“The work ahead is going to be really difficult because if fully vaccinated people are well protected, we must continue to convince people who are not yet vaccinated that they are not safe,” CNN medical analyst said. Cr. Leana Wen told Wolf Blitzer. “The pandemic is not over for them. “
The risk to unvaccinated people is actually about the same as it was in the midst of the January surge, Wen said citing a Washington Post analysis.
“Thanks to vaccines, tens of millions of Americans are able to return to something closer to their normal visiting friends and family,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on Tuesday at the conference. White House briefing on coronavirus.
“If you are not vaccinated, I want to encourage you to use this holiday weekend to give yourself and your family the gift of protection by getting vaccinated,” Walensky said. “We’re on a good downward path, but we’re not quite out of the woods yet. “
While an Axios-Ipsos poll showed that only 44% of Americans had social distancing last week, down 12 percentage points from two weeks ago, Wen said unvaccinated people continued to to hide, to distance themselves and to take precautions.
Getting closer to a more normal childhood
There was also promising data Tuesday on Covid-19 infections in children.
With nearly 40,000 new cases, the United States recorded the lowest number of weekly cases in children since the beginning of October, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Currently, only children 12 and older are eligible for Covid-19 vaccinations. Although studies are underway for safety and effectiveness in young children, a vaccine for young children is unlikely to be available until late fall or early winter, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
But given the number of teachers vaccinated and the significant drop in cases, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday that it should be safe for children to all ages to return in person. in autumn.
A return to some normalcy for children is a welcome development for many, especially in light of the mental health challenges the pandemic has posed.
“People shrug their shoulders and say, ‘Well you know kids are resilient’ but wait a minute this is really an amazing and unprecedented challenge for their life experience,” said Dr Francis Collins , director of the National Institutes of Health, at House Appropriations. committee Tuesday.
The new research will need to answer several questions, Collins said.
“What has it meant for them not to go to school, which is normally the place where a lot of socialization and education takes place during this extended period. And what about this problem of fear of an illness that could actually affect your families? suddenly be blamed on you if you were the one who brought the disease? Collins said.
Lottery tickets and full scholarships for vaccinations
Meanwhile, states are finding new ways to persuade residents to get vaccinated.
In Delaware, officials announced a partnership with the Delaware Lottery for twice-weekly draws for vaccination incentives.
Delawarians aged 12 and over who have been vaccinated “from May 25 to June 29, and all Delawarians aged 12 to 17 vaccinated to date, will be entered to win $ 5,000 in cash and additional prizes in prize pools. twice weekly draws made by the Delaware Lottery, ”according to a statement from Gov. John Carney’s office.
Other prizes include a four-day vacation, a full scholarship to a Delaware public university, and tickets to events, the statement said.
“Incentive programs are one of the three key levers that are increasingly recognized for increasing immunization rates,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Delaware Division of Public Health.
Delaware’s plan reflects initiatives from other states. Ohio, for example, has announced a lottery for vaccinated residents, while West Virginia is offering a $ 100 savings voucher to residents between the ages of 16 and 35 who receive the vaccines.
In Arkansas, every resident who gets vaccinated starting May 25 will receive a $ 20 scratch lottery or gift certificate with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for $ 21 which can be redeemed for a fishing license or license. fishing / hunting in the state, Gov Asa Hutchison announced at a press conference.
CNN’s Deidre McPhillips, Jen Christensen, Naomi Thomas, Andy Rose, Melissa Alonso and Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.