The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said current projections see COVID-19 cases remaining low and dropping sharply by July, provided vaccination rates remain high and people continue to observe basic prevention practices.
At a briefing, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the projections are based on a study published Wednesday by the CDC. The study used data taken from recent trends to create models showing what could happen if current vaccination and prevention practices, such as mask use and social distancing, continue.
Walensky said nationwide, U.S. COVID-19 statistics continue to trend well, with the daily average of new cases falling by 12%, to 42,494 per day, while average daily hospitalizations dropped by 9.5%. She said daily average deaths also fell by nearly 1%.
But she said the wild card in the CDC models is variant coronavirus strains that cause COVID-19. Walensky said data show current vaccines are performing well against the predominant variants, so it is even more imperative to get more people vaccinated.
To that end, White House COVID-19 Response Team Senior Adviser Andy Slavitt announced that anyone in the United States can simply send a mobile text message with their Zip (postal) code to GETVAXED and they will be sent three vaccination locations near them. He said people can also get information on where they might receive a preferred vaccine.
Slavitt said the texts will also provide information on how people can get a free ride to a vaccine location through ride share services. He said those without access to mobile devices or the internet will be provided with telephone numbers they can call to obtain the information.
Slavitt said the measures are all part of meeting goals laid out in a speech Tuesday by President Joe Biden. The president said he would like to see 70% of all Americans with at least one vaccination and 160 million Americans fully vaccinated by July 4, the U.S. Independence Day holiday. As of Tuesday, the CDC reports just less than 45% of people in the U.S. have received at least one shot while more than 106 million – 32% – of Americans are fully vaccinated.