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                                DECEMBER  BLOG

                                                   U.S.                                                                  California

                                   CASES               DEATHS                                     CASES              DEATHS       

December 2020    19,111,443              341,149                              2,120,610               24,241


2021   Timeline

January                  26,185,362              441,319                              3,310,949               40,702

February                28,602,101              513,137                               3,563,578               51,953

March                    30,459,874              552,072                               3,668,277               59,240

April                       32,225,012              574,280                                3,742,115               62,078

May                       33,261,284              594,468                                3,789,227               63,247

June                      33,624,871              603,966                                3,814,890               63,569

July                        34,434,136              610,859                                3,903,052               64,231 

August                  39,057,368               638,700                               4,326,204               65,757 

September           43,471,906              698,149                                4,720,860               69,130

October               45,979,056               746,021                               4,915,796               71,950

November           48,214,360               776,586                               5,060,666               74,152

December           54,859,966               825,816                              5,515,250                76,520


2022 Timeline

January               74,333,528               884,265                               8,292,735               79,801

February              79,025,644               949,957                               8,961,636               85,043

March                  81,780,503            1,007,320                               9,102,677               89,052

April                      82,658,881            1,018,326                              9,192,666               90,145

May                      86,065,680            1,032,094                              9,574,768               91,591

June                     86,967,132            1,015,938                            10,024,838               92,113

July                       90,733,888            1,027,886                            10,367,437               92,784

August                 94,199,489             1,043,864                            11,052,866              94,959

September          96,067,772             1,506,416                           11,233,276               95,796

October               97,450,859            1,070,266                           11,363,979                96,892

November           98,568,849            1,079,197                           11,492,488                97,437                                                        

UPDATED WEEKLY - Last updated on 27 December 2022, 10:00 am PST, John Hopkins Corona Virus Dashboard and Worldometer


Cases Worldwide  

                            John Hopkins                                                               Worldometer

  • TOTAL CASES    -    657,946,718                                   TOTAL CASES     -   662,419,754

              Recovered     -                                                             Recovered      -   634,982,903

  • TOTAL DEATHS  -        6,682,591                                   TOTAL DEATHS   -       6,687,778


POPULATION - is 335,813,917 as of 27 December 2022, 10:00 am PST, based on Census U.S. and World Population Clock.

           * updated information

           ** no updated information at this reporting


Cases in the U.S.

  • TOTAL CASES    -   100,399,247                                    TOTAL CASES    -   102,247,575

               Recovered    -                                                             Recovered     -     99,275,222

  • TOTAL DEATHS  -       1,090,252                                    TOTAL DEATHS  -       1,116,095

             *  Unemployment maintains at 3.7%

             *  263,000 jobs added in November.


Cases in California

  • TOTAL CASES    -   11,775,426                                     TOTAL CASES     -       11,657,845

              Recovered     -                                                            Recovered       -       11,326,992

  • TOTAL DEATHS  -         98,386                                      TOTAL DEATHS    -              98,185


12/27/2022                   Cases (WHO)                    Deaths (WHO)                Recovered (WHO)

  • Texas                 -    8,161,111                           92,220                             7,960,490
  • Florida               -   7,312,663                            83,606                             7,159,243
  • New York          -   6,717,160                            75,056                             6,576,544
  • Illinois                 -   3,953,928                           40,610                             3,817,783
  • Pennsylvania    -   3,403,177                           48,798                             3,321,911
  • N. Carolina       -   3,316,814                           27,629                             3,259,277
  • Ohio                  -   3,294,521                           40,840                             3,201,157
  • Georgia            -   2,974,619                           41,361                             2,894,620
  • Tennessee         -  2,419,118                            28,584                            2,384,873
  • Arizona              -  2,373,361                            32,038                            2,301,797
  • Alabama          -  1,568,934                            20,737                            1,510,066
  • Louisiana          -   1,507,707                           18,345                            1,476,607
  • W. Virginia        -     621,614                              7,661                               612,627

 *  Rated last in vaccine distribution at 52%, fully vaccinated

** correction

            ***  no updated information at this reporting


United States progress                                       Updated 27 December 2022, 10:00 am PST,

  • Doses Distributed                                                      937,298,205
  • Doses Administered                                                 662,148,570
  • 1st dose administered                                             268,143,349           80.8%                      
  • Primary series administered                                    228,989,746           69. %
  • Booster administered**                                           111,367,843           49.1%
  • 2nd Booster**                                                              26,796,838           40.6%
  • Bivalent Booster                                                         45,675,842           14.6%  

     Total population                                                     335,813,917

               *Updated information

             ** No updated information at this reporting










CDC now tracking BN.1, the latest new COVID variant on the rise.  November 14, 2022.   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking another COVID-19 variant, BN.1.  4.3% of new COVID-19 cases nationwide are linked to the BN.1 variant.  The new strain is prevalent in the West, the region that spans Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada.   6.2% of new cases in that area, HHS Region 9, are BN.1.


