Pharmaceutical company Moderna announced on Monday that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine had shown in tests to be nearly 95% effective. The announcement came just a week after Pfizer said its vaccine appeared to be about 90% effective. The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said people would not likely begin to be inoculated until the end of December at the earliest, and that widespread immunization would likely happen some time in the spring of 2021.
On Nov. 23, a Centers for Disease Control panel will meet to determine which Americans should have first access to the vaccine. For many Americans, a vaccine cannot come soon enough, as the pandemic continues to spread at its fastest rate ever. Since Nov. 4, at least 100,000 new cases of the virus have been reported every day in the United States. A record 166,850 cases were reported on Nov. 13., more than four times the highest single-day total reported during the pandemic’s first wave in March and April.
Using data from state and local health departments, 24/7 Wall St. calculated each state’s average of new daily COVID-19 cases for the week ending Nov. 15 and compared it to the average from the previous week to determine the states where the spread of the coronavirus is increasing the fastest. The results show that new COVID-19 cases are increasing week-over-week in every state, and they are increasing at a dramatic rate in many. All state data are through Nov. 15, with the exception of Texas, which is through Nov. 14.
While the virus’s surge is taking place across the country, the states reporting both the largest increases in new cases as well as the highest rates of cases per 100,000 are in the Midwest and West.
Nationwide, the number of new daily cases per 100,000 residents rose by 11, from roughly 29 per 100,000 in the week ending Nov. 8 to nearly 40 per 100,000 in the week ending Nov. 15. In 11 states, the number of new cases increased by more than 20 new cases per 100,000 residents, and in one state by more than 60. These are the states where COVID-19 has doubled in just two months.