Articles Posted in Vaccinations

covidhotspotsjuly242021mayo-300x219As coronavirus cases surge, hospitalizations rise, and deaths tick up — mostly among the unvaccinated — the national conversation has returned to familiar controversies over public health measures like getting people shots and getting them to cover their faces again.

But with the Delta variant tearing mostly through those who haven’t gotten shots, a new twist also has emerged. Could the latest trend by dubbed, “enough is enough?” Patience with the resistant and reluctant — a little under half the U.S. population — may be running out.

The largest hospital association in the country told its members that it is past time to require health workers to get vaccinated. These valuable individuals already work under mandates for other inoculations and the latest coronavirus surge, which could result in spiking deaths in the fall, is cause enough for a vaccination mandate, the group said.

Coronavirus infections have increased in just a week by 70%, with hospitalizations increasing 36% and deaths rising by 26%.

Public health officials blame the Delta variant for fueling the latest surge in the coronavirus pandemic, the New York Times reported, noting:

covidvaccinepartisansplitjuly21-300x153The rest of the planet may be seeing what roughly half of Americans cannot: The coronavirus pandemic is far from over and it is savaging humanity in a way that is now sadly preventable.

The disease’s global toll now has exceeded 4 million deaths, a number that is likely far under reported, according to the World Health Organization.

The United States still has tallied a disproportionate number of virus fatalities — more than 600,000 deaths.

clevelandmask-300x236With every recent holiday, health officials have warned the public to exercise great caution and to maybe even avoid celebrations in hopes of holding down the spread and deadly consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. But not today.

Independence Day, 2021, is different. Optimism prevails across the country about the quelling pandemic. Tens of millions of Americans hit the roads and took to the skies, traveling with gusto for summer vacations. Gatherings, many of them huge and public, are common.

Will this hustle and bustle cause a difficult and divisive surge in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths? And will July 4, 2021, mark not only the country’s 245th  birthday, but also the deeper divide of the United States into two nations — one vaccinated and with significant safety from a killer illness, and the other going without vaccines and their protection?

covidnhomedatahhsig-300x175The coronavirus pandemic slammed nursing homes and other long-term care facilities hard in two heart-breaking waves eight months apart. Covid-19 caused the institutions’ fatalities to spike by almost a third over the year before, leaving roughly 170,000 of the elderly, injured, and ill dead, as well as 4 in 10 Medicare-covered residents infected.

Those are some of the grim statistical views of what occurred in nursing homes, notably to residents covered under the federal Medicare program, according to the Office of the Inspector General in the federal Health and Human Services agency (the HHS IG).

The top health watchdog examined “excess deaths” that occurred in 2020 during the pandemic among Medicare beneficiaries, noting that federal officials had exempted nursing homes from reporting Covid-19 cases and deaths in the early part of the year and such infections and fatalities often were not noted in official records, such as death certificates. As the Associated Press reported:

covidvaxing62521chart-300x144The coronavirus—  little more than submicroscopic flecks of genetic material encased in protein and  barely a life form — is proving still to be a relentless, lethal bane of humanity.

While experts say the coronavirus vaccines may have highly rare side effects affecting the hearts of young recipients (who also respond well to quick treatment), the shots have helped to quell the pandemic, slashing infections, hospitalizations, and deaths in recent days.

That is occurring among the vaccinated, of course. For the unvaccinated, however, the global health menace is far from over, especially because the nasty coronavirus has mutated and its “delta” variant, first detected in India, is proving nastier still.

cdcjune19statevaxmap-157x300The Biden Administration may fall short of its goal of getting 70% of adults in the nation vaccinated against the coronavirus by July 4th, a campaign for which officials are pushing hard still in hopes of quelling the pandemic that has killed more than 600,000 people in this country.

All signs continue to point to this summer as a major turning point in months of the virus’ toll. New cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across the country have fallen to lows not seen since the earliest days of the pandemic.

The vaccination effort that the administration has hammered on since the beginning of the year has gotten at least one dose in the arms of 176 million Americans as of June 18: 65.1% of adults and 82% of those 65 and older have gotten their shots.

cnnhoustonvaxprotest-300x169In the crunch to quell the coronavirus pandemic and to do so by getting as many people as possible their protective shots, public health officials consistently have stressed a big V in the national vaccination campaign: Voluntary.

But as hundreds of millions of people around the globe have willingly gotten them and the vaccines have shown to be overwhelmingly safe and effective, the unvaccinated may get leaned on with more than pleas, nudges, and incentives.

They may notice this quiet push in the workplace, especially if they hold health-related jobs, and at schools. The result may be to resurface the fiery and counter-factual anti-vaccination extremism in the country.

donutstoon-300x206With the Fourth of July just weeks away, federal officials have ramped up their campaign to hit President Biden’s announced goal of having 70% of adults in this country vaccinated against the coronavirus. The aim is for the rapidly opening nation to safely and fully declare its independence from the deadly pandemic.

Biden, while thanking those who already have gotten their shots, has pressed the 20 million or so unvaccinated among us to get on board, asap. The administration will try multiple ways to increase the 63% or so of adults vaccinated, including by:

  • relaunching outreach efforts with a national tour featuring Vice President Kamala Harris in the South and Midwest

adjustedmay21covidcases-300x158Even as millions of us glide into a summer with high hopes of putting the pandemic behind us and returning to greater normality, huge public health challenges persist in quelling coronavirus infections, chief among them being — how the heck do we get the unwilling vaccinated now?

Just before the long Memorial Day holiday weekend launched, the head of the federal Centers for Disease Control warned that the nation has reached the difficult — and promising —  point where experts figuratively can see either a glass half empty or half full.

At least half of the nation’s population now is fully vaccinated, the agency reported, with 61% of adults (those 18+) having received at least one vaccine dose. Millions of parents are hurrying to ensure that those as young as 12 receive their coronavirus shots, as now not one but two vaccine makers have developed data showing products to be safe and effective for younger patients.

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