CDC official indicated BN.1 is estimated to be doubling every two weeks across the country, though they cautioned early estimates remain muddy.  "The uncertainty in that doubling time is a little higher because the absolute number of sequences is low, because the proportions are low, so has much larger confidence intervals," indicated the CDC's Natalie Thornburg said.


Scientists first designated the BN.1 strain in September, from the BA.2.75 variant descendants spotted in Europe and Asia.   Some BN.1 strains carry mutations that could result in "high immune escape," according to Fred Hutchinson, Cancer Center's Bloom Lab. 


All BN.1 strains carry the R346T substitution, a change “we see in a lot of the circulating viruses.  That mutation to the spike protein could thwart a key medication used to protect people with weakened immune systems.


BQ.1, BQ.1.1, and XBB - BN.1 joins a crowded field of emerging Omicron variant descendants, having swelled in recent months, overtaking the BA.5 variant that had dominated cases over the summer.


Another variant being watched closely abroad is XBB.  XBB has yet to reach levels in the U.S. to merit being listed a standalone strain. The CDC estimated XBB at less than 1% nationwide.

The CDC's variant surveillance in international airports has acknowledged growing numbers of XBB in arriving travelers so far:


  • 13% of samples through late October were from XBB
  • 30.4% were from BQ.1 or BQ.1.1
  • none were from BN.1.


Moderna announced its COVID-19 booster may offer some protection against BQ.1.1.

The National Institutes of Health's COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines panel warned new variants could evade some COVID treatments such as the monoclonal antibody, bebtelovimaburging clinicians to stop using the drug in regions where the strains were dominant.   That includes the New York and New Jersey region, where the CDC estimates BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 now make up a majority of infections.


The rise of these and other evasive Omicron variants also threaten protection offered by AstraZeneca's Evusheld, a key tool to protecting immunocompromised Americans.


New Omicron subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 make gains as BA.5 fades.  Tue, November 1, 2022 at 5:00 AM.  Eating into BA.5's dominance are its own descendants: BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, sub-variants of the original Omicron coronavirus strain. 


Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer noted "emerging variants and sub-variants of the virus have played a large role in driving past surges.   We should prepare for another winter surge, because every COVID surge brings additional risk.  We’re optimistic because of powerful tools, including therapeutics and the new bivalent boosters that can blunt the impact."


BA.5 remains the common version of the coronavirus in circulation in the U.S. — making up 49.6% of new cases.  A month prior, federal health officials estimated it was nearly 82% of new cases.


During the same time, BQ.1 has increased from 1.2% to 14%, CDC data show, with BQ.1.1 swelling from 0.5% to 13.1%.


The circulation of other respiratory illnesses, influenza and respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) or RSV, are much more active than typical for this time of year.  Because vaccine protection wanes over time, risks can be higher depending on time since last inoculated.


  • As of mid-October, the California Department of Public Health indicated: 21.9 million or 78% of all vaccinated recipients — were six months removed from their last dose
  • Bivalent boosters, designed to protect against the original coronavirus strain and the Omicron sub-variants BA.5 and BA.4, also have been slow.   
  • 11.4% of eligible Californians have gotten the additional dose, state data shows.  Nationwide, bivalent coverage among eligible recipients is 7.3%, according to the CDC.


New COVID Variants Are Circulating. Here's What to Know.  Fri, November 4, 2022 at 10:27 AM.  As it gets colder and more people move activities indoors, the recent decline in COVID-19 cases across the United States has started to level off.  Hospitalizations are ticking up in Arizona, Indiana, Illinois, Nevada, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin.  


Which sub-variants are circulating right now?  And what is the ‘nightmare variant’?  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, another variant, BA.4.6, has gained ground accounting for 9.6% of cases.  BF.7, BA.5.2.6, BA.2.75 and a number of other variants are jockeying for position in the United States, while XBB, the “nightmare variant,” has made headlines for its role in COVID-19 case surges in Singapore.


How worried should I be about these new sub-variants?  With more immune-evasive sub-variants, healthy adults are more likely to be infected after vaccination or after a previous infection with a different variant.  Preprint studies indicate prior infection or vaccination may not produce antibodies that protect strongly against the new sub-variants in lab experiments.


