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CDC Claims Covid-19 Delta Variant Is As Transmissible As Chickenpox

The US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an internal document this week that claims the Delta variant of the coronavirus is as contagious as chickenpox and could cause severe illness. 

The variant was already more likely to impact vaccinated Americans as well, which is why the report went on to explain that the CDC will be reversing their current mask guidelines for vaccinated Americans and will likely enforce all citizens to wear masks in public again. 

Previously the CDC said it was okay for vaccinated individuals to be unmasked indoors. Data has proven that the vaccines are still highly effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death in vaccinated people against the variants. 

The report claimed that the Delta variant is more transmissible than the viruses caused by MERS, SARS, Ebola, the common cold, flu, and smallpox. 

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CDC director Rochelle Walensky told the New York Times that new research was showing vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant carried a majority of the virus in their nose and throats. 

Officials in general have been warning Americans about major increases in new Covid-19 infections all throughout the nation; particularly among unvaccinated individuals.

Vaccine hesitancy is prominent throughout the entire country, fueled largely by a slew of misinformation that has been spreading about Covid-19 since the Trump administration. Federal employees in Washington are either to get vaccinated or be subject to multiple Covid tests a week, these types of requirements will likely appear throughout multiple industries as the pandemic continues. 

The Biden Administration recently called on state and local government leaders to offer $100 stimulus payments for newly vaccinated Americans; which would be funded by the $350 billion federal aid grant approved of under the American Rescue Plan Act. 

Former Surgeon General Says Unvaccinated Americans Are Causing Pandemic To ‘Spiral Out Of Control’ 

Former surgeon general Vice Admiral Dr. Jerome Adams recently spoke to the media about how unvaccinated Americans are causing the coronavirus pandemic to “spiral out of control.”

In an interview with CBS, Adams urged all unvaccinated Americans to go get their inoculations as the highly contagious Delta variant is a growing problem in the nation.

“There’s also real harm to you because, guess what? More mitigation is coming, whether it’s masking or whether it’s closures or whether it’s your kids having to return to virtual learning, that is coming.”

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Adams then explained how more legal mitigation would be “coming because this pandemic is spiraling out of control yet again, and it’s spiraling out of control because we don’t have enough people vaccinated. So get vaccinated because it helps your neighbors, but get vaccinated because it’s going to help every single American enjoy the freedoms that we want to return to.”

All 50 states have seen a ride in Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, and the Delta variant is responsible for around 83% of those new cases. The variant has also proven to be a significant rest among the unvaccinated; currently unvaccinated individuals account for nearly all Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has already updated their national guidance and has recommended that all Americans should continue to wear their masks when in public. 

“If you’re out in public, if you’re around people who you don’t know whether they’re vaccinated or not, and especially if you’re in a community where prevalence is going up … it is probably going to be safest for you to mask it whether or not you’re vaccinated or not.”

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“Your public health officials who don’t have a good way of knowing, or your businesses who don’t have a good way of knowing who’s vaccinated or not, they’re going to find that they have no other choice but to call on more people to mask it. And the CDC needs to give those businesses, those health officials, a little bit of cover by clarifying the guidance that they have out there,” Adams explained. 

According to the CDC just under 50% of Americans are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, while 57.3% of every American over the age of 12 has received their shots. 

Adams said there are many people “who have legitimate questions and who have legitimate barriers that have kept them from getting their vaccines, but also said the lack of full approval of the vaccines from the Food and Drug Administration is also a hurdle.”

“We still have no clear timetable on when we can expect FDA licensure of these vaccines for adults. And a lot of people say that that is still causing their hesitancy, number one,” he said. 

“But number two, I can tell you the quickest way to get people vaccinated is through mandates. And we can’t have mask mandates. We won’t — you’re hearing this from the military and from other businesses until you have full licensure of these vaccines. So if you want to get a bunch of people vaccinated, really quickly, get the vaccines licensed and then you’ll see the military make it mandatory. You’ll see businesses make it mandatory.”

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Los Angeles Reinstates Mask Mandate As Delta Variant Cases Continue To Rise 

Los Angeles County has reinstated its indoor mask mandate this weekend due to the continued spreading of the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus. The reinstatement also comes just one year after Governor Gavin Newsom initially instated an order that closed down most schools in LA County. 

On July 17th 2020, Newsom issued health and safety guidelines that closed down all schools unless a certain list of criteria were met for in-person learning. Exactly one year later on the same date, he reinstated the mask mandate. 

