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Many of these counties are also the same locations where the Delta variant represents the large majority of circulating virus, low vaccination rates in these counties, coupled with high case rates -- and lax mitigation policies that do not protect those who are unvaccinated from disease -- will certainly, and sadly, lead to more unnecessary suffering, hospitalizations and potentially deaths.
Currently, approximately 1,000 counties in the United States have vaccination coverage of less than 30%, these communities, primarily in the Southeast and Midwest, are our most vulnerable. In some of these areas, we are already seeing increasing rates of disease. As the Delta variant continues to spread across the country, we expect to see increased transmissions in these communities, unless we can vaccinate more people now.
More concerning were the number of adolescents admitted to the hospital who required treatment in the intensive care unit with mechanical ventilation, it is these findings within this publication -- one that demonstrates the level of severe disease, even among youth, that are preventable -- that force us to redouble our motivation to get our adolescents and young adults vaccinated.
Most kids will not be vaccinated or fully vaccinated before the end of this year and we're going to work on updating our school guidance, so much evolved just in This Week, both with our guidance -- with unmask if you're vaccinated -- as well as the eligibility of vaccination for 12 to 15 year olds. So yes, we do have to rapidly update our camp guidance and we're working on that right now.
I want to be clear that we followed the science here, while this may serve as an incentive for some people to get vaccinated, that is not the purpose, our purpose here is as a public health agency to follow the science and to follow where we are with regard to the science and what is safe for individuals to do.
We still have 57,000 cases of COVID yesterday, we still had 733 deaths and so now are really trying to scale up vaccination we have this complex message that we still have hotspots in this country and we will be looking at the outdoor masking question but it’s also in the context of we still have people dying of COVID.
If vaccines go in arms today, we will not see an effect of those vaccines, depending on the vaccine, for somewhere between two to six weeks, so when you have an acute situation, an extraordinary number of cases like we have in Michigan, the answer is not necessarily to give vaccine. In fact, we know that the vaccine will have a delayed response.
While the recent decline in cases and hospital admissions are encouraging, they are counterbalanced by the stark reality that in January we recorded the highest number of Covid-19 deaths in any month since the pandemic began, with over 90,000 deaths recorded in January alone, variants remain a great concern.
First, wear a mask, stay six feet apart when you are in public and around others who do not live in your household, second, please avoid crowds and poorly ventilated areas. Third, now is not the time to travel, but if you must travel, you must wear a mask and follow other CDC and local guidance in order to protect yourself and others while you travel. And finally, please get vaccinated when it’s your turn.
It's been among the biggest Achilles' heels of this. And it's been among the biggest challenges and the unexpected things because( with) its cousins, this is not true, the reason we were able to control the SARS outbreak so quickly -- although there were obviously a lot of deaths there -- but it didn't turn into a pandemic is because people weren't shedding( the virus) until they got symptoms.
I have three kids. ... And my parents are not going to be joining us this year, it's just awful. But what I really hold out for is that my parents are pretty healthy, and I would never forgive Rochelle Walensky if I put them in harm's way. And I'm just looking forward to a 2021 when we can be together.
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