WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – More than 100 million Americans have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, but the goal of herd immunity is being threatened by the potential of a fourth wave of the virus.
This Easter weekend saw another spike in travel that health experts hope won’t contribute to a dangerous surge in COVID cases.
For the fourth straight week, US coronavirus cases are trending upward amid record spring break travel and loosening restrictions in many states.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, “Cases are increasing nationally and we are seeing this occur predominantly in younger adults.”
Health officials believe contagious new variants are driving the increase. They’re urging caution as more schools reopen.
Dr. Walensky said, “Many outbreaks in young people are related to youth sports and extracurricular activities.”
Leading health experts are divided over whether we’re headed for another major surge as vaccinations are hitting a record pace.
The US is now averaging more than three million shots a day, hitting four million in a single day for the first time this weekend.
White House Senior Advisor for COVID-19 Response Andy Slavitt said, “So headed in the right direction. The worst thing we could do right now would be to mistake progress for victory.”
The Senate’s top Republican appealed to one group that’s among the most reluctant to vaccinate: Republican men.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, “I’m a Republican man. I want to say to everyone: we need to take this vaccine.”
President Biden acknowledged Americans’ pandemic exhaustion in an Easter address without the traditional egg roll. He said, “The virus is not gone and the second year in a row most will be apart from their families.”
Still, hope is on the horizon, largely pinned on the efforts to get shots in arms of as many Americans as possible.