Ten states reach 70% COVID-19 vaccination goal

So far ten states have reached President Biden's Jul 4 goal of vaccinating 70% of eligible residents against COVID-19, according to White House COVID-19 response coordinator Andy Slavitt.

Pennsylvania joined Vermont, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New Mexico as the tenth state to reach the 70% goal of having citizens with at least one dose of vaccine.

Slavitt tweeted that another 10 states are above 65% coverage.

In total, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID Data Tracker shows 359,849,035 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered in the US, and 289,212,304 have been administered, with 131,850,089 Americans fully vaccinated.

As vaccinations increase, cases continue to drop across the country. In the past week new daily reported COVID-19 cases in the US fell by 23%, according to the Washington Post. Deaths fell 9.1% and COVID-related hospitalizations fell 10.5%.

Yesterday the United States reported 24,052 new COVID-19 cases, and 1,009 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker. In total, the nation has confirmed 33,201,833 COVID-19 cases, including 592,654 deaths.

NEA plans for in-person teaching in fall

Many classroom teachers say they are on board with full in-person instruction this fall because of the improved safety situation and because they are tired of remote learning, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The National Education Association said Wednesday that schools should return to in-person instruction in the fall.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said 89% of US teachers are fully vaccinated, or want to be. Weingarten said the vaccines were game-changers for most teachers when it came to embracing in-person instruction.

FDA issues EUA for sotrovimab

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the monoclonal antibody therapy sotrovimab for treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients at high risk of severe disease. They say it shows activity against all the variants, including B1617.

"We are providing another option to help keep high-risk patients with COVID-19 out of the hospital," said Patrizia Cavazzoni, MD, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

"It is important to expand the arsenal of monoclonal antibody therapies that are expected to retain activity against the circulating variants of COVID-19 in the United States."

First Vax-a-Million winner announced

Ohio announced the first of five winners of $1 million in the statewide Vax-a-Million lottery, which requires proof of vaccination to enter. A Dayton-area teen also won full college tuition.

"We're excited that this has inspired so many Ohioans to get vaccinated, and we're thrilled to announce the winners of the first round of drawings," said Gov. Mike DeWine, according to the Associated Press.

The program has been successful in incentivizing vaccinations across the state: More than 2.7 million adults signed up for the $1 million prize, and more than 104,000 children ages 12 to 17 entered the drawing for the college scholarship, the AP said.

About 45% of eligible adults in Ohio have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and Ohio's lottery prize program has inspired similar contests in New York, Oregon, Colorado, and Maryland.

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