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A majority of California’s public and private k-12 schools had to close, and many critics called out the government for neglecting families that rely on support provided by schools; specifically working parents. 

Reopen California Schools is a social media movement that has spoken out about the disruptions to social development that these children are enduring due to a lack of organization from the government in regards to schooling during the pandemic. 

“Newsom’s decision to close our schools will go down as one of the darkest times in California and U.S. history, as other ‘special interests’ were taken into consideration over children.”

Republican assemblyman Kevin Kiley, who is running in the recall election to replace Newsom this fall, said that Newsom’s school shutdowns did a lot of harm that many don’t even realize. 

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“Today is the one year anniversary of Gavin Newsom’s school shutdown order. You’d be hard-pressed to find any action by any governor that did more harm or for worse reasons.”

Los Angeles County Officials announced last week that they would be reviving the requirement to wear masks in all public settings regardless of vaccination status due to a “rapid rise in Delta variant cases.” 

According to LA County data, the 7-day daily average positivity rate is at 3.17%; about 1,000 new cases a day. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently confirmed that Delta variant cases were on the rise all throughout the US, and that more serious mask mandates should be enforced nationally. 

The CDC reported that the most recent seven-day moving average of daily new cases for the Delta variant in the US is 26,306. This marks a nearly 70% increase when compared to the previous seven-day average (15,541).

L.A. County Reports Rise In Covid-19 Cases, 99% Of Which Are Among The Unvaccinated 

Los Angeles County health officials reported that Monday marked the fourth consecutive day in which 1,000 new Covid-19 cases have emerged. The officials also claimed that these cases were all appearing among unvaccinated individuals almost exclusively. 

The Department of Public Health for LA County reported 1,059 new cases this Monday. Last Friday they reported 1,044 cases, followed by 1,069 on Saturday, and 1,113 more on Sunday. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer released a statement this week on the increase in cases. 

“Over 99% of the COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths we are seeing are among unvaccinated individuals.”

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These new cases are worrying many experts due to the fact that before this point, the county was doing relatively well in their fight against Covid-19. The week before June 26th, LA county reported an average of less than 250 new cases a day, consecutively. That number has now more than tripled in just two short weeks.

State data has shown that 376 patients had to be hospitalized due to their symptoms; the highest number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients the county has seen since May. Reported deaths still remain low, however, health officials noted that it can take weeks for an increase in viral transmission to reflect in the number of fatalities. 

Areas in LA county where the percentage of fully vaccinated people is high continue to have lower rates of new Covid-19 cases. Throughout the past week the entire state of California has reported an average of 2,100 new cases a day; this is a 124% rise when compared to two weeks ago. 

More than 59% of Californians have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while millions have still neglected to receive their vaccine; either because they’re too young, or have chosen not to get it. 

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Health experts are now labelling the Covid-19 crisis as a “tale of two pandemics,” one in which vaccinated people can enjoy a higher degree of protection, while unvaccinated individuals remain vulnerable and exposed. Dr. Tomás Aragón, state public health officer and director of the California Department of Public Health, recently gave a statement on the importance of getting vaccinated. 

“Although California’s vaccination rates are among the highest in the country, we must stay vigilant against COVID-19 and its variants. That means motivating the remaining Californians to get vaccinated, and encouraging our friends and families too.”

Ferrer added that “the work in front of us is to improve confidence in these vaccines among people who are not yet vaccinated, and we will try lots and lots of different strategies with all of our partners.”

“The most successful strategy to date is making sure that people are getting their information from other people that they trust, and working to build out those teams of folks that are in the neighborhoods that can be trusted and have good information remains one of the most important strategies. So we’ll continue to do that while we make sure that access remains as easy as possible,” she explained.

Covid-19 Mutation

US Sends Covid-19 Team To Southwest To Combat Spreading Of Delta Variant 

The US government is sending a Covid-19 surge team to provide public health support to southwest Missouri, which is currently battling the spread of the Delta variant and causing hospital beds to fill up at exponential rates. 

In the city of Springfield, Missouri the CoxHealth hospital system has already begun transferring patients to other facilities that have better staffing. The Missouri Covid-19 caseload is currently the second highest in America with an average of 16 new cases per 100,000 people appearing everyday, according to Johns Hopkins University data. 

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“We’re already starting to see places with low vaccination rates starting to have relatively big spikes from the Delta variant,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.

