The surge of COVID 19 infections continues to rise. And health officials are appealing to the countrymen to get vaccinated before winter. In the meantime, CDC has approved booster vaccine shots for millions of Americans.
Even after concerted efforts of health officials, the average number of vaccinations continues to decline.
In 18 US States, The Rate Of Vaccination Is Below 50%!
Almost 55% of the country’s population is fully vaccinated. Studies and real-world experiences attest to the efficacy of vaccines. Still, its acceptance remains limited. It differs from State to State. According to an analysis of a reputed channel, the past week’s average rate of deaths in the least vaccinated States was four times more than that of the highest vaccinated States.
This Thursday, Utah was declared the 32nd State to vaccinate at least half of its population. There are 18 States that have not yet vaccinated at least 50% of their residents. They are:
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
The State that ranks the highest in the matter is Vermont with 69% of vaccination. The States like Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Jersey are trailing behind.
The difference in vaccine acceptance also impacts the number of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Wyoming is about to reach a record in the number of hospitalizations. It had to activate up to 100 members of its national guard to assist hospitals in caring for COVID 19 patients.
West Virginia recorded a record high number of 1000 hospitalizations this week. The State, however, hopes that a recent decline in the number of infections signals a downward trend.
Millions of Americans are yet to receive inoculation even in States with a high rate of vaccination. According to health officials, COVID 19 is a pandemic of the unvaccinated at present. 80% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated.
This Friday, CDC’s Director signed off a recommendation of its vaccine advisory panel. It had said that the following groups of people are eligible to receive a booster shot:
- Those above 65 years of age
- Those living in long-term care facilities
- Those in the age-range of 50-56 with a pre-existing health condition
Only Pfizer vaccine booster shots are authorized for the time being. And the recommended interval between the second and the booster dose is six months. The officer diverted slightly from the recommendation and recommended it also for those at increased risk of infection due to occupational and other settings. According to her, those who voted against allowing boosters for such a group had their own justifications. They did not intend to say a firm “no”. They just wanted them to wait a bit more. Those in the age range of 18-49 with pre-existing health conditions too may receive the booster shot. But it will be based on an individual assessment.
Vaccine-providers wasted no time responding to the nod. CVS Pharmacy, for instance, will offer vaccine booster shots in the locations where they offer Pfizer shots from Friday. The company also urged people to schedule their appointments for the same.
Earlier, FDA had announced that it will grant emergency use authorization for Pfizer vaccine booster shots for certain groups of people. Later, CDC’s advisory committee met to discuss its implementation. It recommended the same for a specific group of individuals. The FDA’s decision was a balance between the data available and the safety of the general public, CDC’s Director said during a press briefing in the White House.
FDA had authorized Pfizer booster shots in August for immuno-compromised individuals. Almost 2.4 million people have already received the booster shot.
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