COVID-19 cases continue to climb as Biden pushes for third vaccine booster
York County's COVID-19 case rate continues to rise as President Joe Biden plans to push for an additional vaccine booster shot to combat the delta variant.
White House officials as early as this week are expected to announce that Americans who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines should receive an additional booster eight months after their second shot to protect against the highly contagious variant, The New York Times reported.
There were 75 additional COVID-19 cases reported in York County on Tuesday, bringing the total to 48,632 since the outbreak began, according to the state Health Department.
The county, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified as having a "high" transmission rate, has now seen 223 cases per 100,000 people over the past 14 days.
That's a 156% increase over the previous 14-day period, when there were 87 cases per 100,000 people.
Any additional booster shots to combat the delta variant would require approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Nursing home residents, health care workers and emergency workers will likely be the first to receive a third booster if approved, The New York Times reported. Older individuals who are more susceptible to the virus will likely follow.
Those who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine could also be recommended an additional shot, but any decision would come after the results of a clinical trial expected to be completed later this month.
The looming recommendation of additional boosters comes after the FDA last week authorized third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for some people with weakened immune systems.
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York County's increase in its COVID-19 case rate follows a nationwide trend. Surges have particularly been prominent in the South, where vaccination rates are low.
While the rate at which county residents are receiving their vaccine doses has increased incrementally, which local health officials have attributed to heightened awareness of the delta variant, just 49% of the county is fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
Statewide, 54% are fully inoculated.
In addition to the 75 additional COVID-19 cases reported in York County on Tuesday, there were also two new deaths reported. The death toll now stands at 842.
There have been 172,012 patients in the county who have tested negative for COVID-19, about 3.4% of the total 5,026,793 negative patients in the state.
Editor's note: graphs showing the number of daily COVID-19 cases and deaths for York County sometimes have different day-to-day totals than the numbers reported in The York Dispatch’s daily COVID-19 updates because of the way the data is reported to the state Department of Health.
— Logan Hullinger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.