COVID Updates for Travel Nurses: June 23, 2022
Now that this week has ushered in the official start of summer, what kind of hold will COVID-19 have on the country? While rates of infection and deaths have dropped in many areas, the virus is still not entirely gone. In fact. Dr. Fauci himself just tested positive for COVID-19, with his symptoms reportedly being “mild.”
There are more vaccines available than ever before—and a recent emergency authorization for children six months of age and older—but also more sub-variants that could pose a challenge in the future. For now, the majority of the country is enjoying a bit of a virus plateau. Some areas, like the West and South, have seen an uptick in cases.
More summer weather—with parties, vacations, and lots of get-togethers and travel—could bring changes with the virus, as well as other needs for travel nurses in hospitals with staff fluctuations. Here’s more on what’s happening with the virus in the U.S. now and what COVID travel nurse jobs are available.
What’s happening with COVID-19 right now
A chief epidemiologist told the NYT 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 86,379,937 cases of COVID
- The CDC’s death toll from COVID has reached over 1 million cases, at 1,009,440
- 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 (our last update was 244 deaths per day).
What’s happening in hospitals right now
The CDC has not updated its hospitalization data from the last week tracked, but the last recorded data was a weekly average of 4,127, which was an increase of 8% from the previous week tracked.
The NYT reports that on average, about 30K people are hospitalized each day with COVID-related symptoms, a number that’s been pretty consistent over the past month.
Travel nursing opportunities may be increasing again with rises in cases and hospitalizations, as well as the onset of the summer months when many healthcare workers may take time off. If you are looking for a COVID-specific travel nursing job, here are some of the current travel nursing positions available with weekly rates listed.
Current COVID-19 travel nursing jobs for June 23, 2022
All of the following positions are MICU/SICU/ICU roles, which are most commonly COVID units:
- Alabama: $2.5K/week
- California: $4.9K/week
- Florida: $3.9K/week
- Kansas: $2.2K/week
- Louisiana: $2.5K/week
- Massachusetts: $4.7K/week
- Michigan: $3.8K/week
- Missouri: $4K/week
- New York: $6K/week
- New Jersey: $3.6K/week
- Oklahoma: $2.5K/week
- Oregon: $2.9K/week
- West Virginia: $4K/week
What’s happening with the vaccine
Both the Pfizer-BioTech and Moderna vaccines have been authorized for EUA by the FDA. The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for children six months and older, while Moderna is approved for kids aged 6017. The CDC is now officially recommending that all people six months and older receive an initial COVID-19 vaccination series, with additional recommendations for booster shots.
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 most 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 Novavax, a fourth COVID vaccine that uses different technology from the other currently available vaccines, moving 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 “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, 221.9 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:
- 78.1% of the population has received at least one dose
- 66.8% of the population is fully vaccinated
- 104.7 million people have received a first booster dose
- 16.8 million people have received a second booster dose
The CDC recommends that kids between the ages of 5 and 12 receive 1 booster dose, while people aged 12 and over should receive a series of two booster shots 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-BioNTech||Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for your first booster if you’re over 18; Pfizer-BioNTech for children between 6 months and 17. ||5 months after your first vaccine series; 3 months if you’re severely immunocompromised. |
If you’re getting a second booster, get it 4 months after your first. (Second boosters are not recommended for kids under 11.)
|Moderna||Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.||5 months after your first vaccine series; 3 months if you’re severely immunocompromised. |
If you’re getting a second booster (recommended for age 50+ and anyone severely immunocompromised), get it 4 months after your first. (Second boosters are not recommended for kids under 11.)
|J&J/Janssen||Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna|
You can also get a second mRNA-only booster if you’re over 50.
|2 months after your first vaccine.|
If you’re getting a second booster (age 50+ or severely immunocompromised), get it 4 months after your first.