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Researchers believe we’ve reached the peak of COVID cases...for now

Have we hit our peak in COVID cases?
Have we hit our peak in COVID cases?(WBRC)
Published: Jan. 23, 2021 at 3:05 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Some experts believe we’ve hit our peak in overall COVID cases. But it may not stay that way for long.

In the past 7 days, new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations nationwide have been declining. Researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation say that shows we have probably peaked in terms of cases for now.

“We are at the peak of cases..they are coming down. We will peak at the national level by the end of this month, first day of next month,” Dr. Ali Mokdad with IHME said.

Dr. Ali Mokdad with IHME says cases could decline even further if the vaccine rollout improves and people continue to wear face masks and social distancing, but the new COVID variants may throw a wrench into everything. It’s something Mokdad and other leading health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci are keeping an eye on.

“The biggest concern we’re having right now is some of the variants - especially the one South Africa - may make the vaccine less effective. It’s about 30-50 percent right now, we’re looking at,” Mokdad said.

We know the U.K. variant is already in the U.S.

“It’s present in many states. We should assume it all over the U.S. because it will spread. But also we need to keep an eye on what’s circulating in other countries and what is homegrown and what’s imported,” Mokdad said.

President Biden wants to see 100 million COVID-19 vaccines in arms in 100 days. Mokdad believes it’s possible to achieve.

Dr. Anthony Fauci agrees saying as more COVID-19 vaccines come on the market, we should see more shots in arms.

Mokdad says for three days in a row now, 1 million COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered. He feels the Biden team should up their vaccine goal per day.

“During the flu season every year, we give 3 million doses of flu vaccine a day. So this country, we have good medical systems, physicians, nurses and pharmacies…once we have vaccine we can give 3 million to 6 million a day,” Mokdad said.

President Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act to help with vaccine rollout. In the meantime, experts say we must remain vigilant, wear a mask, watch your distance and keep washing your hands.

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