But other parts of the immune system can come to our defense, said Dr. Otto Yang, infectious disease physician and immunology researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine.  “People up to date on vaccines and get treatment early with Paxlovid, an oral antiviral medication or remdesivir, an injectable antiviral, will to do fine.   


According to Dr. Alpana Waghmare, infectious disease expert at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, immune evasion is a bigger concern for those immunocompromised or don’t mount a strong immune response to vaccines. That includes those:  


  • who have had stem cell or solid organ transplants,
  • who received cancer treatments,
  • who have autoimmune diseases and
  • who need immune-suppressive medication for various medical conditions


Immunocompromised individuals rely on preventive shots like Evusheld and intravenous treatments such as bebtelovimab, made from monoclonal antibodies which can fill in holes in the protection of these patients.  Monoclonal antibody treatments act on one particular piece of the virus.  If altered in the newer sub-variants, these treatments may no longer be effective.


Proven Way to Beat Monster COVID Variants Won’t Work in U.S.  Tue, November 8, 2022 at 1:56 AM.   The two most highly evolved COVID sub-variants - XBB in Asia and the BQ.1 in Europe and the U.S., are both more contagious than previous forms of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  They reduce the effectiveness of many of the leading vaccines and thwart monoclonal antibody therapies.

Disaster isn’t inevitable.  “I think the main lesson from India and Singapore is, ‘Don't panic,’” indicated Paul Anantharajah Tambyah, president of the Asia Pacific Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infection in Singapore.


  • Singapore’s strategy: vaccinate and boost almost everybody.
  • India’s success - a combination of natural antibodies from past infection, a middling vaccination rate and a healthy mix of different vaccine types contributed to India’s battle against XBB.

BQ.1 has an advantage over other sub-variants - three major mutations on its spike protein that helps it grab onto and infect cells making it more contagious than its cousins.  XBB has seven new mutations along the spike.  These and other mutations give BQ.1 and XBB their ability to evade antibody therapies.


At least one study also highlighted sub-variant’s high level of “fusogenicity” or how well they fuse to our cells.  The higher the fusogenicity, the higher the potential to cause serious disease.

The data from India doesn’t point to a sustained surge in COVID despite XBB’s new dominance.  The question is why?   68% of its 1.4 billion of the population fully vaccinated with one of eight authorized vaccines — a mix of adenovirus, inactivated-virus and protein vaccines but no mRNA and only 15 % boosted, India is in the middle of the global pack for vaccination.


“It’s possible Indians benefit from widespread natural immunity from the waves of Delta and Omicron infections.   Another possibility is that their vaccines hold up better in terms of durability,” Peter Hotez, expert in vaccine development at Baylor College explained.


Richer countries leaned heavily on the mRNA vaccines which has the benefit of speed and flexibility.  It’s simple to update an mRNA vaccine for new variants by swapping one bit of RNA for another.


Studies indicated the best conventional vaccines retain effectiveness longer than the mRNA jabs.   “There is a theoretical benefit to having a combination of different vaccines.  Individuals could mix vaccines!   Many experts feel the level of immunity will be more robust if the body has been exposed to different vaccines.  India is the best example of that and could play a role in protecting the population against new waves.



Novavax says Omicron shot shows strong immune response as second booster.  Tue, November 7, 2022 at 11:56 AM.   Novavax Inc. indicated its retooled COVID-19 shot against the Omicron BA.1 variant showed a strong immune response as the fourth dose and met the main goal of strain change. 


Data showed the shot, NVX-CoV2515, produced 1.6 times the amount of neutralizing antibodies in those who had not been exposed to COVID-19 compared to the original Novavax's coronavirus vaccine.


Novavax's bivalent vaccine, the BA.1 tailored shot and its prototype vaccine can be changed to target a new variant vaccine if necessary.  Novavax's COVID shot has not received approval in the United States as a second booster dose, but the FDA allowed use as a first booster in adults in mid-October.  Like its rivals Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc., Novamax is also developing a combination vaccine targeting COVID-19 and influenza.


A combination vaccine for flu and COVID-19 is in the works. Here's what to know.  Mon, November 7, 2022 at 11:56 AM.   Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have led the COVID-19 vaccination strategy and have indicated beginning trials to assess the safety, efficacy and dosage of their candidate vaccine that combines four flu strains and two coronavirus strains.


What's the difference between flu and COVID-19?


  • Influenza:  An infection of the respiratory system including the nose, throat and lungs.
  • Flu symptoms Fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headache and fatigue.
  • Flu strains:  There are four types of influenza viruses – A, B, C and D – but strains that cause seasonal flu illness are influenza A and B.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says influenza C causes mild disease and influenza D is normally seen in cattle, not people.


What flu and COVID vaccines do we currently use? 


