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Santa Monica Surpasses 6,000 COVID Cases
By Jorge Casuso
August 24, 2021 -- There were 192 confirmed coronavirus cases in Santa Monica last week, pushing the total number of cases above 6,000, while no new virus-related deaths were reported.
The nearly 200 weekly cases follow an August low of 143 cases the previous week, according to data provided by the Los Angeles County Health Department.
The weekly tallies in the city of some 93,000 have remained relatively steady after a near record 343 cases were confirmed at the end of July.
Since the first COVID case was confirmed in Santa Monica on March 16, 2020, a total of 183 residents have died with the virus.
That number has held steady since May 2, before the highly contagious, but far less deadly, delta variant began circulating in LA County.
As of Thursday, 69,369 Santa Monica residents over the age of 12 -- 82.2 percent -- had been vaccinated, up from 65,666 three weeks ago.
County Health officials expect vaccination rates to increase after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.
The vaccine -- which will be marketed as Comirnaty -- was the first of three vaccines developed under former President Donald Trump's "Operation Warp Speed" to be given emergency authorization.
The vaccines were authorized for distribution in December after less than a year of trials, compared to the typical ten-year trial period.
Comirnaty is the first approved vaccine made of modified messenger RNA, or mRNA, which provides instructions for cells to make their own spike proteins instead of using actual bits of the virus.
According to the FDA, "The mRNA in Comirnaty is only present in the body for a short time and is not incorporated into -- nor does it alter -- an individual’s genetic material."
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that 354.5 million COVID vaccine doses had been administered in the U.S. as of August 13.
They include 199 million doses of Pfizer vaccine, 141 million doses of the Moderna vaccine and 14 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
As of Friday, the CDC's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) listed 464,769 adverse events for COVID vaccines, including 37,806 serious injuries and 6,018 deaths.
According to the CDC, "VAERS accepts reports of adverse events and reactions that occur following vaccination.
"Healthcare providers, vaccine manufacturers, and the public can submit reports to VAERS," the CDC said.
"While very important in monitoring vaccine safety, VAERS reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness."
As of Thursday, 6,471,894 LA County residents over the age of 12 -- 73.3 percent -- had taken at least one dose, with 5,645,960 -- or 64 percent -- of those fully vaccinated, Health officials reported.
Fully vaccinated people accounted for 30 percent of the cases and 13 percent of the hospitalizations reported in July, according to Health officials.
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