The United States is steadily chipping away at vaccine hesitancy and driving down COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations to the point that schools, governments and corporations are lifting mask restrictions yet again.
Nearly 200 million Americans are fully vaccinated and the nation’s over-65 population, which bore the brunt of the pandemic when it started nearly two years ago, is enthusiastically embracing vaccines.
Nearly 98% of the over-65 population has received at least one COVID-19 shot and more than 25% of them have gotten boosters, just weeks after they were authorized. The improving metrics could get a boost from President Joe Biden’s workplace mandate unveiled Thursday and the launch of COVID-19 shots in elementary-age students.
Seniors also are playing a role in getting other family members vaccinated. Erin Lipsker plans to get her 8-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son vaccinated as soon as possible so they can see her parents and her 98-year-old grandmother. An added motivation is that Lipsker was treated for cancer two years ago, and her 8-year-old daughter, Kennedy, has asthma.
“The more children and adults are vaccinated, the quicker we will be able to resume a new normal. I want that for my kids. I want that for our planet,” said Lipsker, of Spokane, Washington. “I think I will feel much safer around our family. I have a 98-year-old grandmother that my kids adore. I will feel safer having my kids around her, and my parents.”
But the pandemic has proven hard to control. In the U.S., winter is coming and diseases like COVID-19 often spread easier with people indoors and closer together. The worst surge in the nation happened last winter, before the vaccines were widely available.
Source: AP News