Wednesday, January 19

Children Are “Vulnerable Hosts” To Covid As Cases Roll Back, US Expert Warns | Coronavirus


A US public health expert warned that while Covid-19 cases are at their lowest rates for months and much of the country is returning to normal life, young Americans remain “a vulnerable host. “to the coronavirus.

Dr. Richina Bicette, associate medical director of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told CNN children now accounted for nearly 25% of cases in the United States.

“As adults get vaccinated and become more protected and immune,” he said, “the virus is still in the community looking for a vulnerable host and pediatric patients fit that description.”

Children 12 and older are eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, one of three used in the US Federal authorities will debate this week the extension of the vaccines to children under 11 years of age.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows that 52% of the US population 12 years and older have received at least one dose of vaccine and 42% are fully protected.

The Biden administration wants 70% of American adults to have received at least one vaccination by July 4. Various incentives are offered.

Deaths in the United States have slowed dramatically, the death toll is just under 590,000. But with variants of the virus causing problems as other countries reopen, experts have raised concerns about slowing vaccination rates, particularly in Republican states.

On Sunday, Republican Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves appeared on CNN’s State of the Union.

Mississippi ranks 50th and last among states in vaccinations, with 30% of residents fully protected and 40.5% 12 years and older who have received at least one dose. according to the CDC. The states with the highest vaccination rates are Vermont (80.6%, with a Republican governor, Phil Scott), Hawaii (78.6%), and Massachusetts (76.8%).

“I think the vaccine works,” Reeves said. “I think it is safe. I think it is effective. I took my first dose in January, as did my wife, on live television, and I have encouraged Mississippi people to do the same.

“But I also want to point out that President Biden’s goals for July 4 or otherwise are arbitrary, to say the least.”

Reeves said his focus was on providing “quality care” to people with Covid-19, and he announced a sharp decline in hospitalizations.

“At our peak, we had 1,444 people in the hospital,” he said. “Today we have 131. We are down 90%. At our peak, we had 2,400 cases per day over a seven-day period. In the last seven days, we have barely had 800 cases in total.

“So, for the entire period of one year, the goal was, let’s reduce the number of cases. And we have been successful in doing that. The question is why?

“We have had a million Mississippians who have received the vaccine, but we have also had 320,000 Mississippians who have tested positive for the virus. Many people believe that four to five times more people have contracted the virus than have been tested. [positive].

“And then we have probably a million Mississippi people who have natural immunity. And because of that, there are very, very, very little viruses in our state. But we are still working to distribute the vaccine and we hope to continue doing so. “

When asked if he was concerned that unvaccinated Mississippians could be “easy targets” for any spike involving a variant of the virus, Reeves avoided the question, complaining instead of political clashes with Biden officials.

Host Jake Tapper changed tack, saying, “It sounds like you’re arguing that everyone should get vaccinated, and yet it’s not that important that not everyone gets vaccinated. And those seem to be in conflict. “

She then asked if Reeves would agree to have Mississippi people vaccinated.

“I absolutely agree,” Reeves said. “I think all Mississippi and all Americans should get vaccinated, because I think it’s safe, I think it’s effective, and I think it’s a way to keep reducing the numbers.”


www.theguardian.com

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