Great news: More Americans have now been vaccinated against COVID than have been infected

As of today, more than 27 million Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, a number that exceeds the 26.6 million Americans who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

This milestone is significant for several reasons. Having one effective vaccine developed and distributed less than a year into a novel virus pandemic is extraordinary, much less having multiple vaccines already going into arms at this point. Increasing numbers of vaccinated people is a sign of hope that we may finally able to get out in front of this virus. Those most at risk—healthcare workers and our elders—are first in line for the vaccine, which means theoretically we should see hospitalization and death rates dropping.

But most notably, having equal numbers of people vaccinated as testing positive for the virus offers us a statistical picture of the risk-benefit ratio of the vaccine. Infectious disease specialists have explained that the vaccines are safe and effective, but some people are still wary. People worry about potential adverse reactions or unknown long-term effects of these new vaccines.

Here are the numbers as of now:

COVID cases: 26.6 million

COVID deaths: 450,000+

COVID vaccines: 27 million

COVID vaccine deaths: 0


The first vaccines were administered to trial participants all the way back in March, so it's not like these vaccines are brand new. They've been around almost as the virus. (That's the beauty of mRNA vaccines—they are very fast to develop.) Of course, the masses didn't start getting them until mid-December, nearly two months ago. In those two months, we have lost 150,000 Americans to COVID and zero to COVID vaccines.

Before anyone says, "But what about that guy I saw on the news who died after getting the vaccine?!" please remember that correlation does not equal causation. The CDC has determined that there is no link between any deaths that have occurred after someone was vaccinated and the vaccines themselves.

It's just a numbers game. When you have more than a million people a day receiving the vaccine and 8,000 Americans dying of all causes per day in the U.S., some people are going to coincidentally die after getting a vaccine. That doesn't mean the vaccine had anything to do with their death.

"These medical events occur every single day, including unexplained illnesses," Dr. William Schaffner, professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center told ABC News. "The question really is, do they occur at a greater rate in the vaccinated population than they do in the general population?"

So far, not even close. One in every 45,000 Americans dies every day. If a million Americans get the vaccine each day, statistically we'd expect around 20 of them to die from causes having nothing to do with the vaccine. And it's not like doctors just assume someone's death wasn't caused by the vaccine. They investigate it each time it happens.

"The CDC, FDA, CMS and the Department of Defense are all collaborating on a series of surveillance activities for medical events that occur after vaccination," Schaffner said. "They are looking for these events, gathering and investigating them in a very systematic fashion."

As of now, we have no vaccine deaths out of the 27 million people who have received one or both shots. There have been a handful of allergic reactions, which prompted a stronger warning for people who tend to suffer from anaphylactic allergic responses, but even those were a statistically tiny number. People do have reactions, which are to be expected—pain and swelling at the injection site and sometimes fever, chills, and body aches. Flu-like symptoms are a sign that the body is doing what it's supposed to be doing to learn how to fight the virus.

We know the risks of the virus are real, not only for death but for severe illness, hospitalization, and ongoing health problems. We know that some patients end up with long-term effects—organ damage, blood vessel disorders, and more. We know that even people with mild symptoms initially can end up with serious lingering issues. Does it make sense to choose something that we know can have long-term effects, can cause serious illness, and can result in death over a vaccine shown to have none of those risks so far and no scientific reason to believe it will?

Anything new in medicine is bound to make people wary, but hopefully this milestone will help more Americans feel good about getting the vaccine. We're in a race for time, especially against the more contagious variants of the virus, so the faster we can reach a critical mass of people who are fully vaccinated, the faster we'll be able to get back to some semblance of normal life.

The U.S. is one of only a few countries to have reached this milestone, which is worth celebrating. With so much struggle and suffering throughout this pandemic, we'll take all the good coronavirus news we can get.


True


Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

via Pixabay

Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo courtesy of Macy's
True

Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

Keep Reading Show less