Mission (US), Jul 21 (AP): COVID-19 circumstances tripled within the US over two weeks amid an onslaught of vaccine misinformation that’s straining hospitals, exhausting medical doctors and pushing clergy into the fray.
“Our employees, they’re pissed off,” said Chad Neilsen, director of infection prevention at UF Health Jacksonville, which is cancelling elective surgeries and procedures after the number of mostly unvaccinated COVID-19 inpatients at its two campuses jumped to 134, up from a low of 16 in mid-May.
“They are tired. They are thinking this is deja vu all over again, and there is some anger because we know that this is a largely preventable situation, and people are not taking advantage of the vaccine.” Across the US, the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases in the US rose over the past two weeks to more than 37,000 on Tuesday, up from less than 13,700 on July 6, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Health officials blame the delta variant and slowing vaccination rates. Just 56.2% of Americans have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It is like seeing the car wreck before it happens,” said Dr James Williams, a clinical associate professor of emergency medicine at Texas Tech, who has recently started treating more COVID-19 patients. “None of us want to go through this again.” He said the patients are younger — many in their 20s, 30s and 40s — and overwhelmingly unvaccinated.
“People were just begging for this,” he mentioned of the vaccine. “And remarkably it was put collectively inside a yr, which is simply astonishing. People do not even respect that. Within a yr, we bought a vaccine. And now they’re considering, Hmm, I do not know if I’ll get it.” As lead pastor of one of Missouri’s largest churches, Jeremy Johnson has heard the reasons congregants don’t want the COVID-19 vaccine. He wants them to know it’s not only OK to get vaccinated, it’s what the Bible urges.
“I think there is a big influence of fear,” said Johnson, whose Springfield-based church also has a campus in Nixa and another about to open in Republic.
“A fear of trusting something apart from scripture, a fear of trusting something apart from a political party they’re more comfortable following. A fear of trusting in science. We hear that: I trust in God, not science.’ But the truth is science and God are not something you have to choose between.” Now many churches in southwestern Missouri, like Johnson’s Assembly of God-affiliated North Point Church, are hosting vaccination clinics. Meanwhile, about 200 church leaders have signed onto a statement urging Christians to get vaccinated, and on Wednesday announced a follow-up public service campaign.
Opposition to vaccination is especially strong among white evangelical Protestants, who make up more than one-third of Missouri’s residents, according to a 2019 report by the Pew Research Center.
“We found that the faith community is very influential, very trusted, and to me that is one of the answers as to how you get your vaccination rates up,” said Ken McClure, mayor of Springfield.
The two hospitals in his city are teeming with patients, reaching record and near-record pandemic highs. Steve Edwards, who is the CEO of CoxHealth in Springfield, tweeted that the hospital has brought in 175 travelling nurses and has 46 more scheduled to arrive by Monday.
“Grateful for the help,” wrote Edwards, who beforehand tweeted that anybody spreading misinformation concerning the vaccine ought to “shut up”.
In New York City, employees in city-run hospitals and well being clinics can be required to get vaccinated or get examined weekly as officers battle an increase in COVID-19 circumstances, Mayor Bill de Blasio mentioned Wednesday.
De Blasio’s order won’t apply to academics, law enforcement officials and different metropolis workers, but it surely’s a part of the town’s intense concentrate on vaccinations amid a rise in delta variant infections.
The variety of vaccine doses being given out each day within the metropolis has dropped to lower than 18,000, down from a peak of greater than 100,000 in early April. About 65% of all adults are totally vaccinated, however the inoculation charge is round 25% amongst Black adults beneath age 45. About 45% of the workforce within the metropolis’s public hospital system is Black.
Meanwhile, caseloads have been rising within the metropolis for weeks, and well being officers say the variant makes up about 7 in 10 circumstances they sequence.
“We want our well being care employees to be vaccinated, and it is getting harmful with the delta variant,” de Blasio instructed CNN.
In Louisiana, well being officers reported 5,388 new COVID-19 circumstances Wednesday and mentioned it is the third-highest each day rely because the starting of the pandemic in early 2020. Hospitalisations for the illness rose to 844 statewide, up greater than 600 since mid-June.
In New Orleans, officers weighed a doable revival of at the very least among the mitigation efforts that had been eased because the illness was waning.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the town’s prime well being official, Dr Jennifer Avegno, had been anticipated to make an announcement later Wednesday. On Tuesday, Cantrell spokesman Beau Tidwell mentioned “all options are on the table”. (AP) SCY SCY
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