By Peter White
NASHVILLE, TN – Fewer Americans are getting a second booster shot and only 2.8% of young children under five years old have been vaccinated. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll last week the number of young children getting vaccinated is declining and 4 in 10 parents say they are not going to vaccinate their child.
Children 5 to 11 were first eligible for a vaccine in November 2021, and according to the CDC, 30% of older kids are now fully vaccinated. But adults aren’t rushing to get boosted. As of July 28, only 51.5% of U.S. residents 18 and older had gotten a booster while 90% had gotten a first shot.
In Tennessee, 60% of those 18 to 64 got one jab but only 24% are boosted. Cases and deaths are increasing in the U.S. Last week there were averages of 124,090 cases/dy and 437deaths/dy.
In Tennessee last week, CDC figures indicate there were 2,668 new daily cases, 942 hospitalizations, and 10 deaths. The average of ICU occupancy in Tennessee hospitals was 88% last week; the U.S. average ICU occupancy was 73%. Number of cases in Tennessee has increased each month since April 2022.
The BA5 Omicron subvariant is causing 78% of infections in the U.S. BA5 is good at evading immune protection from a vaccine or a prior COVID infection.
“They’re the Houdini of Covid,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco. “They’re the escape artists.”
BA5 infects the upper respiratory tract, and while very infectious, it generally has milder symptoms than earlier variants like Delta. Chin-Hong said wastewater studies in CA. indicate there could be 3-8 times more infections than the official counts.