(Trends Wide) — While experts have emphasized vaccination as a key protective measure against the virus, children under the age of 12 are still not eligible to receive vaccines, making adult decisions even more important for their safety.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says there is an important step that adults can take to protect children who are too young to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“The way in which children who cannot yet be vaccinated due to their age are protected is to surround the children, be it with friends, relatives, school teachers, school personnel, surround the children with vaccinated people,” Fauci told Trends Wide.
More children have ended up in emergency rooms and hospitalizations in states with the lowest vaccination rates, according to a recent CDC study. And some states are working to stay ahead of the latest increase by getting as many eligible people vaccinated as possible.
Washington state, which has a vaccination order for teachers and school personnel, is seeing “good news” regarding youth vaccination efforts, according to state Health Secretary Umair Shah. At least 41% of teens ages 12-15 are vaccinated, and just under half of the state’s 16-17-year-olds are also fully vaccinated.
“Washington schools have the structure, protocol and people to have a successful face-to-face education,” Shah said.
If the United States wants to keep children in the classroom this school year, people have to wear masks, Fauci added. But while some areas have adopted masking and vaccination orders, others have stopped such measures.
In Kentucky, Beshear said he is limited in what he can do because state officials opposed his attempt to impose a mask-wearing order in schools.
“If I had the ability to do it right now, we would have a face mask order when in public and indoors. We know it is a proven way to slow the spread of the virus and ultimately help our attention span. medical, “Beshear told NBC on Sunday.
Fauci warns that hospitals are close to reaching their maximum capacity
Some hospitals in the United States are close to reaching full capacity as COVID-19 continues to spread, and officials may soon have to make decisions about who gets an ICU bed, Dr. Anthony Fauci told Trends Wide.
“We are dangerously close,” said the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “They are going to be in a situation where they will have to make some very difficult decisions.”
Fauci told Trends Wide’s Jim Acosta that the best way to keep healthcare workers from having to make those tough decisions is to “do everything possible to prevent new infections.”
Wearing a mask is important, Fauci said, but “vaccination is the number one method” for reducing hospitalizations.
Across the US, 79.83% of ICU beds are in use, nearly a third of which are occupied by COVID-19 patients, according to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services. Eight states had more than 90% of their adult ICU beds occupied on Sunday: Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada and Kentucky.
A federal medical team arrived in Kentucky this weekend to help increase medical assistance and the ability to open more hospital beds in light of record coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, according to a statement from Governor Andy Beshear’s office.
“Our situation is dire,” Beshear told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “They hit us very, very hard, but we will keep fighting. When you are at war, you cannot cry for what you can or cannot do. You have to do your best every day because this is a battle of life against death”.
Beshear said he dispatched the National Guard to the state’s worst-hit hospitals to work on logistics and free up doctors to treat patients.
In Albany, Georgia, Dr. James Black, director of emergency services at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, told Trends Wide’s Amara Walker on Saturday that his hospital nearly doubled ICU capacity but still faces an overflow of patients.
“The emergency department is full and the hospital is full,” Black said. “Every time a patient is discharged, we have patients waiting for those beds.”
Moderna may lag behind Pfizer in booster vaccine rollout
With the life-disrupting highly transmissible delta variant spreading in the US, health officials and experts are working to apply a booster dose to Americans.
President Joe Biden had planned to launch booster doses for Pfizer and Moderna at the same time, but Fauci told Trends Wide on Sunday that might not happen.
Fauci said that Pfizer has submitted its information to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the information has been vetted, and “it looks like everything is ready to go.”
But he said Moderna could be a bit behind Pfizer, and if so, instead of seeing a simultaneous rollout of both products, it would be a sequential rollout in about a week or two.
“I don’t think that’s an important issue there, but we would have liked it to happen all together, simultaneously. But in the end the plan will be implemented, as outlined,” Fauci said.
The plan relies, first, on companies submitting the appropriate data to the FDA, and second, obtaining an FDA approval and then a recommendation from vaccine advisers at the Centers for Control and Prevention. Department of Diseases (CDC), he said.
With the possible temporal discrepancy, researchers are evaluating whether different types of covid-19 vaccines can be mixed and matched.
“We are aligning Pfizer with Pfizer, Pfizer with Moderna and vice versa,” Fauci told Weijia Jiang on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “Hopefully within a reasonable period of time, measured in a couple of weeks, we will have that data.”
Fauci said that hopefully it will work out that the people who got Pfizer have reinforcements from Pfizer, and the people who got Moderna have reinforcements from Moderna.
“But we are doing studies to determine if you can … change one for the other,” he said.
The number of covid-19 cases is four times higher than on Labor Day 2020
This Labor Day weekend, the 7-day median of new coronavirus cases was more than four times higher than Labor Day 2020, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Covid-related deaths have also increased, according to the University, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports that covid-related hospitalizations have also increased.
Here’s how the covid statistics have changed from Labor Day 2020 to Labor Day 2021, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and DHHS.
Daily cases (7-day average)
- Labor Day 2020 (September 7): 39,355
- Labor Day 2021 (September 5): 163,728
Daily deaths (7-day mean)
- Labor Day 2020 (September 7): 804
- Labor Day 2021 (September 5): 1,561
Hospitalizations (total on these dates)
- Labor Day 2020 (September 8): 40,600
- Labor Day 2021 (September 6): 99,270
Trends Wide’s John Bonifield, Deidre McPhillip, Elizabeth Joseph, Ralph Ellis and Travis Caldwell contributed to this report.