Vaccinations are beginning to increase in some states where COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing, according to White House officials, in hospitals due to the “incredibly efficient” delta mutation. There is not enough space.
Coronavirus coordinator Jeff Seienz told reporters that he saw residents vaccinated at a higher rate than the whole country in some states with the highest rates of new infections. Authorities cited Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, and Nevada as examples.
“The fourth surge is a reality, and the number is very scary at this point,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said on a New Orleans radio show. “We’re definitely going in the wrong direction, and we’ll be there in a hurry,” added Democrat Edwards.
Louisiana reported 2,843 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the day after 5,388 reports. This is the third highest level since the pandemic began. Hospitalization surged last month from 242 on June 19th to 913 in the latest report. Fifteen new deaths were reported on Thursday.
Only 36% of Louisiana’s population is fully vaccinated, state health data show. Nationally, 56.3% of Americans are vaccinated at least once, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Aly Neel, a spokesman for the Louisiana Health Department, said the state recently saw “a little uplift” in vaccination, adding that details will be available on Friday. Warner Thomas, president and chief executive officer of Oxner Health, said the system has increased the number of people seeking vaccination by 10% to 15% in the past 1-2 weeks.
In Missouri, second only to Arkansas and Louisiana in the number of new cases per capita over the last 14 days, authorities have rolled out a vaccine incentive program that includes a $ 10,000 prize for 900 lottery winners. The state is about 10 percentage points behind the national average of those who have received at least one shot.
Hospitals in the Springfield area are under tension, reaching a large number of patients with high and near pandemics.
“Young, relatively healthy and unvaccinated. Mercy Hospital Springfield Chief Administrative Officer Eric Frederick said that half of COVID-19 patients are between the ages of 21 and 59, and only a few in the group. 2% said they were vaccinated.
The surge that began in the southwestern part of the state has begun to spread to the Kansas City area, including the Research Medical Center, with teenage immunization rates in some counties.
“I don’t want to continue my life just because people don’t want to get vaccinated or hear what medical professionals recommend,” lamented Pascaline Muhindura, a registered nurse who worked on the hospital’s COVID. It was. 19 units for over a year.
“Many of them don’t believe in COVID-19 in the first place. It’s incredibly frustrating. You’re helping someone who doesn’t even believe the illness they have is real,” Muhindura said. Said.
Dr. Jason Wilson, an emergency physician at Tampa General Hospital, is also watching the increase in frustration cases. Unlike in the early days of the pandemic, when many patients were in their 70s, he had seen the median age of patients drop to their mid-40s.
“I spent a lot of time this fall and last summer, saying,’Until you get the vaccine, you need to carry out these things, these social mitigation strategies. You’re just there.” It was.
The hospital initially had hope as the number of cases decreased. But then he said, “things have just leveled off.”
In conservative Utah, hospitals are once again full due to the proliferation of viruses among unvaccinated people. On Wednesday, the state recorded the highest number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 in five months.
With the Utah intensive care unit reaching a capacity of 81.5%, state health officials have renewed their plea for residents to be vaccinated. The number of people hospitalized for the virus in the state is 295, the highest since February.
Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, said:
Originating in India, this subspecies now accounts for an estimated 83% of genetically identified coronavirus samples in the United States. It is the predominant strain in all parts of the country and continues to “spread with incredible efficiency.” .. Rochelle Walensky told reporters at the White House.
She said the mutations are more aggressive and much more contagious, calling them “one of the most infectious respiratory viruses we know of.”
“We are at an even more important moment in this pandemic,” she warned. “We need to be together as one country.”
The CDC has not changed the guidance that vaccinated people do not need to wear masks. However, in Georgia, the Atlanta Public School announced Thursday that it would implement a “wear universal mask” policy on all school buildings in the system when autumn classes begin.
Only 18% of students covered by the Atlanta school system are fully vaccinated, and 58% of their employees say they are or will be vaccinated.
“Given our low immunization rates and growing community expansion, the CDC acknowledges that universal masking is appropriate,” the school system said in a statement.
New Orleans Associated Press writer Kevin Magill contributed to this report.