• Tue. Jan 25th, 2022

Experts Say More Efforts Needed to Meet President Biden’s Vaccination Goal by July 4

Byeditorial

Jun 8, 2021

(CNN) – Despite signs of a return to normalcy across the United States, from in-person graduations to Memorial Day without a mask, experts warn that the country must redouble its efforts to get more people vaccinated before July 4.
The United States reached its peak in daily vaccinations on April 1, with more than 4.3 million people inoculated in one day, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC). Since then, the numbers have dropped to an average of 560,000 a day in the last week.

President Joe Biden has called for 70% of all adults to have been vaccinated at least once by July 4, but a recent analysis of the CDC data made by CNN revealed that the United States probably won’t reach the target until mid-to-late July.

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the School of Public Health at Brown University, agrees that the country is not on track to meet the goal. “So we have to redouble our efforts”, told CNN’s Jake Tapper. States have to accelerate the pace. If we continue as before, I do not think we will reach that 70% by July 4.

State leaders have offered incentives ranging from free beer to lottery tickets to encourage more people to get vaccinated.

CDC data shows that 63.7% of Americans have received their first dose of the vaccine, but misunderstandings about the dangers of infection and the need to get vaccinated could put more people at risk, Jha said.

“I understand that in the short term we can get away with it, having slow vaccination rates,” he explained. “But those people are really vulnerable to getting reinfected and potentially getting very sick once we have more variants circulating in the United States.”

The CDC data show that about one in three Americans had COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic.

But even if infected people think they now have natural immunity, they may not take into account the danger posed by the variants, Jha said.

Misunderstandings around vaccines raise doubts

In Mississippi, the state with the lowest vaccination rate in the country, the governor has attributed the indecision of residents to the idea of ​​natural immunity.

CDC data shows that less than 45% of adults in the state have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and only 35.7% are fully vaccinated.

“We have about a million Mississippi people who have natural immunity and so there is very, very little virus in our state,” Governor Reeves told CNN on Sunday.

Reeves and his wife are vaccinated, and he said he believes the vaccine is safe and effective. However, the governor called Biden’s goal “arbitrary” and said the 320,000 Mississippi residents who tested positive for the virus may have natural immunity.

The governor said the number of cases and hospitalizations has dropped significantly in his state, so while he encourages people to get vaccinated, he believes that people have the right to make their own decisions.

Health workers from the Delta Health Center prepare to vaccinate against COVID-19 at a mobile clinic in Leland, Mississippi.

“This is a misunderstanding that, unfortunately, many people have,” Jha said. “There is the idea that if you got sick then you have natural immunity and you don’t need to get vaccinated.”

“I have no doubt that a vaccine-induced immunity is much more durable and will resist variants much better,” he added.

The CDC released data on Monday showing that even rare post-vaccination infections – that is, people who test positive for COVID-19 despite being vaccinated – create a milder response to the disease.

People who got post-vaccination infections after one or two doses of the vaccine had 40% less virus in their bodies and were 58% less likely to have a fever. They also spent two fewer days in bed than patients not vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the study.

“The only way to be protected is to be fully vaccinated,” Jha said, adding that people need to receive both doses of the vaccines. “That’s why everyone needs a second dose.”

Ongoing debate on vaccination passports

As authorities strive to increase vaccination rates, a debate is taking place over vaccination vouchers, with some state leaders saying they will not require them and others outright banning them at a time when many Americans begin to travel. for the first time since the pandemic.

New York was the first state to issue a digital vaccination passport using IBM’s Excelsior Pass app, which displays a personalized QR code that verifies vaccination status. The app was tested at sports matches in March.

In April, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the federal government will not issue a vaccine passport.

On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill that prohibits businesses from requiring customers to provide proof that they are vaccinated.

“Texas is 100% open,” Abbott said when signing Senate Bill 968. “We want to make sure they have the freedom to go where they want without limits.”

Abbott said that “no business or government entity can require a person to provide a vaccine passport, or any other vaccine information as a condition of receiving any service or entering any place.”

Abbott’s signing came on the same day Carnival Cruise Line confirmed it will resume operations at the Texas port of Galveston on July 3.

Carnival currently requires proof of vaccination as part of its protocol for passengers.

“We are evaluating newly enacted legislation in Texas regarding vaccine information,” the company said. “The law provides exceptions for when a company is applying the covid-19 protocols in accordance with federal law, which is consistent with our plans to comply with the guidelines of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” .

Moderna says 5-year-olds could get vaccinated in autumn

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies are continuing their research to expand access to vaccines at younger ages.

On Monday, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said his vaccine will likely be available to children as young as five in early fall.

“I think it will be early fall, simply because we have to age very slowly and carefully,” Bancel said at an event organized on the Clubhouse social media platform.

The covid-19 vaccine Pfizer-BioNTech It has already been approved for children up to 12 years old. And Moderna said it is testing its vaccine in children as young as six months.

Bancel noted that the process will take time while the appropriate doses for young children are determined. “We anticipate that the data will be available in September / October,” he said.

His comments came at the same time as an investigation published in the JAMA Network Open magazine showed that children with underlying health problems are more likely to be hospitalized or become seriously ill from COVID-19.

An expert tells you why children should be vaccinated against covid-19 2:24

Data from 43,465 COVID-19 patients 18 years of age or younger who attended an emergency department or were hospitalized showed that those with underlying health problems were more likely to become seriously ill or hospitalized, and that about 28.7 % of all those patients had underlying health problems.

Among the 4,302 who were hospitalized, more than 2,700 – 62.9% – had underlying health problems, the researchers noted.
Patients with type 1 diabetes and obesity were the most likely to be hospitalized, while those born prematurely were more likely to suffer serious illness from COVID-19, according to the data.

The report suggested that this information be taken into account when setting vaccination priorities and regulations.

– CNN’s Keith Allen, Lauren Mascarenhas, Jamiel Lynch and Nicollette Higgs contributed to this report.

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