Getting vaccinated would ‘hang’ the coronavirus, according to congressman 1:49
. – With the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus spreading, especially among unvaccinated Americans, it may be time for much of the country to put masks back on, experts say.
“We are at a very different point in the pandemic than we were a month ago,” Dr. Leana Wen told CNN on Tuesday. “And so we should follow the example of Los Angeles County and say that if there are places where vaccinated and unvaccinated people mix, then the indoor mask mandates should continue to apply.”
Los Angeles County reinstated a mask order over the weekend, requiring it indoors regardless of vaccination status.
Wen, a CNN medical analyst, named two exceptions to the times when he thinks people should wear a mask indoors in public: when everyone is vaccinated and has tested negative for covid-19 or if there is a level very high vaccination in the community.
Ideally, mask-wearing mandates would be in place as leaders seek ways to demonstrate people’s vaccination status to boost vaccination rates, said Wen, an emergency room physician and visiting professor of policy and management. at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.
Meanwhile, the former U.S. chief health officer when the pandemic began says he wants the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to formally change its guidance on mask use. due to the delta variant and the increase in the number of cases.
Vaccinated and unvaccinated people should wear masks “where cases are increasing and vaccination rates remain low,” former Health Director Jerome Adams wrote in an opinion piece published Wednesday in The Washington newspaper. Post.
This would be a departure from the CDC announcement on May 13, when they said that fully vaccinated people do not have to wear masks either indoors or outdoors.
“Instead of being vaccinated or masked, people may need to be vaccinated and masked,” Adams wrote.
About 28% of the US population, or more than 91 million people, live in a county considered “high” transmission of COVID-19, according to CDC data.
According to the CDC, only 48.7% of the total American population is fully vaccinated against the virus, a figure well below the 70% or 85% that health experts have calculated would be needed to slow or stop the spread.
Cases are increasing in the United States. The country registered an average of 37,055 new cases a day for a week through Tuesday, 54% more than the previous week and more than two and a half times the average registered two weeks ago (13,665), according to data from Johns Hopkins University. .
On Monday, the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, signed the renewal of the state of public health emergency for covid-19 for another 90 days, as some states are seeing particularly worrying impacts. of the pandemic.
The current surge in cases may continue to put pressure on the Mississippi health care system, state officials have warned.
“We’re going to have a tough few weeks, the delta variant is hitting us really hard,” state health official Dr. Thomas Dobbs said Tuesday. “We are going to see people die needlessly over the next month or two, for no good reason.”
Pediatric covid-19 cases nearly double since late June
As the virus spreads among unvaccinated adults, children, many of whom cannot yet be vaccinated, are feeling the impact.
“It does not appear that this virus is selectively targeting children,” Dr. Peter Hotez, professor and dean of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN. “It’s just that so many unvaccinated individuals are catching the delta variant that minors end up being swept away.”
Last week, more than 23,000 children were infected with Covid-19, which is almost double the number registered at the end of June, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported Tuesday. Children represent almost 16% of the cases reported weekly.
And while children are at lower risk of developing serious illness from COVID-19 than older adults, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky refuted claims that they are not being affected.
“One thing I want to point out with children is that I think we fall for this misconception of saying that only 400 of these 600,000 deaths from covid-19 have been in children,” Walensky said. “Children should not die. So 400 is a huge amount for the respiratory season.”
Currently, only those over 12 years of age can be vaccinated, although studies are underway that aim to offer protection to younger children.
It’s “highly likely” that data on COVID-19 vaccines in children under 12 will be available in early winter, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
And when they become available, Fauci said he wouldn’t be surprised if schools consider including COVID-19 vaccines as a mandatory immunization. If this year and next there are still problems with the coronavirus, “it is very possible that it will be demanded,” Fauci said Tuesday on CBS’s “This Morning.”
Workplaces begin to force vaccination
Many experts have suggested that local vaccination mandates could be an important strategy to increase the vaccination rate and control the virus.
Beginning Aug. 2, workers at 11 New York City hospitals and clinical workers at the city’s health department will be required to be vaccinated or tested weekly for covid-19, Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The 11 hospitals in question belong to the city’s public Health + Hospitals (H + H) system. About 60% of H + H staff are vaccinated now, and the new requirement will likely increase that rate, said its CEO, Dr. Mitchell Katz.
Additionally, Banner Health, a nonprofit healthcare service that is Arizona’s largest private employer, is requiring its employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to keep their jobs.
“With limited exceptions, all team members have until November 1 to be fully vaccinated,” the company said in a press release Tuesday.
Banner Health cited the rise of the delta variant as a reason for the mandate, along with the need to prepare for the upcoming flu season. Details on how employees can request an exemption from the requirement will be released later, the company said.
“We are taking this action to reduce risk to our patients, their families, visitors and others,” said President and CEO Peter Fine. “Safety is a top priority and the COVID-19 vaccine mandate reflects that commitment.”
Banner Health employs about 52,000 people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming, it said.
These types of measures could be more common when vaccines get full FDA clearance, experts say.
Despite the push for vaccination, a poll released Tuesday by Axios-Ipsos showed that the majority of unvaccinated Americans said they are not likely to get vaccinated, regardless of outreach efforts.