“We have a little breathing room right now, but if these new variants become dominant in our country, we are going to be right back where we were in November and December and perhaps even worse,” emergency physician Dr. Megan Ranney told CNN.
“The surge that is likely to occur with this new variant from England is going to happen in the next six to 14 weeks and if we see that happen … we are going to see something like we have not yet seen in this country,” Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told NBC on Sunday.
“Despite the falling numbers, now is not the time to let up on the basic precautions,” Ranney warned Sunday. “Wear a mask, avoid indoor unmasked gatherings, and of course, wash your hands and try to maintain a distance from others when possible.”
Expert urges change of vaccine strategy
“We still want to get two doses in everyone, but I think right now in advance of this surge we need to get as many one doses in as many people over 65 as we possibly can to reduce serious illness and deaths that are going to occur over the next weeks ahead,” he told NBC.
Getting more first doses out now should not mean giving up on a second dose, Ranney said.
The problems states are facing
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear told CNN Sunday, “if we have three problems, it’s supply, supply and supply.”
While the state has the capacity to give 250,000 first doses a week, Beshear said, they’re only scheduled to get about 64,000 doses — a shortfall he said other states are facing too.
“The only thing that’s keeping us from defeating this virus next month, is the amount of supply we get.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio highlighted preliminary data Sunday showing a clear racial disparity among New Yorkers who have so far received vaccine doses.
“Clearly what we see is a particularly pronounced reality of many more people from White communities getting vaccinations than folks…