DALLAS (AP) – Disneyland reopened on Friday and cruise lines welcomed the news that they could set sail again in the United States by midsummer, as the number of Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 reached another milestone: 100 million.
Visitors cheered and screamed with glee when the Southern California theme park opened its doors for the first time in 13 months in a powerful symbol of the United States’ recovery, although the self-styled happiest place on earth only allows guests in the state. Now it works at only 25% card.
The reopening and similar steps elsewhere across the country reflect growing optimism as COVID-19 deaths decline and the number of vaccinated increases – a stark contrast to the worsening disaster in India and Brazil and the limited availability of vaccines in many poor regions of the world. .
In fact, the United States announced on Friday that it would restrict travel from India from Tuesday, citing the devastating spike in COVID-19 cases in the country and the emergence of potentially dangerous variants of the coronavirus.
While the total number of lives lost to COVID-19 in the United States has exceeded 575,000, deaths have fallen to an average of around 670 per day from a peak of around 3,400 in mid-January.
39 percent of the country’s adult population has been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 55% of adults received at least one dose, up from 30% a month earlier.
However, officials said about 8% of those who got one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine did not return at the second shot. Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s chief infectious disease expert, said it was important to complete the course to get maximum protection against the virus.
“Make sure you get the second dose,” he said in a White House briefing.
Dr. Lena Wayne, a former Baltimore health commissioner and visiting professor of health policy at George Washington University, said that the complete vaccination of about 40% of American adults is a remarkable achievement but it is not sufficient.
“The hardest part is ahead,” she said. “I am very concerned that we will not come close to reaching herd immunity in 2021.”
Wen noted that Fauci estimated that 70% to 85% of the US population would need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.
The vaccination campaign has slowed in recent weeks, even as vaccines have opened up to all adults. Wen said improved weather conditions and fewer cases would make it difficult to reach people who had not yet been vaccinated.
She said: “Those people who are on the fence about getting a vaccine may have fewer reasons to get a vaccine now because they no longer see the coronavirus as an existential crisis.”
CDC officials also reported Friday that it was anxiety – not a shots problem – that caused the fainting, dizziness, and other reactions reported in 64 people at vaccination clinics in five states in early April. No one became seriously ill.
Meanwhile, cruise lines have welcomed the news that the CDC is committed to resuming sailing in the US by midsummer and is amending some rules to speed up the process.
In a letter to the industry this week, the CDC said it would allow ships to cruise without going through training flights first if 98% of the crew and 95% of the passengers were fully vaccinated.
“The voices of community leaders and the wider cruise community are being heard – and we’re very grateful for that,” said Laziza Lambert, spokeswoman for the International Cruise Line Association.
US cruises have been closed due to the pandemic since March 2020.
In other travel news, the Transportation Security Administration has expanded the requirement that passengers on planes, trains and buses wear masks. The base was due to expire on May 11, but will now run until September 3. 13. Airlines and their unions have pushed for an extension, saying the masks help keep passengers and workers safe.
In Michigan, which in recent weeks has become the worst hot spot in the US, the numbers are finally showing improvement, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a plan to link the lifting of restrictions to the state’s vaccination rate.
In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that he expects the safeguards to be lifted and “the city fully reopens” by July 1. “We are ready to open stores, to open businesses, offices and theaters, in full force.” He said on MSNBC.
But the governor of New York. Throughout the crisis, Andrew Cuomo emphasized that such decisions are alone, and said Thursday that he would like to end the restrictions even soon.
“I don’t want to wait that long. I think if we did what we have to do, we could reopen early.”
Cuomo said Friday that New York City can increase indoor dining to 75% of capacity starting May 7.
Reported Anderson from New York, Thaksin from Anaheim, California.
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