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Covid-19 Vaccination Rates Rise Where Delta Variant Is Spreading

Escrito por el agosto 5, 2021

Covid-19 vaccination rates are ticking upward across the U.S., federal officials said, particularly in areas where the Delta variant is hitting hardest.

Worries about the virus, growing confidence in the safety of vaccines and the influence of family and friends are all likely contributing to the increase in vaccine uptake, health authorities and residents say. More employers are also starting to institute vaccine mandates. The U.S. has administered more than 864,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the past 24 hours, including 585,000 first shots, White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said Thursday during a media briefing.

“Clearly, Americans are seeing the impact of being unvaccinated and unprotected,” said Mr. Zients.

The U.S. is currently averaging more than 89,400 Covid-19 cases a day, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at the briefing. Hospitalizations, now about 7,300 a day, are up 41% from the previous week, and the U.S. is averaging about 381 Covid-related deaths a day.

Seven states—Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Alabama—account for about half of new cases and hospitalizations, while making up less than a quarter of the U.S. population, Mr. Zients said.

All of those states have full vaccination coverage lower than the national rate of about 58% for eligible people age 12 and above. The seven-day moving average of daily Covid-19 shots administered has increased in recent weeks but is still far below the peak in April, when an average of 3.4 million doses were administered daily.

Still, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Alabama are now vaccinating people at the fastest rate since April, Mr. Zients said. Tennessee has experienced a 90% increase in first shots in the last two weeks, Oklahoma an 82% increase, and Georgia has seen a 66% increase.

“It demonstrates to me that people are watching what’s happening,” said Wafaa El-Sadr, a university professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University. “Hopefully this will nudge people that are on the fence.”

The protection offered by the Covid-19 vaccines doesn’t fully kick-in until about two weeks after a person’s final dose, according to health authorities and immunologists.

“Don’t wait until Covid comes knocking on your door,” Dr. El-Sadr said.

Write to Brianna Abbott at brianna.abbott@wsj.com

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1800-273-TALK (8255), text «help» to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.


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