“I keep telling people, I don’t ask some Americans to do it – we all have to do it. It’s one of those interventions that has to be 95, 96, 97, 98, 99 percent if it works, ”he said.Redfield pointed out that more widespread use of face masks could make a big difference. “The mask really works. It’s really important, ”he says.
The United States, which has become the epicenter of the world, has seen over 166,000 COVID-related deaths and more , according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Illness should be one of the in the United States by the end of the year, according to Redfield.
“Finally, this virus is going to have its day,” he said. “It’s going to infect a majority of the world’s population, or we’re going to have a biological countermeasure that’s going to be an effective vaccine. “
There are currently many potential COVID-19 vaccines in development, three of which are already. Redfield said he was “cautiously optimistic” that there will be “one or more vaccines” ready for deployment in the United States before the first of the year.
He stressed, however, that the annual flu shot is also critically important.
“If there is one thing we can all do – besides the importance of wearing a mask, social distancing, washing our hands and being smart at gatherings… to finally prepare for fall is to get the flu shot, ”he said. .
Although common, influenza remains a leading cause of death in the United States. Less than half of America’s population received a flu shot last year, but Redfield said his goal this year was to get 65% of people vaccinated.
CDC urges people to get thenot only to protect against a potentially fatal disease, but to protect America’s healthcare system.
“We’re going to have COVID in the fall, and we’re going to have the flu in the fall, and either of those can stress some hospital systems,” Redfield said. “I have seen hospital intensive care units stretched by a severe flu season, and clearly we’ve all seen it recently with COVID.
“So by getting the flu shot, you may be able to deny the need to have to take a hospital bed, and that hospital bed may then be more available for those who are hospitalized for COVID,” a- he declared.
The CDC works closely with companies to speed up production of influenza vaccines. According to Redfield, nearly 190,000 million doses are being manufactured, with an additional 10 million being purchased by the CDC for uninsured adults. The agency normally only buys around 500,000 doses for uninsured people, he said.
“This year we bought 10 million… to make sure states can release this flu shot,” he said.
Without sufficient vaccination, influenza cases could increase, leading to an increasemust be processed by laboratories. U.S. labs are already struggling to meet demand for coronavirus testing, leading to backlogs. Earlier this summer, people from many states – in some cases, even weeks – to receive the results.
Dr Bobbi Pritt, president of the clinical microbiology division at the Mayo Clinic, recently told CBS News that a badcould , exacerbating all the existing problems that laboratories already face.
When asked what Thanksgiving would look like in the United States, Redfield said it depended on “how the American people choose to respond.”
“It really is the worst of times or the best of times, according to the American public. I’m optimistic. ”
Max Bayer contributed to this report.