Tens of millions of Americans have not yet started their vaccinations, National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins on Wednesday to CNN, and “a lot of those people are still not sure if they want to participate in this great opportunity. This virus is behind us.”
“We really need to figure out how to get the messages out there so that those who are still in doubt get the information they need to see why this is really something they would want to do.”
But experts say the US needs much higher levels of vaccination to keep the virus in check.
“If we want to get past this terrible pandemic, most of us have to be immunized. Otherwise, the virus can go on and on,” Collins said.
And efforts are being made – federal, state, and local – to push those vaccination rates up.
“I think our effort is shifting, and it’s shifting to younger people who just don’t think about Covid that much,” Andy Slavitt, the White House’s senior adviser on the response to Covid-19, told CNN.
“We’re really close to that light at the end of the tunnel. Those of you who haven’t been vaccinated yet, please go get a vaccine ASAP. Do it for yourself, do it for your family, do it for your friends,” and do it so that we can all leave this global pandemic behind, ”Hogan said in a statement.
Hundreds of Americans die every day
While many government leaders point out that the end of the pandemic is near, the Covid-19 figures in the US are still high.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, an average of more than 62,900 Covid-19 infections were reported daily in the past week.
And hundreds of Americans lose their lives every day. In the past week alone, the US reported more than 4,900 Covid-19 deaths.
In Washington state, Covid-19 cases are on the rise in most counties and hospital admissions are on the rise, with a sharp increase in the number of young adults hospitalized, said Dr. Umair Shah, the Secretary of State for Health.
And most counties have also discovered variants, Shah said.
A new study highlights the importance of vaccinations
Of the 417 Rockefeller University employees who were fully vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, only two later had breakthrough infections, according to the study.
The researchers found that variants with several differences from the original virus caused breakthrough infections.
“We have characterized bona fide examples of vaccine breakthroughs as clinical signs,” they wrote. on efforts to promote a new vaccine booster (as well as a pan-coronavirus vaccine) to provide better protection against variants. “
Another study looking at infections in nursing homes in Chicago found that most fully vaccinated residents were not infected with the virus, even after someone tested positive in the same facility.
Two-thirds of those breakthrough cases were asymptomatic. Two residents were hospitalized and one of those residents died, the CDC said. The person who died had three underlying conditions, the agency added.
CNN’s Rebekah Riess, Jen Christensen, Jacqueline Howard and Jenn Selva contributed to this report.