COVID-19 update

This item appears on page 5 of the November 2021 issue.

At press time, active COVID-19 infections had been confirmed in 192 countries and territories, with more than 235 million confirmed cases and, resulting from those, more than 4.8 million deaths.

The highly contagious Delta variant of COVID, first identified in November 2020 in India, has been detected in at least 135 countries. Though all approved vaccines currently in use have shown reduced effectiveness in preventing an infection from the Delta variant (39%-76%, depending on the vaccine and study), each has proven capable of preventing severe infections and hospitalizations in almost all breakthrough infections of vaccinated people. At press time, more than 2.6 billion people had been fully vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) rank countries and territories, on a scale of 1 to 4, based on the risk of COVID infection at each location (4 being the highest risk). To view the CDC’s rankings, visit