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Coronavirus Update: U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations hit 100,000 to mark highest level since January

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The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. has been slowly ticking up, and new data shows that 100,000 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, a figure that is on track with hospitalizations over the winter.

The rapid spread of the delta variant, combined with the rollback of mitigation measures like social distancing and mask wearing, are thought to be behind the latest surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the U.S.

It’s the first time that this many people have been admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 treatment since January, according to the data compiled by The Washington Post. A separate report in Axios found that 77% of intensive-care unit beds in the U.S. are filled. And new COVID-19 admissions among children are at their highest levels over the last year, according to CNBC.

Most COVID-19 hospitalizations, however, are occurring in people between the ages of 18 and 49 years old (36.1%) and 50 and 64 years olds (28.3%), according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, as of Aug. 14.

Recent CDC data found that COVID-19 hospitalization rates were 17 times higher in unvaccinated Americans compared with vaccinated adults, and people who haven’t been vaccinated are 29 times more likely to end up hospitalized with a COVID-19 infection than people who are vaccinated, according to comments made Tuesday by CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

“These data remind us that if you are not yet vaccinated, you are among those highest at risk,” she said.

Here’s what the numbers say 

The seven-day moving average is 142,029 cases per day and 809 deaths per day in the U.S., as of Aug. 24, according to the latest CDC data.

About 171.7 million people in the U.S., or 51.7% of the total population (which includes those younger than 12, who are young for eligibility), are fully vaccinated, as of Aug. 25. Of those who qualify for vaccination, 202.2 million, or 71.3%, have received at least one shot, and 171.6 million, or 60.4%, are fully vaccinated. 

In total, the U.S. has reported 38.2 million cases and 632,272 deaths during the pandemic.

Here’s what to know from the week’s flurry of COVID-19 vaccine news 

1. BioNTech SE
BNTX,
-1.29%

and Pfizer Inc.
PFE,
+0.40%

received “full” approval from the Food on Drug Administration for the mRNA shot they developed together. The vaccine is now called Comirnaty. The announcement set off a number of new vaccine mandates for workers at companies like CVS Health Corp.
CVS,
-0.65%

and Chevron Corp.
CVX,
+0.16%

and even a change in how much unvaccinated Delta Air Lines Inc.
DAL,
+0.22%

workers have to pay for their own health care costs.

2. The companies also initiated an application to get a third “booster” dose of their vaccine approved by the FDA.

3. Moderna Inc.
MRNA,
-0.41%

announced it had submitted its mRNA shot for full approval.

4. Johnson & Johnson
JNJ,
-0.46%

said that new results from a clinical study found that a second dose of its COVID-19 vaccine boosted antibody levels. The announcement, though short on clinical details, indicates that booster shots may be coming for recipients of the single-shot J&J vaccine. 

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