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Coronavirus update: Why people refuse the vaccine, hospitals filling up again

Another study showcases the effectiveness of vaccines

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Photo (c) OsakaWayne Studios - Getty Images
Coronavirus‌ ‌(COVID-19)‌ ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌ 

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 35,251,200 (35,143,810)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 614,368 (613,834)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 199,866,646 (199,162,828)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 4,251,676 (4,240,761)‌

Survey explores why people won’t get vaccinated

When the COVID-19 vaccine first rolled out, millions of Americans lined up to get it. Now that it’s readily available, about 100 million Americans refuse to be vaccinated. A new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation explores the reasons.

Three in ten adults remain unvaccinated, including one in ten who say they want to “wait and see” how the vaccine works for other people before getting vaccinated. Three percent said they will only be vaccinated if they are required to do so by their employer. One-fourth of unvaccinated adults say they’ll probably get vaccinated before the end of the year.

The survey found that as a group, unvaccinated adults, especially those who say they will “definitely not” get a vaccine, are much less worried about the coronavirus, the Delta variant, and have less confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines compared to those who are vaccinated. 

Demands on hospitals are increasing

When it appeared that the pandemic was fading as a crisis in May and June, Americans who had put off medical treatments because of the pandemic began filling hospitals. Now that the Delta variant is causing a surge in new cases, these hospitals are once again under the gun.

“The physical, mental and emotional toll of this pandemic is taking its toll,” Linnette Johnson, a chief nursing officer with AdventHealth Central Florida, told the Wall Street Journal.

Florida is seeing a huge increase in cases, many of them among unvaccinated people. Last week, AdventHealth Central Florida reverted to a policy put in place at the height of the pandemic that halts nonessential surgeries. Officials hope the decision will help free up staff and provide more space for COVID-19 patients.

Study: Vaccine reduces infection risk by 50%

Researchers at Imperial College of London have completed a study showing that fully vaccinated people are half as likely to be infected with the coronavirus than those who have not been vaccinated.

In the study, three times as many unvaccinated people tested positive for the virus than those who had been vaccinated. Not surprisingly, all the positive samples in the study showed the infection was caused by the Delta variant.

As other studies have shown, fully vaccinated people who tested positive tended to have a less severe illness than unvaccinated people. They also had smaller amounts of the virus in their bodies, meaning they may be less likely to pass it on if they are infected.

Around the nation

  • Florida: The Broward County School District, the second-largest in the state, has reversed its requirement that students and teachers wear masks this fall. The move followed a threat from Gov. Ron DeSantis to withhold funding.

  • Minnesota: The state health department has added 31 counties to the list of areas that have a "substantial" or "high" spread of the virus. It’s a big increase from the previous week when only 14 Minnesota counties fell into that category.

  • Nevada: Las Vegas and Clark County have become the epicenter of new virus cases in the state. Health officials report that nearly 15% of people who were tested for COVID-19 since Friday tested positive, accounting for more than 2,000 new cases.

  • South Carolina: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mia McLeod said that if she is elected she would require age-eligible children to show proof of vaccination against the coronavirus in order to attend public school. She would also require people to wear masks in public until 70% of the state’s population is vaccinated.

  • Utah: Dr. Todd Vento, Intermountain Healthcare's infectious disease medical director, briefed reporters this week and said he wanted to “alarm folks” about the coronavirus. "We're not focusing on masking and social distancing,” he said. “You can see what that is. It's a recipe for disaster.”

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