By SOPHIA TAREEN and JENNIFER McDERMOTT
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The U.S. has reached a COVID-19 milestone of 200 million fully vaccinated people, but cases and hospitalizations are still spiking, even in highly immunized pockets of the country like New England. The situation is not as dire as last year’s post-holiday surge before the public had any access to vaccines, but experts say the roughly currently 60% vaccinated U.S. population is not enough to prevent hotspots. And the winter weather, Thanksgiving holiday and pandemic fatigue are all playing a role. At the same time questions remain about the role of the new omicron variant.