seven-day moving average of newly reported cases each day, which smooths out irregularities in the data, was 49,594 as of Saturday, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins data. The 14-day average was 54,590. When the seven-day average is lower than the 14-day average, which it has been since April 17, it indicates cases are generally falling.
Covid-19-related deaths were also down from a day earlier, with the nation reporting 325 for Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins. That number might also update later Monday morning. The U.S. death toll is now at more than 577,000, Johns Hopkins data show.
The nation’s vaccine effort continues, but has slowed from a week earlier. An average of 2.4 million doses a day have been administered over the past week, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, down from 2.8 million a week earlier. Some 31.6% of all Americans are now fully vaccinated, and 44.3% have been given at least one dose.
The highly contagious U.K. variant of the Covid-19 virus, now the dominant virus strain in the U.S., is making the pandemic harder to control. But it also comes with a silver lining: The authorized vaccines work well against it.
The variant, called B.1.1.7, is better able to exploit lapses in mask wearing and social distancing, and requires more people to develop an immune response to slow it down. Yet vaccines from Pfizer Inc. and its partner BioNTech SE, Moderna Inc., and Johnson & Johnson, along with safety precautions, still remain effective, and health authorities say the shots are starting to slow down Covid-19 cases in the U.S.
World-wide, more than 152.87 million cases have been reported and more than 3.2 million people have died, according to Johns Hopkins data.
By Adam Martin