“I’m not asking some Americans to do it. We all have to do it.
If people don’t follow this advice, next season could be “the worst downfall, from a public health perspective, we’ve ever had,” he said.
Redfield’s powerful plea came as the death toll from COVID-19 climbed to more than 166,000 nationwide, with 1,499 deaths reported on Wednesday alone – the most in a single day since May, according to data from the ‘Johns Hopkins University.
In addition to masking and social distancing, people can also tackle the pandemic by getting the flu shot, he said.
“By getting vaccinated, you can protect your children,” he says. “When we look at the mortality that we see with the flu, one thing is certain: Children who get vaccinated are essentially protected against death.”
The CDC has purchased 10 million doses of the influenza vaccine for uninsured adults this year, up from 500,000 doses in previous years, and more will likely be ready by winter 2021, Redfield said. There are also a total of 270 active trials for COVID-19 treatments.
Speaking of anti-vaxxers’ online efforts to discredit vaccines – as well as a recent poll showing that a third of Americans would refuse to be vaccinated if it were available – other experts acknowledged that a strong campaign to public education is necessary.
“We’re late here,” said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, according to CNN. “We haven’t done a good job of getting [coronavirus vaccine] information there. ”
“For my part, I think I underestimated the level of public resistance… I did not expect it to be so widespread,” he said.
As of Thursday, more than 5.2 million people in the United States had been infected with the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.