+
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.


via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

True

Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Jeremy Wong on Unsplash

Teen raises $186,000 to help Walmart worker retire.

In America, many people have to work well past the age of retirement to make ends meet. While some of these people choose to work past retirement age because it keeps them active, some older people, like Nola Carpenter, 81, work out of necessity.

Carpenter has been working at Walmart for 20 years, way beyond most people's retirement age just so that she can afford to continue to pay her mortgage. When 19-year-old Devan Bonagura saw the woman looking tired in the break room of the store, he posted a video to his TikTok of Carpenter with a text overlay that said, "Life shouldn't b this hard..." complete with a sad face emoji.

In the video, Carpenter is sitting at a small table looking down and appearing to be exhausted. The caption of the video reads ":/ I feel bad." Turns out, a lot of other people did too, and encouraged the teen to start a GoFundMe, which has since completed.

Keep ReadingShow less

Philadelphia is taking the city back to the past.

Remember when calling your parents, a tow truck or a friend when you were out and about meant digging in your pocket for a quarter to make a pay phone call? Well, a Philadelphia-based collective, PhilTel, is jumping into the past with a modern twist, by installing free-to-use pay phones throughout the city.

Of course, the pay phones that many of us grew up were removed from public places years ago. There no longer seemed to be a need for them when most people had a phone in their pocket or in their hand. But it's easy to forget that not everyone has or wants that luxury. For some people, staying that connected all the time can be too much and for others, it's simply financially impossible to own a cell phone.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 07.22.21


As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.


Keep ReadingShow less
popular

Think all cats are the same? These pictures prove they each have their own personality

Photographer Nils Jacobi shows how cats aren't nearly as aloof as one might think.

All images used with Nils Jacobi's permission. @furryfritz/Instagram

Catographer purrfectly captures cats' purrsonalities.

People often mistakingly attribute a singular personality to cats—usually the words "aloof" or "snobby" are used to describe them. At best, they might be given the "evil genius" label. But in actuality, no two cats are alike. Each has their own distinct ways of being, whether that’s silly, sophisticated, affectionate, downright diabolical or somewhere in between.

This photographer has the pictures to prove it.

Nils Jacobi, better known online as furryfritz, the catographer, has photographed literally thousands upon thousands of cats—from Maine coons who look like they should be in a perfume ad to tabbies in full-on derp mode.
Keep ReadingShow less