COVID on campus

New potential single-dose COVID-19 vaccine

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The news column “COVID on campus” posts relevant COVID-19 news every week for UWEC students.

After several months of only two-dosage vaccines, a new vaccine from Johnson & Johnson holds the potential to work effectively as a single-dose vaccine against COVID-19.

According to the Associated Press, the Food and Drug Administration said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine offers a “strong protection against severe COVID-19.”

The vaccine is reportedly 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID-19 infections. It is also about 85% effective against serious illness. 

The FDA will meet on Feb. 26 to determine if the vaccine should be recommended. If it is approved, then it is possible for a third vaccine to begin circling through the United States. 

According to AP, 44.5 million Americans have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19 so far, with those vaccines either being the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the Moderna one. 

According to CNN, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine does seem to be effective against the various variants of COVID-19 that are becoming more common around the world.

It is also being explored if the new single-dose vaccine could possibly prevent asymptomatic infections, as most COVID-19 cases are contracted through exposure to asymptomatic people.

Currently it seems that this vaccine is 74% effective against asymptomatic infections. However, more follow-up studies will be conducted to confirm if this is true. 

As of 3:50 p.m. today, there have been four new positive cases of COVID-19 among the 347 on-campus students tested at Zorn Arena, resulting in a 1.2% positivity rate. No off-campus students or staff and faculty tests had any positive results.

According to the UW-Eau Claire COVID-19 dashboard, there have been 20,179 tests given since Feb. 23. Thirty-seven of those tests have had positive results for COVID-19. This is an increase of 12 cases since last week.

There are currently five students in isolation on campus, with another eight currently in quarantine. 

As of 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 22, the information from the Eau Claire City-County Health Department said there are 13 new student-connected positive cases of COVID-19 and no new staff or faculty cases. 

There are now 1,066 student-connected cases of COVID-19 since September of 2020, which is an increase of 13 cases since last week. There have also been 41 staff and faculty-connected cases since then. 

In Eau Claire County, there have been a total of 10,961 positive cases of COVID-19, which is an increase of 90 cases since last week. There have also been a total of 47,702 negative tests, according to the Eau Claire County Information Hub.

There have been 104 deaths in Eau Claire county recorded on the dashboard. The dashboard reported that there was one death yesterday that was mistakenly counted since the resident was from a different county. 

Three hundred and fifty one cases of COVID-19 resulted in necessary hospitalization, which makes up 3.2% of the total cases of COVID-19. There are currently 114 active cases ongoing, with another 10,742 recovered cases of COVID-19 reported at this time. 

Spierings can be reached at [email protected].