“We’ve seen this in Arkansas, Missouri, Wyoming … Those are the places where we’re going to see more hospitalizations and deaths as well, unfortunately. And any time you have large outbreaks, it does become a breeding ground for potentially more variants,” he explained.

According to the CDC, 39.4% of Missouri residents are fully vaccinated while 56% have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. 

Overall, the data is showing that Covid-19 is more likely to remain in less vaccinated communities, especially as the Delta variant continues to spread, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “If there was ever a reason to get vaccinated, this is it. America has ample vaccine supply, but there is still a significant portion of people who don’t want the shots.”

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“There are places in the world where people would do anything to get a vaccine, and yet we have a substantial proportion of people in very specific regions of the country, who just do not want to get vaccinated.”

The Biden administration said it would be deploying response teams composed of individuals from the CDC throughout the country in response to the spreading of the Delta variant. Members of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will also be deployed to areas of the country where vaccination rates are low. 

“The surge team in Missouri will include an epidemiologist, research assistants, a health communication specialist, contact tracers and others who will help with vaccination and outreach, according to the health department. More team members will be added, both remotely and in person, to assist with data and research, vaccine uptake strategies and outreach,” said Lisa Cox, a communications director with the Missouri health department.

So far 47.5% of the US population has been fully vaccinated. Two months ago the US was fully vaccinating individuals at a rate of about 490,000 a day, that number has since plateaued. The US Food and Drug Administration could potentially approve of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine this month which would likely sway many more Americans to get vaccinated; right now the vaccine is simply approved for emergency use as all the others are. 

“That will be a telltale sign for them to say ‘Why am I on the fence any longer? This has now been fully approved by the FDA,’ and even though it’s got a great record already, that will I think be another stamp of approval,” said Andy Slavitt, a former White House senior adviser for Covid Response.

US Officials Worried About An Increase In Covid-19 Infections Pre-Holiday Weekend

Local officials throughout the US are warning residents to remain diligent when it comes to Covid-19 safety protocols, as an increase in infections throughout the nation’s less vaccinated areas has health experts worried about an increase in infections following the fourth of July weekend. 

Arkansas currently has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the nation, and is enduring a major increase in infections. Los Angeles County has been vaccinating people at the same rate as the rest of the nation, but is warning residents about a potential new wave of the Delta variant of the Covid virus. 

“We are now going in the wrong direction yet again with Covid-19 infections here in the state of Arkansas,” said Dr. Cam Patterson, chancellor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

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“With July 4th holiday coming up and eventually kids going back to school, we have to be concerned that this would be a trend that could continue. And if it does, it would appear that we may be in the beginning of the third surge of Covid-19 here in the state of Arkansas,” he said.

More than 90% of the active Covid-19 cases in Arkansas are among people who have not been vaccinated, and that trend is the same throughout the rest of the nation as well. California’s Health Director Barbra Ferrer claimed that 59% of Los Angeles County residents are vaccinated, but the county recently reported 506 new cases, the largest single day increase since mid-April. 

“We have enough risk and enough unvaccinated people for Delta to pose a threat to our recovery and masking up now, could help prevent a resurgence in transmission.”

Overall the US has seen a 10% increase in its seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases, according to Dr. Rochelle Walenskym who heads the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“Looking state by state and county by county, it is clear that communities where people remain unvaccinated are communities that remain vulnerable. This is all true as we monitor the continued spread of the hyper-transmissible Delta variant.”

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“Two-thirds of adults in the US have received at least one dose of the vaccine as of Thursday. Over the past week, an average of 661,795 people became fully vaccinated daily,” according to the CDC. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci claimed that vaccinated Americans should still be able to celebrate the fourth of July weekend. 

“That is, if you were vaccinated, you have a high degree of protection. If you are not, you should wear a mask, and you should think very seriously about getting vaccinated,” said Fauci.

The other piece of good news is that the vaccines being distributed throughout the US are proving to protect against the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus. Johnson & Johnson just released data that showed their vaccine is effective against the Delta variant and individuals who receive the one-shot won’t need a booster. 

“Current data for the eight months studied so far show that the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine generates a strong neutralizing antibody response that does not wane; rather, we observe an improvement over time,” Dr. Mathai Mammen, head of research and development at J&J’s Janssen vaccine arm, said in a statement.

