Two passengers on board a cruise ship where everyone was required to be fully vaccinated tested positive for Covid-19. The two, who are traveling on Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Millennium, are asymptomatic and are sharing the same cabin. They are currently in isolation. The cruise line said it was conducting contact tracing and expedited testing of all close contacts of the two infected passengers. The Celebrity Millennium is one of the first to restart sailing after a moratorium on cruises as ships became breeding grounds for the virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention require the entire crew to be fully vaccinated and everyone over 16 years of age must present proof of vaccination against Covid-19 as well.
As of Friday morning, the world has recorded over 175.7 million Covid-19 cases and has seen more than 3.79 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, over 159.2 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.
Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year, over 2.3 billion doses have been administered across the globe as of Friday morning, the equivalent of over 29.1 doses for every 100 people.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Friday, 172.4 million people in the United States – or 51.9% –have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 42.6%, or 141.5 million people, are fully vaccinated, bringing the total number of doses dispensed in the United States to over 305.6 million. Breaking this down further, approximately 64% of the population over the age of 18 – or 165.1 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 53.4% of the same group –or 137.9 million people – is fully vaccinated.
CDC data shows that eight states – with all but one in the Northeast – have a vaccination rate higher than 50%. The states are Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont, the latter leading the country with almost 60% of residents fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said that 70% of residents ages 12 and older have been fully vaccinated as of Wednesday.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said that some 60 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson Jannsen vaccine that were produced at the troubled Emergent BioSolutions factory in Baltimore must be discarded, according to multiple media reports. The agency has yet to decide whether the factory will be allowed to reopen. It has already been closed for two months.
Separately, the FDA extended the shelf life of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine following concerns that some doses would expire at the end of June that could still be used.
Finally, multiple McDonald’s restaurants in Indonesia were forced to close this week after they were overwhelmed by motorcycle delivery drivers for customers who had placed orders for the new BTS Meal, named after the popular Korean boy band and based on band members’ favorite sauces at McDonald’s outlets in Korea. The number of drivers would have violated mandatory social distancing rules, police there said.
Anna Breuer contributed reporting to this story.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)