At a press conference at the White House today, CDC director Rochelle Walensky confirmed that there would be a new orientation for individuals vaccinated with COVID-19 “soon”. According to Walensky, “these are complex issues and science is evolving rapidly”. In other words – vaccination is not a pass to go anywhere and do anything for the person who was vaccinated – it is not so simple.
Vaccine distribution numbers
According to the latest CDC data tracker update for COVID-19 vaccinations in the USA, approximately 109.9 million doses of vaccine have been delivered and 82.57 million doses of vaccine have been administered. Of the total population in the United States, approximately 16.3% received one or more doses of a vaccine and only 8.4% received 2 doses (the complete set).
If we look at the population of the United States with only people over 18, approximately 10.9% had 2 doses of the vaccine, 21.2% had 1 or more doses of the vaccine. It is interesting to see the CDC report this metric for the following reasons:
- The vaccine is only available to people over the age of 18.
- It is not just people over 18 who can contract and / or advertise COVID-19.
The CDC tracks reported data on vaccine distribution in the United States and provides a basic graph with statistics by state. If we define the graph to show People receiving 2 doses as a percentage of the population (with the total population, not just those over 18), we see ONE territory with a percentage of 2 doses above 15% (Republic of Palau) .
Within the basic map of 50 states, most states are in the range of 6.1% to 10%. This means that just under 1 in 10 people were registered as having received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. West Virginia, Alaska, Oklahoma, New Mexico and North and South Dakota are in the 10.1-15% range for the population over 18 years of age who received 2 doses of the vaccine.
We’re not suddenly safe
At the White House press conference today, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said “what is most important is that people who have been vaccinated and those who have not yet been vaccinated are able to understand the measures they can take to protect themselves and your loved ones ”.
The CDC has an educational guide for recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine that addresses some considerations that people can make before and during vaccination. It also shows some tips on how a person might feel after each dose of a vaccination, including, but not limited to, the effects of the vaccine that can be confused with the symptoms of COVID-19.
The CDC provides a brief guide for recipients of either of the two vaccines for COVID-19 that closely replicates the guidance for individuals prior to that vaccine. In other words: you must still take the same precautions you were taking before. From the official “Vaccine Recipient Data Sheet” on the CDC website linked above and shown (in part) below:
“Even after receiving the vaccine, you will still need to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth, washing your hands frequently and staying at least 2 meters away from other people you don’t live with.”
So while future post-vaccine guidelines can be complex, the CDC’s most basic and straightforward instructions are now simple. Keep being cautious – this is NOT over yet. People can still spread COVID-19, people can still get COVID-19, people can still get very, very sick and die.