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WHO Says Delta Covid-19 Variant Will ‘Pick Off’ Most Vulnerable 

The highly contagious Covid-19 Delta variant is currently the fastest and fittest coronavirus strain yet, and it will likely begin to “pick off” the most vulnerable populations around the world, especially in places with low vaccination rates, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) who issued a warning this Monday. 

“Delta, which was first identified in India, has the potential to be more lethal because it’s more efficient in the way it transmits between humans and it will eventually find those vulnerable individuals who will become severely ill, have to be hospitalized and potentially die,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, said.

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Ryan claimed world leaders and public health officials need to work together to defend the most vulnerable populations around the world if they want any chance of this pandemic actually coming to an end. 

“We can protect those vulnerable people, those front-line workers, and the fact that we haven’t, as Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said, again and again, is a catastrophic moral failure at a global level.”

The WHO officially stated on Friday that Delta is becoming the dominant variant of the disease worldwide, and has proven to be more contagious, more deadly, and more resistant to current treatments. 

“Delta is now replacing alpha, the highly contagious variant that swept across Europe and later the U.S. earlier this year. Studies suggest it is around 60% more transmissible than alpha, which was more contagious than the original strain that emerged from Wuhan, China, in late 2019. We need to vaccinate now. Get everyone vaccinated now,” Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said in a recent interview.

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Delta is currently present in 92 countries according to the WHO, and now makes up about 10% of the cases in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Delta variant recently became the most dominant strain in the UK as well. 

“No variant has really found the combination of high transmissibility and lethality, but delta is the most able and fastest and fittest of those viruses,” WHO officials said Monday.

“This particular delta variant is faster, it is fitter, it will pick off the more vulnerable more efficiently than previous variants, and therefore if there are people left without vaccination, they remain even at further risk.”

The WHO has been urging wealthier nations such as the US to donate extra doses to the countries around the world that have barely enough to get one shot in the arms of most of their citizens. 

“These vaccines are highly effective against severe disease and death. That is what they are intended for, and that is what they need to be used for. This is what COVAX and WHO and all of our partners have been advocating for, that these vaccines reach people most at risk,” Ryan claimed.

Experts Claim Americans ‘Don’t Realize How Lucky We Are’ In Terms Of Covid-19 Vaccines

About 53% of all Americans are currently inoculated with at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine while about 44% of the population is now fully vaccinated, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“We have a long way to go as a globe. The United States — we don’t even realize how lucky we are here because we’ve had access to the vaccine early on. We basically have people turning the vaccine away. We think the whole world behaves that way, but that’s not the case,” Dr. Suzanne Judd, an epidemiologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, said.

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All adults in America are currently eligible to receive one of the three vaccine options approved in the country; Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson. However, many other countries around the world only have one vaccine option available for their large populations of unvaccinated individuals. 

“There are whole countries where only 1% of the population has had access to the vaccine. That means the coronavirus will continue to spread in those countries and will be problematic in those countries.”

“It means travel restrictions could happen. It means that it may impact Americans in terms of how they interact through work with people from those countries. It definitely will continue to impact us, so we have to be aware that it’s a good 18 months away before there’s enough vaccine to really stop the spread of the virus worldwide,” Judd explained.

The CDC revealed that at least 13 states have hit their goals of getting 70% of their residents partially vaccinated, which has led to many governors lifting restrictions and mask mandates. However, there is still a large group of Americans who are refusing to get the vaccine. 

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According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, “7% of those who are unvaccinated said they will only get the shot if they are required, while 13% are still definitely not getting a vaccine.”

“The problem, though, is that mutant variants of the virus are able to form as the virus circulates for longer. So even with at least 70% vaccinated, there is still a risk.”

“That 30% that winds up in another state, say that the state makes it to 70% and there are 30% unvaccinated. It poses a risk to that 30%. We really want to get to the 70% target in all states. That’s what will make this virus go away and not stay with us. If we don’t, we’re going to wind up battling outbreaks basically,” Judd said. 

Vaccines are showing that they’re effective against fighting the new strains, but not as strongly as it fights the regular virus. 

“The initial variants, we were looking at 90% effective and maybe it’s more like 70% with the Delta variant, but that’s great. Honestly, that’s a public health win. 70% is not something to throw away and say ‘that’s not good enough.’ That’s so much better than 10, 15, 20%. Again, if we can get people vaccinated, we don’t have to worry about the Delta variant,” Judd claimed.

“It’s not just the United States that’s in this fight. It’s really a global fight, a global struggle, a global effort.”

