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CDC Update on COVID-19 Pandemic – Vaccination rates, booster shots, breakout infections

CDC Update on COVID-19 Pandemic – Vaccination rates, booster shots, breakout infections
September 10
11:24 2021

Vidya Sethuraman
India Post News Service

Coronavirus cases have been on the rise since July, mostly due to the Delta variant, which is highly transmissible. The EMS news briefing on Sep 2, 2021 is the second in a series by the CDC, the nation’s top public health agency, to expand its communications about COVID-19 vaccinations with the diverse audiences of ethnic media. CDC subject matter experts provided updates about vaccination rates and responded to questions from reporters.

Currently, the CDC reports an average of 150,000 positive COVID-19 cases a day nationally — a significant spike from June’s average of 12,000 cases a day. About 53% of vaccine-eligible people are fully vaccinated; 82% of those include people who are 65 years or older and 40% of those include young people aged 12 to 17.

“We really appreciate all the media’s effort to make sure that things are carefully fact checked, and conveying as accurate information as possible – helping us as you write by thinking through how people might misinterpret things,” said Dr. Peggy Honein, who leads the CDC’s state, tribal, local, and territorial COVID-19 support task force. With the Delta variant, the rate of hospitalization for unvaccinated teenagers was 10 times higher in August than it was in June. “This really emphasizes the role the community can play in protecting children,” Honein said. “We can do our part in protecting children by vaccinating as many people who are 12 years old or older and using other mitigation strategies like universal masking and physical distancing.”

Everyone who is eligible should get fully vaccinated from COVID-19 before they travel, and vaccinated people still need to take precautions such as masking and social distancing,” Dr. Cindy Friedman, Chief of The Travelers’ Health Branch.

Addressing concerns about breakthrough cases of coronavirus infection of vaccinated people, Dr. Jennifer Layden, who leads the CDC’s vaccine task force, said breakthrough infections were extremely rare, and symptoms are often mild. “Still the highest fractions of individuals who are hospitalized or have severe outcomes from COVID-19 are those who are unvaccinated,” Layden said.

High rates of vaccine hesitancy among ethnic communities are mostly due to mistrust. CDC officials are hoping by reaching out through ethnic media, they can get more people in ethnic communities vaccinated.

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