Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued an impassioned plea for residents of her state to get vaccinated against Covid-19, arguing it was “time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks” for the disease’s continued spread.
“I want folks to get vaccinated. That’s the cure. That prevents everything,” Ivey, a Republican, told reporters in Birmingham, Ala., on Thursday.
“Why would we want to mess around with just temporary stuff?” she said. “We don’t need to encourage people to just go halfway with curing this disease. Let’s get it done. And we know what it takes to get it done.”
Ivey went on to describe the shots as “safe” and “effective,” saying: “The data proves that it works. [It] doesn’t cost you anything. It saves lives.”
But the remarks from the governor grew more pointed when she was pressed on what it would take for greater numbers of Alabamans to get their shots.
“I don’t know. You tell me,” Ivey said. “Folks [are] supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.” [Continue reading…]
The current COVID-19 surge in the U.S. — fueled by the highly contagious delta variant — will steadily accelerate through the summer and fall, peaking in mid-October, with daily deaths more than triple what they are now.
That’s according to new projections released Wednesday from the COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub, a consortium of researchers working in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help the agency track the course of the pandemic. [Continue reading…]
Most Americans who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 say they are unlikely to get the shots and doubt they would work against the aggressive delta variant despite evidence they do, according to a new poll that underscores the challenges facing public health officials amid soaring infections in some states.
Among American adults who have not yet received a vaccine, 35% say they probably will not, and 45% say they definitely will not, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Just 3% say they definitely will get the shots, though another 16% say they probably will.
What’s more, 64% of unvaccinated Americans have little to no confidence the shots are effective against variants — including the delta variant that officials say is responsible for 83% of new cases in the U.S. — despite evidence that they offer strong protection. In contrast, 86% of those who have already been vaccinated have at least some confidence that the vaccines will work. [Continue reading…]
A month ago, the number of Covid-19 patients admitted at two University of Florida hospitals in Jacksonville was down to 14. Now more than 140 people are hospitalized with the virus, a tenfold increase over five weeks — and the highest number of Covid patients this system has seen since the start of the pandemic.
Debra Wells, 65, was among those admitted to one of the hospitals earlier this month when what she thought was a cold grew worse and worse until she couldn’t breathe. “I said, ‘Lord, I feel like I’m dying,’” she recalled.
Like most of the patients that hospital officials say they are admitting in Jacksonville and other fast-filling medical facilities in pockets around the country, Ms. Wells was unvaccinated. She had worried, she said, that the shots were not safe.
“I was misinformed,” Ms. Wells said this week, after a five-day hospital stay. “I wasn’t ready, and I was scared.”
A national uptick in coronavirus cases has led, in sudden and concerning fashion, to a steep rise in hospitalizations in some spots around the country where people have been slower to get vaccinated, a predicament experts hoped might be avoided because the people contracting the infection tend to be younger and healthier.
Nationally, hospitalizations remain relatively low, nowhere near earlier peaks of the pandemic. But in some regions with lagging vaccination rates and rising virus cases — such as Northeast Florida, Southwest Missouri, Southern Nevada — the highly contagious Delta variant has flooded intensive care units and Covid wards that, not long ago, had seen their patient counts shrink. [Continue reading…]