Covid vaccinations rise in US amid worsening surge

More than 100,000 people are in hospital for Covid-19 for second time in US outbreak

A nurse tends to a Covid-19 patient inside the ICU at Adventist Health in Sonora, California. AFP
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Vaccinations in the US rose 80 per cent from July to August, the White House coronavirus response co-ordinator, Jeff Zients, said on Tuesday, with daily infections averaging close to 150,000.

The US was recording 500,000 average daily immunisations in mid-July and is now recording 900,000 injections after several vaccine mandates were introduced.

“Vaccination requirements work, they drive up vaccination rates and we need more businesses and other employers, including healthcare systems, school districts, colleges and universities, to step up and do their part to help end the pandemic faster,” Mr Zients said.

The White House Covid-19 Task Force called for increased caution as Labour Day approaches and as the school year starts nationwide.

“As people across the country prepare for Labour Day weekend, it’s critical that being vaccinated is part of their pre-holiday checklist,” Mr Zients said.

The US is experiencing a fourth wave of Covid-19, largely spurred by the highly transmissible Delta variant, with a seven-day average of more than 149,000 daily infections and 985 deaths, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported.

The country has also registered a jump in hospital admissions, with more than 100,000 people admitted for Covid-19 symptoms or complications, US Health and Human Services Department data showed — an eight-month high.

It is the second time the US has registered more than 100,000 people in hospital during the pandemic.

The first occurrence was during the winter surge from November to January, before the national vaccination programme began.

A little over 61 per cent of people over the age of 12 in the US have been fully vaccinated, comprising 52 per cent of the entire population.

Full vaccination has proven to be overwhelmingly effective in protecting against severe disease, hospital admission and death from Covid-19.

More than 639,000 people in the US have died from Covid-19, data compiled by Johns Hopkins University showed — the world's highest death toll.

Last week, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington estimated that another 100,000 people in the US could die from Covid-19 before December 1.

The forecasting group said the projected death toll trajectory could be halved if more people wore face masks in indoor spaces. This poses a challenge as masking has been politicised in the US.

Global scientists, including members of the World Health Organisation, have asserted that both coronavirus mitigation measures and vaccination would help end the US outbreak.

Updated: April 27, 2022, 11:40 AM