- Soldiers must be vaccinated against Covid-19 under US orders.
- Children hospitalized by covid reach the peak record since the pandemic began.
- The delta variant is officially the one behind most reported cases in the United States.
Washington, Aug 9 (EFE News).- Pentagon will require all active-duty troops to be vaccinated against Covid-19 starting in September, the United States Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, announced on Monday in “a message to the forces,” addressed to all employees in his department. In the text, Austin announced that he will seek the authorization of the president, Joe Biden, to make vaccines mandatory “no later than mid-September, or immediately with approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), whichever comes first.”
Full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could come in early September, as it has only obtained emergency clearance by the FDA. Austin expressed his confidence in military leaders and commanders to apply this vaccination program “with professionalism, skill and compassion.”
The order to be vaccinated against covid
At a press conference, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby was convinced that all army personnel, including those reluctant to get vaccinated, “will obey” the orders of the Department of Defense, and those responsible for each service will apply it with ” professionalism, ”because they know that one of the requirements of active duty is to be in good health.
Kirby pointed out that Austin’s message is understood in the Army as a “warning order”, which assumes that the obligation is going to arrive and the forces must be prepared to assume it. He also explained that in the coming days there will be a directive that makes it “clear” how this order will be applied to all Defense Department personnel, including the uniformed.
According to data from the Pentagon spokesman, 73% of the active armed forces have at least one dose of the vaccine, and just over 60% are fully vaccinated. The percentages vary according to the service, hence the compulsory vaccination will have different phases. For his part, the president of the United States expressed his “strong” support for Austin’s message to the soldiers to add the serum against covid-19 to the list of vaccines required for the military.
“Secretary Austin and I share an unwavering commitment to ensuring that our troops have all the tools they need to do their jobs as safely as possible,” Biden said. The optimism that existed in the US a month ago about the effectiveness of the vaccines, which suggested an early end to the pandemic, has given rise to the alarm at the advance of the delta variant in the country. The presence of this mutation, which is already the predominant one in the United States, has caused infections and hospitalizations to skyrocket. Faced with this situation, the White House announced at the end of July that it will force the more than 4 million workers of the United States Government to show proof of vaccination against covid-19 if they do not want to undergo tests on a regular basis, given the advance of the delta variant in the country. EFE News
The US registers the highest number of children hospitalized by covid so far
Washington, Aug 8 (EFE News) .- United States counts 1,450 children hospitalized for covid-19, the highest number so far in the pandemic, the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Francis Collins, warned this Sunday. In an interview with the ABC News program “This Week”, Collins considered that the country should never have reached the point where it is, with a resurgence of coronavirus cases caused by the delta variant.
“We have vaccines that we know are highly effective and safe, yet half the country is still not fully vaccinated,” complained the official. Collins noted that the United States is paying “a terrible price,” given the rapid increase in cases, especially among unvaccinated people. “Almost all the deaths are of unvaccinated people. And now they are younger people, including children ”, he warned.
The numbers of children hospitalized for covid
“The highest number of children so far in the entire pandemic – he said – is currently in the hospital, 1,450 children in the hospital for covid-19.” Many of them, being under 12 years old, were not vaccinated. Although he indicated that they do not have “rigorous data” that point to the delta being more serious for children, he admitted that he hears the concern of pediatricians because in this new peak of disease infections “the children who are in the hospital are more numerous and more seriously ill ”.
Asked about the upcoming start of the school year, he asked parents to think of masks as a “life-saving medical device” and not as a “political statement or an invasion of their freedoms”, and considered that their use will prevent outbreaks that force a return to remote learning. The president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Randi Weingarten, declared in the space “Meet the press”, of NBC News, that 90% of the professors that make up that union have been vaccinated and admitted that they are evaluating to reconsider their last October policy on voluntary vaccination of its members.
The vaccine is a social responsibility
“I believe that circumstances have changed and that vaccination is a responsibility of the community,” he said and confessed that “it weighs a lot” on him that children under 12 cannot yet be vaccinated. He admitted that there are “important religious objections and exemptions” and medical, so he considered it important to take them into account when working on his policy on vaccines, and cited as an example President Joe Biden’s decision that people can choose between injecting or get tested regularly.
“I believe that the combination of vaccines and masks will protect our youngest children,” he said, although he pointed out that for this it is also important to work with parents. In the same program, the main epidemiologist of the United States Government, Anthony Fauci, reiterated that there will be no federal mandate to require immunization against covid. However, he estimated that if the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approves the vaccines that now have emergency use authorization – something that he estimated could occur “in the coming weeks” – many companies and private entities could announce vaccination mandates. EFE News
The delta variant is already responsible for 93% of covid-19 cases in the US
Washington, Aug 4 (EFE News) .- The delta variant accounted for more than 93% of the new cases of covid-19 in the United States during the last two weeks of July, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diseases (CDC, in English). Specifically, the delta mutation of the virus and its different subvariants was behind 93% of the cases that were sequenced in those two weeks.
There are even parts of the United States with low vaccination rates, such as the Midwest where Kansas, Iowa and Missouri are located, among others, where that percentage is higher and reaches 98%. Two weeks ago, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky claimed that the delta variant was to blame for 83% of sequenced COVID-19 cases in the United States. country.
It was only 3% of the cases
At the end of May, this mutation only accounted for 3% of new infections of the disease, while the alpha mutation was the dominant one and caused 69% of new infections. Currently, according to the CDC, the alpha variant only accounts for 2.9% of new cases. Just a month ago, optimism about the proximity of the end of the pandemic reigned in the US due to the effectiveness of vaccines, but the expansion of the delta variant and the stagnation of the immunization campaign raise concern.
In the last two days, the number of hospitalizations has reached levels not seen since last February and has tripled compared to the last month. The United States, the country most affected by the pandemic, already reaches 35.2 million cases and more than 614,000 deaths from covid-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University count. CDC data indicates that so far 57.9% of its population has received one dose of the vaccine, compared to 49.7% who have received the full regimen. EFE News
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