Dr Jose Romero, chairman of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisory committee on immunization practices, told CNN that one of his main fears for his home state of Arkansas is that there will be a generalization of the coronavirus in schools.
“We are seeing outbreaks in sites that we haven’t seen last year, so we are seeing closures in day care centers, we are seeing closures in summer camps, and all of that leads me to believe that in a framework where you don’t have strict mitigation, it will spread very, very quickly, like our schools, ”said Romero, who is also Arkansas health secretary.
“The reason I say this is because we now know from experience, looking at it over the past five or six weeks, that this virus is highly transmissible,” he added.
State doctors are publicly advocating on social media for people to get vaccinated as hospitals are full again.
Romero said hospitals in Arkansas are now seeing young, healthy, unvaccinated people sicker than they’ve ever seen.
“Our assessment of these hospitalizations shows that 95%… to 99.5%, sorry, of all people currently hospitalized are not vaccinated,” he said.
He said he thinks the reason they are not vaccinated is multifactorial. First, they don’t see it as a serious illness that can affect them because they are young and healthy, and second, the misinformation “that’s currently spreading through social media”.
A little background: Arkansas is one of at least nine states that have banned districts from requiring masks in schools, according to a CNN analysis and is the third state with the lowest immunization rates of its population.
According to the most recent data, just over 35% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated – nationally, nearly 49% of the total United States population has been fully vaccinated. The state currently has the highest number of new cases per capita in the country, with the latest daily average of 38 cases per 100,000 people every day.