The global COVID-19 Pandemic has passed its one-year anniversary recently.  The death toll stateside has exceeded half a million deaths since, with a total of roughly 28 million infections.  Despite these grim numbers, there are valid reasons to think positively about our ability to contain and possibly eliminate the pandemic.  The following are a few recent trends and developments related to the effort to curb the pandemic:

· Based on the most recent numbers provided by Reuters , COVID-19 infections are currently decreasing in the US, with 68,240 new infections reported on average daily.  That is just 27% of the peak infection numbers, which was at its highest recently on January 7th, 2021.

· Initial vaccine deployment in the US has had a slow start, but availability is steadily increasing. So far, roughly 75 million doses have been administered to the American public; though, that does not account for the number of people vaccinated, just the number of shots given.

·  A third (the first two being from Pfizer and Moderna respectively) COVID-19 Vaccine created by Johnson & Johnson was authorized by the FDA on Saturday, February 27th for emergency use.  Deliveries of the vaccine should start on Tuesday, March 2nd according to the Biden Administration. According to trials, it boasts a 72% efficacy rate, 85% efficacy rate against severe forms of COVID-19 and 100% efficacy against hospitalization and death. Johnson & Johnson has pledged to make available over 100 million doses by the end of June.  The new vaccine is only one dose (vs. the two of the other authorized vaccines) and does not require the same strict storage requirements of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, which experts say is a huge boon to the effort of getting more Americans vaccinated quickly.

It is unclear exactly what the future holds, and how the pandemic will evolve over time.  What is clear though, is that the combined efforts of government, private enterprise, and the collective efforts of society as a whole is allowing us to make positive strides in combating the pandemic.

This article was written by an independent writer for Brewster Financial Planning LLC and is not intended as individualized legal or investment advice.