Vaccinations are steadily increasing across the U.S. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are finally declining after a tough few months. That said, it’s no time to slow our roll and take a breather. At Wildcat PPE, we continue to ramp up manufacturing while adding new products to our expanding line of protective apparel. America’s frontline workers deserve to be protected with FDA approved and 510(K) certified, Made in Texas, PPE.

As we approach the Spring season, we’re keeping our eyes on the ever-evolving COVID-19 landscape—and doing everything we can to deliver Made in America PPE for those who need it most. Here’s the latest on the vaccine rollout and the COVID variants that have dominated the 24/7 news machine over the last few weeks.

COVID-19 Vaccination Stats (Nationwide, Texas and Houston)

On average, approximately 1.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses are being administered across America, per day. This is steadily increasing as delivery logistics get ironed out. Here’s where the nation, Texas and Houston stand as of February 6.

  • United States Vaccinations: About 30.3 million people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That includes about 8.3 million people who have now been fully vaccinated.
  • Texas Vaccinations: About 3.1 million vaccine doses have been administered. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 2.3 million people have received one dose. About 733,287 people—or 2.5% of the Texas population—have been fully vaccinated with both doses.
  • Houston Vaccinations: The Houston Health Department has received 50,950 first doses and administered 36,529 of them. The department received 22,200 second doses, of which 7,671 have been administered.

While everyone who wants a jab in Houston will eventually be able to get one, initial doses are reserved for critical populations (as defined by the Texas Department of State Health Services). First in line are frontline healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities, followed by people 65 and older and those with medical conditions putting them at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Houston residents can stay up-to-date about new appointment openings by registering for AlertHouston’s HoustonRecovers subscription.

On Thursday (February 11), a new federal vaccine distribution program launches to serve communities with less access to vaccinations. Through the program, vaccines will be sent to 40,000+ grocery stores and drugstores. This signals a shift from larger sites—think stadiums and healthcare facilities—to more local, community-centric settings. The goal is to make vaccine distribution easier, and more equitable, across America’s 42,000 zip codes.

Visit this link to get up-to-date vaccination numbers for each of the 50 states. Are you based in Houston? Click through for the latest local vaccine information.

How Mutations Are Shifting the Pandemic Landscape

When the initial SARS-CoV-2 stormed into the world, scientists knew it was a threat. They also thought the virus was stable with a low mutation factor. We’ve since discovered that hasn’t been the case. In recent months, multiple variants of the original virus have cropped up around the world in places such as Brazil, the U.K. and South Africa. These mutations appear to cause significant changes in the way the virus acts and spreads.

The four major mutations on scientists’ radars:

  • Spain: The 20A.EU1 variant, which contains a mutation on the viral spike protein
  • U.K.: The B.1.1.7 variant, which is thought to be at least 50 percent more transmissible than the original form
  • South Africa: The B.1.351 variant, which has spread rapidly across South Africa and is now the dominant version there
  • Brazil: The P1 and P2 mutations, which have been seen outside of Brazil in countries including Japan

So far, the vaccines being distributed across America—Pfizer and Moderna—seem to work against these mutations. However, Moderna has begun developing a booster shot that will specifically address these new variants. Similar to how flu vaccines are reworked each year to account for mutations, it is likely the companies creating these “shields” will also have to update their COVID-prevention/solution strategy to meet the current virus landscape. When it comes to viruses, mutations unfortunately come with the territory.

Want more detailed information on these emerging Coronavirus variants? Check out this article from Scientific American. You can also visit this website from Hopkins Medicine to dive deeper into current COVID-19 mutations.

As this virus continues to evolve, at Wildcat, it’s full steam ahead. We are Texas Proud, working tirelessly to be the FIRST only choice for domestic PPE production and quality sourced protective apparel for all our front line Heroes.

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