And for the third week in a row, the CDC forecast on Wednesday predicted hospitalizations would decline as well – some hope as the more transmissible Delta variant continues to spread.
Currently, nearly 2,000 people on average die and around 114,000 people are infected with Covid-19 every day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb estimated earlier this week that the pandemic wave caused by Delta could run its course by Thanksgiving, and Covid-19 could eventually become more of a seasonal nuisance than a devastating pandemic. . But Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Monday it depends on getting more people vaccinated.
Of the entire U.S. population, 55.5% are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the CDC. Health experts can’t say for sure what proportion of the population should be vaccinated to control the spread, but Fauci believes it should be the “vast majority.”
Schools, businesses and employers have mandates in place for students and employees to get vaccinated against the virus. And the FDA has authorized booster doses to increase vaccine protection for vulnerable populations.
Health experts are also waiting for Pfizer to apply for emergency use authorization for a vaccine intended to protect children aged 5 to 11. While some parents are impatient to have their children vaccinated, others are still hesitant.
Dr Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said he understood the concern and urged parents to “wait and see the data before making a decision about the vaccine.”
Many health experts are hoping more people will decide to get the vaccine as some areas struggle to cope with the cases.
The Yukon-Koshokwim Health Corp. in Alaska announced on Wednesday it was preparing for the possibility of rationing services due to an increase in Covid-19.
“We do our best for each patient, regardless of the resources available at any given time,” said Dr. Ellen Hodges, chief of staff, in a written statement. “Unfortunately, however, with the current increase in Covid-19 cases requiring hospitalization and limited resources across the state, we are now able to make these difficult decisions on a daily basis. “
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice said Wednesday he believed the state was in “the eye of the storm” and urged residents to get vaccinated to help reduce the outbreak.
“We’re going to lose a bunch more people in West Virginia, there’s no question about it,” Justice said at a Covid-19 briefing Wednesday. “All I can do, with a good conscience, is to continue to urge you, by all means, to get vaccinated. “
Thursday is the vaccine deadline for California healthcare workers
One of the governments using vaccination warrants is California, which requires workers at healthcare facilities to complete a round of Covid-19 vaccinations by Thursday – unless they receive an exemption – to continue working .
This includes anyone who works in a healthcare facility, including hospitals, long-term and intermediate care facilities, doctor’s offices, and clinics.
Under an order issued Aug. 5, the state’s health department said these workers must have a second dose of a two-dose Covid-19 mRNA vaccine, or a single injection of the vaccine. a Johnson & Johnson dose, by Thursday.
The order allows workers to seek exemptions based on religious beliefs or qualifying medical reasons. Anyone granted an exemption must undergo regular Covid-19 testing: twice a week for workers in acute health and long-term care facilities, and once a week for workers in acute care and long-term care facilities. ‘other health care facilities.
CDC urges pregnant women to get vaccinated
Some have questioned whether people who are pregnant or looking to become pregnant can be safely vaccinated, but the CDC urgently recommended on Wednesday that they be vaccinated.
Pregnant people, who have recently given birth, are planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding should be vaccinated, the CDC said.
“The CDC strongly recommends vaccination against Covid-19 before or during pregnancy, as the benefits of vaccination outweigh any known or potential risks,” the agency said in a health alert.
“As of September 27, 2021, more than 125,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been reported in pregnant people, including more than 22,000 hospitalized cases and 161 deaths. “
The risk is not just for the mother. Covid-19 during pregnancy can cause premature birth or babies born so sick that they have to go straight to the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU.
“Other adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as stillbirth, have been reported,” the CDC said.
“Pregnancy can be both a special time and a stressful time – and pregnancy during a pandemic is an added concern for families. I strongly encourage those who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant to speak with their healthcare provider about the protective benefits of Covid -19 to ensure the safety of their babies and themselves, ”said the CDC director, Dr Rochelle Walensky.
Vaccination warrants come into effect
At the local and federal levels, authorities are implementing immunization mandates to increase protection.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden announced tough new vaccine rules for federal workers, large employers and healthcare workers in a sweeping attempt to contain the latest wave of Covid-19.
He ordered the Ministry of Labor to require all companies with 100 or more employees to ensure that their workers are vaccinated or tested once a week. Companies could face thousands of dollars in fines per employee if they don’t comply.
The requirements are still weeks away from being implemented, but employers should expect them to be implemented this year, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday.
Employees of the New York hospital system are mandated to get vaccinated against the virus, and some employees are already facing the consequences of not complying.
The health system at St. Barnabas Hospital had 58 employees who failed to show proof of vaccination on Wednesday, spokesman Steve Clark said.
Employees are suspended and have until Monday morning to present proof of vaccination. If they don’t, they will be fired, Clark said.
“Patient care has not been compromised at all,” Clark said. “The schedules were created accordingly. People will work overtime, or part-time or agency staff will be recruited as necessary. “
CNN’s Naomi Thomas, Lauren Mascarenhas, Deidre McPhillips, Melissa Alonso, Andy Rose, Maggie Fox, Nikki Carvajal and Mirna Alsharif contributed to this report.