If You Live Here, You're in Danger of COVID
A more transmissible version of coronavirus—called Delta—is in America, and virus experts are yelling from the rooftops about how dangerous it is. In fact, it could cause another spike this summer. Yet in some states, vaccination rates remain distressingly low, threatening to prolong this pandemic for everyone—and putting citizens of those states in danger. "Connecticut, for example where I am, shows no upsurge of infection, but" other states "show very substantial upsurges of infection. That's based entirely on how much population wide immunity you have based on vaccination," former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb told Face the Nation. Read on to see if your state is one in which you'd be in peril—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.
"A more contagious and deadlier COVID-19 variant that ravaged India is spreading throughout the United States and is likely to become the dominant strain of the virus, threatening widely unvaccinated parts of the country like Alabama," reports AL.com. "Alabama has the second to lowest vaccination rate in the country. Just 31.5 percent of the population was fully vaccinated as of Friday, according to the CDC. That's ahead of only Mississippi."
Virus expert Cam Patterson, UAMS Chancellor, posted a thread on Twitter sounding alarm: "Only 40% of the population (ages 12+) are fully vaccinated & 9.6% (ages 12+) are partially immunized," Patterson said. "Our safe & amazingly effective vaccines are our greatest weapon against easy COVID-19 transmission and we in Arkansas are clearly not at the point where our communities are gaining substantial benefit from the vaccines. The doses are here, but vaccine hesitancy is a sad reality right now in many parts of our state. We HAVE TO do better."
"Louisiana will offer residents who have gotten vaccinated against COVID-19 a chance to win a share of $2.3 million in cash prizes and college scholarships, joining the ranks of states hoping financial incentives will persuade those reluctant to get the shots to change their minds," reports the AP. "The top winner could take home $1 million, under the lottery plans announced Thursday by Gov. John Bel Edwards with much fanfare." "We need more people to go sleeves up before we can truly end the pandemic," Edwards said. "Shot At A Million is a reward for those who've already gotten vaccinated and a fun nudge for others to get the vaccine sooner rather than later."
Mississippi ranks last in the nation for vaccinations. "Federal and state officials have made vaccines available at community health centers and pharmacies and added mobile units to expand access to the shots. But vaccination rates continue to lag in rural states in the South such as Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, which rank near the bottom in the country for vaccine uptake," reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Thanks to distribution efforts and the overall increase in the supply of vaccines, access is no longer the main problem to boosting vaccination rates. Instead, people's personal beliefs and economic circumstances are the primary impediments — and those are tougher for public health officials and community leaders to overcome."
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that roughly 65% of adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine," says the News Observer. "And in North Carolina, that figure is significantly lower. As of June 18, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reports that just 55% of adults in the state have received a dose of the vaccine."
"GOP legislators came close Wednesday to dumping the Tennessee Department of Health after accusing it of targeting minors for mass vaccinations without parental consent," reports the Tennessee Lookout. "Instead, the Government Operations Committee ordered Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey to soften the state's efforts to vaccinate children, mainly by bringing parents into the fold, and report back in July. Republican lawmakers repeatedly pointed toward a picture of a teenager on the state's website displaying a bandage on her shoulder after having a vaccine. The wording above says Tennesseans 12-16 are eligible to get a shot, evidence the state is pushing vaccines on children, legislators said." As for yourself, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.