Chaunie Brusie
Chaunie Brusie
June 20, 2022 - 4 min read

COVID Updates for Travel Nurses: June 15, 2022

The spring brought surges of COVID around the country, but this week, we have some good news to report: according to the New York Times, COVID cases seem to be stabilizing.

The CDC officially reports that all Americans are at a “much lower risk” of COVID-19 disease and complications thanks to a combination of lower community transmission, vaccinations, and previous immunities.

Summer could bring changes with the virus, as well as fluctuating demand for travel nurses. Here is what’s happening with the virus in the U.S. now and what COVID travel nurse jobs are available.

​​Interested in assignments in COVID-impacted areas? Start here.

What’s happening with COVID-19 right now

A chief epidemiologist told the New York Times that the U.S. is currently in a “plateau” of COVID, even with two key Omicron subvariants on the scene now. Additionally, she does not expect a new surge to hit until late summer or fall.

Officially speaking, here are the stats from the CDC:

  • To date, the U.S. has seen a total of 85,520,045 cases of COVID
  • The CDC’s death toll from COVID has reached over 1 million cases: 1,006,890
  • The U.S. is currently averaging about 109,032 cases per day
  • Deaths have increased slightly from last week, with an average of 306 COVID-related deaths per day (at the time of our last update we were seeing 244 deaths per day)

What’s happening in hospitals right now

Hospitalizations have increased slightly from the previous week tracked, according to the CDC. There has been an increase in hospitalizations in the Southern and Western states, particularly Wyoming and Mississippi. California and Florida have also seen a substantial rise in hospitalizations.

Travel nursing opportunities may increase again with any rise in cases and hospitalizations, especially as many healthcare workers take time off for the summer. If you are looking for a COVID-specific travel nursing job, here are some of the current travel nursing positions and rates available.

Current COVID-19 travel nursing jobs for June 15, 2022

All of the following positions are MICU/SICU/ICU roles, which are most commonly COVID units:

  • Alabama: $3.3K/week
  • California: $4.2K/week
  • Kansas: $2.6K/week
  • Louisiana: $2.5K/week
  • Massachusetts: $5.4K/week
  • Michigan: $3.8K/week
  • New Jersey: $4.4K/week
  • New York: $5.1K/week
  • Oregon: $4.1K/week
  • Pennsylvania: $3.3K/week
  • Rhode Island: $4K/week
  • Texas: $2.4K/week
  • West Virginia: $4K/week

Speak with a recruiter about available assignments in COVID-impacted areas today.

What’s happening with the vaccine

The CDC continues to recommend that anyone 5 years old and over receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Today, the FDA is also meeting to make a decision about authorizing the Moderna vaccine for children 5 and younger—a vaccine for COVID for children under 5 has yet to be approved. The FDA is expected to approve the vaccine.

According to Moderna, the vaccines tested in children 6-23 months old and 2-6 years olds revealed both a “robust neutralizing antibody response” and a “favorable safety profile.” Vaccination for children under 5 could come as soon as June 21 for children in California, which will be ground-breaking.

Moderna has also developed a revised vaccine, the bivalent booster vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273.214, that better fights the Omicron variant and potentially other variants. The revised vaccine will likely be offered as a booster vaccine in the fall. The bivalent vaccine targets two different strains of a virus and has the potential to provide broad immunity to COVID-19 as new variants develop because it uses mRNA to target specific mutations in a protein that appear across both older and emerging COVID-19 variants. However, it’s very possible that even with the revised vaccine, a new subvariant could take over, rendering even that version less effective.

And to add to the COVID vaccine round-up, the FDA has supported the Novavax, a fourth COVID vaccine that uses different technology from the other currently available vaccines, to move to the next round of authorization. That means that while it’s not fully approved for emergency use just yet, it’s well on its way, with a “thumbs up” from the FDA advisory board. Novavax works like traditional vaccines by introducing a small fragment of the actual coronavirus into the body—but in this case, the fragment has been built by a lab.

The FDA has also suggested that COVID vaccines may be recommended annually, much like the vaccines for influenza and pneumonia. Researchers are also in the process of testing a blood test that can measure someone’s immunity to COVID-19, whether through vaccines or infection. Ideally, the test could help guide someone to decide what steps they should take to protect themselves in the future from COVID.

According to the CDC, 221.8 million people in the U.S. have now been fully vaccinated. Vaccination rates have definitely slowed from earlier in the pandemic, but here’s how the current vaccine numbers stack up:

  • 78% of the population has received at least one dose
  • 66.8% of the population is fully vaccinated
  • 104.5 million people have received a first booster dose
  • 16.6 million people have received a second booster dose

Booster updates

The CDC recommends that all people aged 12 and over get a booster shot to protect against severe complications from COVID-19 infection. Here are the exact recommendations from the CDC regarding boosters:

If your first vaccine was:
Get this booster: When:
Pfizer-BioNTechPfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for your first booster if you’re over 18; Pfizer-BioNTech if you’re between 12 and 17. 
You can also get a second mRNA-only booster if you’re over 50. 
5 months after your first vaccine series.
If you’re getting a second booster (age 50+), get it 4 months after your first. 
ModernaPfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (adults 18+ only).
You can also get a second mRNA-only booster if you’re over 50. 
5 months after your first vaccine series.
If you’re getting a second booster (age 50+), get it 4 months after your first. 
J&J/JanssenPfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (adults 18+ only).
You can also get a second mRNA-only booster if you’re over 50. 
3 months after your first vaccine.
If you’re getting a second booster (age 50+), get it 4 months after your first. 

​​Interested in assignments in COVID-impacted areas? Start here.

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