USA TODAY US Edition
Most in US believe worst of pandemic yet to come
More than a year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic, most Americans believe the coronavirus remains a major threat to public health and the U.S. economy, according to a Pew Research Center report released Wednesday.
Despite widespread vaccination efforts, 54% of U.S. adults say the worst of the outbreak is still to come. The report, based on a survey of 10,348 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 23-29, found 73% of those ages 18 and older say they’ve received at least one dose of a vaccine for COVID-19.
About a quarter of adults say they have not received a vaccine. Some of the lowest vaccination rates are seen among those with no health insurance and white evangelical Protestants (57% each) as well as among Republicans and Republican leaners (60%).
Black adults are now about as likely as white adults to say they’ve received a vaccine (70% and 72%, respectively). Earlier in the outbreak, African Americans were less likely to say they planned to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Nearly 179 million Americans – 54% of the population – have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The U.S. has recorded more than 41.4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 665,200 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
US makes COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for new immigrants
Beginning Oct. 1, immigrants to the U.S. must be vaccinated against COVID-19, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said Tuesday.
The agency said it “may grant blanket waivers” if the vaccine is not age-appropriate, not suggested due to a medical condition, not routinely available or limited in supply.
The Immigration and Nationality Act already requires a handful of shots for immigration purposes – such as for polio and mumps, measles and rubella – and the CDC requires several more.
US to spend $470M to learn more about long COVID-19
The U.S. government will spend $470 million to learn more about long COVID-19, its causes and potential treatments.
The National Institutes of Health announced the plans Wednesday with a grant awarded to New York University and a goal of enrolling as many as 40,000 adults and children nationwide. The effort, dubbed RECOVER, will involve researchers at more than 30 U.S. institutions.
“This is being taken with the greatest seriousness … at a scale that has not really been attempted with something like this,” Dr. Francis Collins, NIH director, said at a briefing Wednesday. It is estimated 10% to 30% of people infected with COVID-19 may develop persistent, new or recurring symptoms that can last months or perhaps years, Collins said.
Survey: August COVID-19 hospital bills of $3.7B were double June and July combined
A surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations among people who have not been vaccinated is adding billions of dollars in preventable costs to the nation’s healthcare system, a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) analysis found.
In August, the new analysis estimates that the preventable costs of treating unvaccinated patients in hospitals total $3.7 billion, almost twice the estimates for June and July combined. The total preventable costs for those three months now stand at an estimated $5.7 billion.
The estimates draw on KFF’s analysis of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data and find that each COVID-19 hospitalization on average results in roughly $20,000 in hospital costs.