There are still 18 states that have yet to fully immunize at least half of all residents, according to data: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Dakota of North, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming.
The state with the highest vaccination rate is Vermont with 69% of all residents, followed by Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
The different vaccination rates have a profound effect on hospitalizations and deaths.
West Virginia hit a record 1,000 hospitalizations for Covid-19 this week, according to Governor Jim Justice, though the state is hoping a recent slowdown in its number of positive cases could signal a decline in the latest wave .
âThe hospitalizations are a pandemic of unvaccinated at this point,â Scott Bookman of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said Thursday. âEighty percent of people hospitalized are not vaccinated. “
Decision taken on recall recommendations
Early Friday, CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky endorsed an advisory group’s recommendation to allow vaccine boosters for a wider range of people, including those aged 65 and older and residents. long-term care facilities that received the Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 series of vaccines at least six months ago, and people aged 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions.
In addition, she strayed from advisers by recommending callbacks for those 18 to 64 who are at increased risk of Covid-19 because of their workplace or institutional setting.
Walensky later said CNN experts needed to determine when – and not if – workers at high risk of infection should receive a recall, and advisers who voted against recalls for this group had reasons they believed that these people should expect.
âSome people have really votedâ¦ enthusiastically that our health workers, our frontline workers, the people who were vaccinated early, the people who work in assembly places, in correctional facilities, in grocers, deserve really the vaccine, âWalensky said. CNN’s Erin Burnett Friday.
“The question was not ‘yes or no’, the question was ‘wait or do now’,” she added.
People between the ages of 18 and 49 with underlying health conditions may also be given a booster depending on the benefits and risks of each, according to the CDC.
The vaccine suppliers reacted quickly. CVS Pharmacy planned to start providing booster shots on Friday at its locations that offer the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, Matt Blanchette, head of retail communications at CVS, told CNN in an email. He encouraged people to make an appointment.
The FDA decision “reflected a balance between the safety and efficacy data we have and the need to protect our society,” Walensky said in a White House briefing Friday.
Booster injections to those applicable can now be formally administered.
The FDA has not acted on Moderna’s request for recall authorization, and Johnson & Johnson has yet to apply.
But booster shots alone won’t end the pandemic, and the focus must continue to be on vaccinating those who have yet to receive their Covid-19 injections, Walensky said on Friday.
“We will not improve our way out of this pandemic,” she said, adding that cases, hospitalizations and deaths were increasing in unvaccinated areas.
Vaccines for children remain a priority
While vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 could be available by the end of October, immunization schedules mean children in that age group will not be fully immunized until December, the director of health services said Thursday. National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins.
“You have to have two injections, three weeks apart, and then another two weeks after that. So if you get the shot on Halloween and you’re, you know, 9 years old, it’s still going to be December by then. that you have this comprehensive protection, âCollins said.
In Colorado, pediatric cases are highest in areas of the state where overall vaccination rates are lower, according to state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy.
In addition, cases are highest in children aged 6 to 11 who are not yet eligible for the vaccine, she said.
Not only are cases down where vaccination rates are high, but they are also down in school districts requiring masks, Herlihy said Thursday.
âThe lowest rates are associated with districts that require masks in schools, again showing that masks have and decrease transmission in our schools,â she said.
In California, the Oakland Unified School District School Board voted to require vaccination against Covid-19 for eligible students ages 12 and older at a school board meeting on Wednesday.
The district, which has about 50,000 students, will allow certain medical and “personal belief” exemptions from the requirement, vice chairman of the board, Sam Davis, told CNN.
There is currently no set timeline for when students will need to be vaccinated, but a proposal will be presented at a school board meeting next month, according to Oakland USD.
CNN’s Maggie Fox, Lauren Mascarenhas, Amy Simonson, Jamie Gumbrecht, Virginia Langmaid, Deidre McPhillips and Elizabeth Stuart contributed to this report.