CDC To Hold Emergency Meeting Over Rare Heart Inflammation Side Effect In Covid Vaccines 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced this week that they will be holding an emergency meeting on June 18th to discuss reports of heart inflammation following doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines. While the CDC claims that these reports have been rare, they’re still higher than initially expected, hence the meeting. 

The CDC has identified 226 cases that could meet the agency’s definition of myocarditis and pericarditis following the injections. A majority of those who experienced inflammation have recovered while 41 experienced ongoing symptoms, 15 are still currently hospitalized, and 3 are in the intensive care unit.

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“It’s a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison because, again, these are preliminary reports. Not all these will turn out to be true myocarditis or pericarditis reports.”

Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, a CDC vaccine safety official, stated that so far their findings were mostly “consistent with reports of rare cases of heart inflammation that had been studied in Israel and reported from the US Department of Defense earlier this year.” 

A panel of independent advisers for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA0 will be meeting this upcoming Thursday to review the new details regarding myocarditis and pericarditis. The meeting will also serve to discuss how the FDA should approach giving an emergency use authorization for using these vaccines in younger children; the next phase of reaching herd immunity in America. 

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Pfizer already received an emergency use authorization for their vaccine in Americans 12 and up last month, and announced that they were already going through trials to make sure it’s safe for children as young as 6 months old. Moderna is also in the process of seeking a EUA for their vaccine in adolescents. 

Pfizer believes they can finish their children’s trials by the beginning of September, while FDA officials have warned that authorizing vaccines for younger age groups, especially babies and toddlers, could take longer due to how much their bodies are still developing. The FDA believes children will likely be able to receive their vaccines by mid to late fall at the earliest. 

“We recognize that some adverse reactions, for example myocarditis or pericarditis as discussed earlier today, may be too infrequent to detect in a safety database of typical size for pre-licensure clinical trials,” said Dr. Doran Fink, a top official in the FDA’s vaccine office.

“Risk-benefit considerations to determine whether to issue an emergency use authorization for use of a COVID-19 vaccine into healthy pediatric individuals will need to account for this information, and risk-benefit consideration will likely be different, not only compared to those for adults, but also they may be different for younger versus older pediatric groups,” Dr. Marion Gruber, director of the FDA’s vaccine office, said at the meeting.

Delays In Adolescents Receiving Their Covid-19 Vaccinations Could Hinder US Recovery

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, an expert epidemiologist, recently spoke to the press about how some US populations are seeing an amazing increase in vaccination rates, while other groups in the nation are experiencing lags in their distribution, especially among adolescents, which could lead to a major delay in the country’s recovery as a whole. 

Children currently account for 25% of all Covid-19 cases in America due to the fact that they’re not yet vaccinated. 

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“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?”

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently performed a study in which they examined more than 200 adolescents aged from 12 to 17-years-old who were hospitalized within the first three months of 2021, likely with Covid-19. The report showed that while there were no deaths, a third of the adolescents were admitted to intensive care units because of their illness, and 5% required mechanical ventilation. 

“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, however, it could spell trouble for the youngest and most vulnerable populations. What we also see is that the same places where adults are lagging, teens are lagging,” emergency physician Dr. Anand Swaminathan said to CNN. 

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About 13 states have hit President Joe Biden’s goal of getting 70% of all US adults vaccinated with at least one Covid-19 vaccine by July 4th. However, experts like Leana Wen claim that the parts of the nation with lower vaccination rates are expected to experience another wave of coronavirus infections among its unvaccinated residents. 

“Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Wyoming, Tennessee and West Virginia have the lowest vaccination rates – with less than 50% of adults having received at least one dose. Vermont, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine and New Jersey boast the highest, with 75% or more of their adult population partially vaccinated. One issue for where vaccinations are lagging is lack of access and messaging in certain communities,” Dr. Swaminathan explained.

“There are people who don’t understand the fact that this is free. That messaging hasn’t been done as much as it should be.There are barriers for people who can’t get paid time off of work or have issues finding childcare that prevent them from getting the vaccine.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told CNN that he’s optimistic children younger than 12 could receive their vaccinations by Thanksgiving this year. 

“We are now doing studies that are ongoing, studies that are looking at what we call age de-escalation, children from 12 to 9 and ten 9 to 6 and then 6 to 2 and then 6 months to 2 years. We hope that as we approach the end of the calendar year we’ll have enough information to vaccinate children of any age.”