Chaunie Brusie
Chaunie Brusie
June 10, 2022 - 4 min read

COVID Updates for Travel Nurses: June 8, 2022

As summer arrives, it appears that COVID-19 just can’t quit: two new subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, both the offspring of Omicron, are now increasing in the U.S., according to the New York Times.

Currently, these subvariants make up 13% of the new COVID-19 cases in the U.S., which is a big increase from last week. Experts warn that the subvariants could “quickly” gain a foothold, but they aren’t sure just yet if that will actually happen.

Still, we have good COVID news to report overall. After a slight surge that seemed to primarily hit the Northeast, the wave seems to be receding.

Here’s more on what’s happening with the virus in the U.S. and COVID travel nurse jobs.

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

What’s happening with COVID-19 right now

As expected, isolated outbreaks of COVID continue to crop up around the country. For instance, South Carolina, Washington and Los Angeles have all seen recent outbreaks of the virus.

On average there are around 100K new cases diagnosed each day. However, fewer than 8% of counties around the country have been classified as “high risk” by the CDC as of June 2. And keep in mind that officially reported infections likely don’t represent the true number of infections, as at-home testing becomes more popular and people with minor symptoms are less likely to test.

Here are the current stats from the CDC:

  • To date, the U.S. has seen a total of 84,762,952 cases of COVID
  • The death toll from COVID has surpassed 1 million cases: 1,004,260
  • The U.S. is currently averaging about 100,684 cases per day
  • Deaths have continued to decrease, with an average of 244 COVID-related deaths per day

What’s happening in hospitals right now

Hospitalizations have increased slightly from the previous week tracked, according to the CDC. The 7-day daily average for May 25–31, 2022, was 3,789, which is a 4.7% increase from the previous week tracked. However, overall, hospitalizations seem to be stabilizing from a recent small surge in the Northeast.

Additionally, less than 3,000 of the patients hospitalized with COVID-19-related symptoms are in the ICU.

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 8, 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 York: $5.1K/week
  • Pennsylvania: $3.3K/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 of age and older receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna has also asked the FDA to authorize its vaccine for children 5 and younger—a COVID vaccine for children under 5 has yet to be approved. According to Moderna, the vaccines tested in children 6-23 months old and 2-6 years old 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 as well. The revised vaccine will most likely be offered as a booster 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 “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.

According to the CDC, 221.6 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
  • 66.7% of the population is fully vaccinated
  • 104 million people have received a first booster dose
  • 15.7 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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