  • Influenza:   is based on age, but is designed to protect against four flu strains circulating that season. Most standard dose flu vaccines are approved for people 6 months and older, and they are made using virus grown in eggs.
  • Cell-based:  Contains virus grown in cells, approved for people 6 months and older.
  • Recombinant:  Made using recombinant technology without flu viruses and approved for people 18 years and older.
  • Attenuated:  Egg-based shot that contains a weakened live virus, approved for ages 2 to 49.
  • High-dose or adjuvanted:  Egg-based shot with a high-dose or a special ingredient that help create a stronger immune response, approved for people 65 and older.
  • COVID-19 The most widely used shot in the United States is messenger RNA vaccines created by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.


LATEST NEWS: Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent booster is as safe as earlier shots.  What would the new vaccines do?  Ideally, they would protect against COVID-19 and the flu with a single shot.  There are no approved flu vaccines with mRNA technology. 


An mRNA-based flu vaccine would be less costly to manufacture and may produce a better immune response in the elderly, indicated Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, division chief of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital.


Vaccine developers are using their candidate flu vaccines that use mRNA technology and combining it with their bivalent booster.  The combination vaccines induce an immune response specific to the four strains of flu circulating, the original coronavirus, and the BA.4/BA.5 sub-variants.


"What it should do it generate high-titer neutralizing antibody against influenza and COVID, and should also be safe," Kuritzkes said.


Moderna, Pfizer: What's in the works?


  • Pfizer-BioNTech:  The companies have announced the start of Phase 1 trials to evaluate the safety, efficacy and optimal dose level of its combination candidate vaccine.   The combination vaccine includes bivalent vaccine and a new mRNA-based flu vaccine candidate, is in Phase 3 trials.
  • Moderna - The Cambridge-based company has its Phase 1/2 trial fully enrolled.  The flu-COVID candidate vaccine combines Moderna’s original COVID-19 mRNA vaccine with its candidate mRNA flu vaccine, also in Phase 3 trials.


Can you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time? Would a new vaccine help?  Co-infections with respiratory viruses happen "all the time," especially in early childhood, said Dr. Pedro Piedra, professor of molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine.  It’s possible to co-detect the flu and COVID-19 in the same person, dubbed “flurona, but health experts state it’s difficult to determine which virus is causing the principle infection and related symptoms.


"Combination vaccines for respiratory pathogens that circulate during the fall and winter months is an ideal type of vaccine ... as long as they're safe, well tolerated and effective," Piedra said.


Where can I get a flu and COVID-19 vaccine now?  Health officials say Americans can get their flu and COVID-19 shots in the same visit.


  • Doctor's office - Experts advise to call ahead before making an appointment to make sure the vaccine you want or need is available.
  • Pharmacy - Major pharmacy retailers, such as Walgreens and CVS, offer both vaccines and accept walk-ins or appointments online.
  • - Americans can visit this website and choose a vaccine based on age and manufacturer.


How can I protect myself against the virus?  The best thing most people can do to protect themselves in the winter is to be vaccinated and boosted. A Pfizer study suggests the updated bivalent booster, produces better antibody responses against BA.5 for those over age 55.  The bivalent booster can train your immune system to recognize the original 2020 virus.  It remains to be seen how well the bivalent antibodies work against newer sub-variants like BQ.1 and BQ.1.1


T cell protection from the booster should protect against severe illness if you do get infected. Protection appears to wane at six months.


COVID-19 Vaccine Bivalent Update.  Posted Nov. 1, 2022.  As of October 12, the new COVID-19 booster recommendations for people ages 5 years and older is to receive 1 bivalent mRNA booster after completion of a monovalent primary series or previously received monovalent booster dose(s).  The recommendations replace all prior booster recommendations for this age group.


  • Recommendations for use of a bivalent Moderna booster dose in people ages 6–17 years
  • Recommendations for use of a bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose in people ages 5–11 years


The CDC recommends a bivalent, containing components of the original strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the omicron variant, COVID-19 booster for people ages 5 years and older.  The bivalent vaccines offer better protection against COVID-19 caused by the omicron variant than the earlier, monovalent vaccines.  The vaccines, have been authorized for use as a single booster dose administered at least two months after primary or booster vaccination.  The monovalent COVID-19 vaccines will no longer be available for booster doses in patients over the age of 5.  The monovalent vaccines will remain available for the primary vaccine series in all patients and for booster doses in patients younger than 5 years old.


Visit the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine and booster page for more details.


How to Protect Yourself?  Getting vaccinated is your best bet!




Stay safe.  Mask.  Social distance.  Frequent hand washing.  Avoid crowds




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