While the US sees the Covid vaccination rate growing among specific populations, experts warn that lag among other groups including adolescents could delay further return to normalcy. As per medical experts, more adults are vaccinated, the virus will infect more children, who now account for about 25% of the cases.
“As we’ve gotten more and more of our seniors vaccinated, more and more people with pre-existing conditions, more and more people who may be healthy and younger, the question becomes how do we protect our children?” epidemiologist Dr. Abdul El-Sayed said.
In a study by the US CDC, more than 200 adolescents were administered between the ages of 12 and 17 likely hospitalized due to Covid in 1st three months of 2021. As per the report, there were no deaths, nearly a 3rds were admitted to intensive care units, and roughly 5% required invasive mechanical ventilation. According to emergency physician Dr. Anand Swaminathan “Every single one of those hospitalizations, every single one of those kids in the ICU, can now be prevented, now that vaccinations are available to those 12 to 17.”
As certain states lag behind the national average vaccination rate, the doctors warn that it could spell trouble for the youngest and most vulnerable populations. Only 13 states have reached the goal of the President vaccinating 70% of US adults with at least one dose by July 4. Experts warn those states lagging primarily in the Northwest and Southeast may see another outbreak.
Alabama, Wyoming, West Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee have the lowest vaccination rates — with less than 50% of adults have received at least one dose. Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Hawaii, Connecticut, and New Jersey boast the highest, with 75% or more of their adult population partially vaccinated. According to Dr. Swaminathan, one issue where vaccination is lagging is messaging in specific communities and lack of access. Many people are there who don’t understand that these are free. Vaccine awareness has not been done correctly.
He also said many people are not getting paid off for vaccination or have difficulty finding childcare that prevents them from vaccination. While the current government has advocated for more access, Swaminathan said it was not soon enough.