(CNN) – The United States reached a “historic day” in the coronavirus pandemic, since 60% of adults in this country have received at least one dose of the vaccine against covid-19, reported the director of the Centers for Control and the United States Disease Prevention (CDC).In addition, more than 3.5 million people ages 12 to 17 have received their first dose, said Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
And more people of color are getting vaccinated, marking “encouraging national trends,” said senior adviser to the White House COVID-19 Response Team, Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith.
“We recognize that zip code is a stronger indicator of health,” said Nunez-Smith. It seems that reaching out to people and bringing vaccines to communities is working, he said.
The Black, Latino, and Native American communities have suffered especially the effects of covid-19. And some of these groups were hesitant to get vaccinated because of the mistreatment received in the past.
But efforts to protect minority communities appear to be paying off. Of all the federal vaccination centers run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), about 60% of the vaccines have been administered to people of color, Nunez-Smith said.
And about 70% of the vaccines given through the federal government’s community health centers have been given to people of color, he said.
But the need to vaccinate more Americans to prevent the virus from resurfacing in the future it is still a reality.
“We have to continue to ensure that vaccination coverage is consistent across the country,” Walensky said Tuesday.
“This requires us to meet people where they are, listen to their concerns and help people make an informed decision about vaccination.”
Mask regulations change in some places
While the news of increased vaccinations is a positive step towards achieving herd immunity, many are grappling with the latest CDC guidelines about masks.
Several days after the CDC said that fully vaccinated Americans can, for the most part, get rid of your face masks, more places are changing their mask policies, or eliminating them altogether.
CVS Pharmacy and Target said they will no longer require fully vaccinated customers to wear masks inside their stores, unless ordered by local leaders, joining other businesses who have abandoned the mask obligations for those who have been vaccinated.
“The use of masks will continue to be strongly recommended to clients and team members who are not fully vaccinated,” he said. Target in a statement. To the CVS customers unvaccinated are asked to continue to cover their faces.
The Governor of Delaware, John Carney, announced Tuesday that the state will eliminate its mandate on the use of masks and physical distancing requirements starting at 8 a.m. (Miami time) this Friday.
“Unvaccinated Delaware residents should continue to wear face masks to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19,” Carney said.
The order to require the use of masks in public transport, in schools, in health centers and in state-owned buildings and facilities is maintained. Carney’s ad urged people who can’t get vaccinated to keep wearing face masks, including children over the age of 12.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said fully vaccinated people will no longer have to wear masks in many places, with exceptions for schools, health centers and transportation hubs.
“If they are not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated yet, we need them to keep protecting themselves,” Bowser said Monday.
And as of Wednesday, New York to adopt CDC guidelines and it will not require masks or physical distancing from fully vaccinated people, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
But experts are concerned about rapid changes And they say that without verification systems, some parts of the country now have to rely on an honor system to ensure that unvaccinated Americans wear masks, a system that some say does not work.
“I respectfully say this to the CDC, but we really need to get back to a point where (people) are encouraged to get vaccinated and more of that approach rather than celebrating our new freedoms,” said Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City, Missouri.
“Because the honor system is not working here, I don’t think it will work in many parts of this country.”
Now, local officials are concerned about how to move forward, Lucas said.
“This creates a number of challenges where, how does the store manager check? How can our health department enforce a standard? So while I respect a lot of jurisdictions that are trying, I think, to really adhere to the CDC (guidance), it is a challenge for us, ”the mayor said.
Some state and local leaders cling to face masks
Other leaders have not been too quick to abandon the mask requirements.
While Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced last week the end of the obligation to wear a mask Statewide, Baltimore City health officials announced that the local obligation would remain in place until at least 65% of Baltimore adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy signed an order Monday removing the mask requirement for outdoor public spaces, but maintained the mask requirement for indoor public spaces and workplaces.
‘Outdoor environments pose a lower risk of virus transmission than indoor environments, and lifting the indoor mask mandate at this time could lead to increased transmission among those who are not yet fully vaccinated, including children they are not yet eligible or have just become, “Murphy said in a statement.
“As we approach our vaccination goal in the coming weeks, we hope we can safely lift the indoor mask requirement soon,” he added.
California plans to keep its mask mandate for indoor activities for another month, authorities said. The state standard of face covering will be dropped for fully vaccinated residents on June 15, Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced.
“This four-week period will give Californians time to prepare for this change, as we continue the relentless focus on vaccine delivery, particularly to underserved communities and those that were hit hard throughout this pandemic,” said Ghaly. .
Delayed vaccination in rural areas could prolong pandemic, CDC says
Americans in rural areas are at higher risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19, but vaccination rates in these areas lag far behind cities.
And that could delay the end of this pandemic, according to a new CDC report released Tuesday.
In September 2020, the covid-19 rate in rural counties exceeded that of urban counties.
But only 39% of residents in rural counties had been vaccinated as of April, compared with 46% in urban areas as of April, according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
About 60 million Americans, one-fifth of the nation’s population, live in rural counties.
And if the low vaccination rate continues, it could hamper nationwide efforts to control COVID-19, according to the CDC report.
CDC advises public health officials to work with doctors and local influencers in rural areas to address vaccine concerns, ensure vaccine access, and encourage more people to get vaccinated against COVID. -19.
Effort to administer vaccines continues
One expert says she expects 20-25% of Americans won’t want to get vaccinated, but says she hasn’t given up on all of them yet.
“It’s still playing the grassroots game, it’s about going door to door, it’s about getting trusted community leaders,” said ER doctor Megan Ranney.
For example, if the vaccine is offered directly to people, they will often agree to be vaccinated, he said.
“If we do that, we will get a significant percentage of those people who have not yet been vaccinated,” Ranney added.
The CDC is also asking companies to help workers get vaccinated, Walensky said earlier this week.
“We are asking companies to work with their workers to make sure they have paid time off to get vaccinated so they can be safe,” Walensky said.
Expert: The pandemic will not end in the United States until it ends globally
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden said Monday that his administration will share millions more doses of COVID-19 vaccines with other countries, in addition to the 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that it has already pledged to share before the July 4th.
The president said the United States will share at least 20 million doses of covid-19 vaccines by the end of next month, for a total of 80 million doses to be shipped abroad.
The 20 million additional doses will include vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, as well as those from AstraZeneca, which have to be approved by federal regulators before being shipped overseas. That effort is underway.
“What they announced today is really important,” Dr. Tom Frieden, former CDC director, told CNN on Monday. “This pandemic will not end for the United States until it is over globally.”
Biden said the announcement was his administration’s latest effort to redouble efforts abroad and work with other world leaders to end the pandemic and said he looked forward to announcing progress in fighting the pandemic abroad at the G7 summit in June.