COVID-19 Updates: Vermont Reaches Vaccine Milestone, Concerns About Delta Variant in U.S., Data Website Details Financial Impact of COVID-19

Young woman with face mask getting vaccinated while others wait for their vaccines in the background, vaccine milestone concept

At least 179 million cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been diagnosed worldwide as of Monday evening, June 21, 2021, including at least 3.87 million deaths. Healthcare officials in the United States have reported at least 33.5 million positive COVID-19 cases and approximately 602,000 deaths. Source: Johns Hopkins University & Medicine

At least 2.66 billion individual doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered worldwide as of Monday evening, including at least 318 million in the United States. Source: GitHub

State of Vermont reaches vaccine milestone

More than 80% of eligible residents in the state of Vermont have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the first state to reach this accomplishment, according to the department of health. With this news announced June 14, Governor Phil Scott rescinded all state COVID-19 restrictions. Additionally, Vermont’s State of Emergency was not renewed.

“Now that we have hit 80 percent, as promised and effective immediately, I am lifting all remaining state pandemic restrictions,” Scott said during a recent press conference. “It is safe because Vermonters have done their part to keep spread of the virus low throughout the pandemic and stepped up to get vaccinated. In fact, no state in the nation is in a better or safer position to do this than we are.”

At 80% of the eligible population, those ages 12 and older, Vermont has also administered at least one dose of vaccine to 81.8% of state resident ages 18 and older—exceeding President Biden’s goal of 70% of those 18 and older, and 70.8% of its total population, according to the department of health. Vermont also ranks first in the nation on the number of vaccines administered per capita, the percent of its population with at least one dose, and the percent of its population fully vaccinated. Since the start of the pandemic, Vermont also has the lowest number of cases and deaths per capita in the continental U.S.

“Our high vaccination rates will help keep coronavirus activity at historically low levels,” said health commissioner Mark Levine, MD, in a prepared statement. “This means fewer chances for COVID to spread between people and throughout our communities, fewer, if any, hospitalizations, and, importantly, prevent more loss of life from the virus. It also means less opportunity for mutations and more virulent strains from developing. This protection is what is allowing us to lift restrictions. We will continue getting as many Vermonters vaccinated as possible to keep this protection as strong as we can.”

Following the Vermont Forward plan, all remaining state restrictions have been lifted, though some situations are governed by federal guidelines, such as public transportation and long-term care facilities. The plan will continue to link to operational considerations for certain sectors from the Vermont Department of Health.

“The ingenuity, creativity, and dedication of all Vermonters to their friends and families, to their neighbors and to their communities, has been incredible and we should all be very proud,” said Gov. Scott. “Through it all, we’ve shown the nation and much of the world how to respond when there is no playbook, and how to do it with civility and respect. When America needs to find its path forward to solve problems and help people; when, in dark times, our country needs a state to light the way, Vermonters will always step up and lead the charge.”

CDC expresses concerns about delta variant becoming dominant in U.S.

The novel coronavirus delta variant, a highly contagious variant was first detected in India in October, could soon become the dominant strain in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared delta a “variant of concern” in May, and the CDC upgraded its classification of the strain this week from “variant of interest” to a “variant of concern.” During a recent interview with ABC News, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said the delta variant is more transmissible than the alpha variant (aka the United Kingdom variant) and that the CDC is worried that the potential of the delta variant to more quickly spread could compromise the effectiveness of vaccines—though that has not proven to have occurred yet.

Nationwide, overall daily cases of COVID-19 infections continue to fall, but there are some parts of the country where outbreaks are happening, especially in areas with low vaccination rates. According to the CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Utah “have seen notable increases of 37% or more in their seven-day case average over the last two weeks” and have vaccination rates that are lower than the national average, the ABC News report claims.

According to WHO officials, variants of concern have shown to spread more easily than others. The delta variant has been reported in more than 80 countries worldwide, with at least 41 states in the United States, seeing cases.

Data website details financial impact of COVID-19

A business analytics software company based in King of Prussia, PA, has announced an interactive data analytics site that helps to explain COVID-19’s financial impact globally.

Officials at Qlik say their “The Pandemic Effect on the Fortune 500” tool, which was reportedly created in partnership with Fortune magazine to coincide with the 2021 Fortune 500 list, delivers a unique data visualization experience that builds on the inaugural data-driven exploration of the Fortune 500.

The site details the revenue and performance of the sectors and industries that shape the 2021 Fortune 500 and the impact on market performance. The website also allows users to compare the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the profits of various sectors of the Fortune 500, among other options.

National Football League reports vaccine progress

Officials with the National Football League (NFL) are reporting that more than 50% of the league’s players have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccination, according to a recent report by The Washington Post. The report claims that 16 teams have more than 50 of the 90 players on their rosters vaccinated, including three teams that have 70 or more players vaccinated.

Teams that are not at the 50% mark include Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Arizona, and Los Angeles, according to the report, which shared insights from someone who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news developments. Visit our Resource Center each week for new COVID-19 updates—plus a variety of other resources for healthcare professionals.

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