Since the disastrous COVI9-19 pandemic claimed the lives of millions of people around the world, many in the US have come to rely on the nation’s federal agency under the Department of Health & Human Services headquartered in Atlanta known as The CDC. It is the nation’s top public health agency on which we rely for guidance on a range of issues including diseases that start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, etc. The CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. In a panel briefing organized by Ethnic Media Services, a 3-part series with the CDC was imperative in expanding its communications about COVID-19 vaccination with the diverse audiences of ethnic media.
Dr. Jose Montero, Director, Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, shared that the US was averaging 33,000 new cases of COVID-19 with a seven-day average of 26,300 per day with a 70% increase in hospitalizations. It was seeing that an increase of 36%from previous beds is now increasing per day. It is however clear that this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated who now account for a majority of infections, hospitalizations, and death. They are the most at risk since the vaccinated communities are faring better. For more information on this data please visit the CDC website.
In January he shared, there was an average of 200,000 per day and high levels of transmission in the entire country. While we are in a far better position the pandemic he noted is not over and the only way to be protected is to get vaccinated. The Delta variant is spreading rapidly and has increased transmissibility especially in communities of low vaccination rates. 26%-57% in less than a month transmissibility. The current vaccines are working and are the only way to protect oneself against the DELTA variant as well.
As a follow-up, Dr. Lauri Hicks, Chief Medical Officer, Vaccine Task Force CDC tackled the following subject matter: COVID-19 vaccination rates and disparities and Variants of the virus that cause COVID-19. She shared that the most increase in the spread of the COVID -19 infections was taking place where we have the most unvaccinated populations. Stressing the importance of getting vaccinated she emphasized the effectiveness of all the vaccines. The Pfizer and Moderna are effective when given as two doses within 2weeks. Not completing the shots puts them at risk. While we understand how difficult it is to follow the schedule there are multiple opportunities to do so. If a vaccine is missed you do not have to start all over. She also talked about the disparities that still exist, stating that while most racial and ethnic groups have increased, black Americans are still trending low according to the tracker. Please get vaccinated for yourself, your family, and your community. If you are not vaccinated you can be sure that sickness and death are close to inevitable.
At the end of the panel, both doctors recommended that vaccinated people continue to be careful and to wear their masks if an environment is a high risk. In areas where vaccination rates are low, please wear masks. The CDC has not said not to wear masks as they are useful in particular settings. Local and state governments are also taking control.