CDC Issues Health Advisory Over 'Low Vaccination Rates' Across US

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Dec 17, 2023 - 01:50 AM

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent out a "health advisory" on Dec. 14 regarding "low vaccination rates" for influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters, in Atlanta on April 23, 2020. (Tami Chappell/AFP via Getty Images)

The agency stated that the relatively low vaccination rates "could lead to more severe disease and increased healthcare capacity strain in the coming weeks" and "reports of increased respiratory disease have been described in multiple countries recently."

"Healthcare providers should administer influenza, COVID-19, and RSV immunizations now to patients, if recommended," the CDC stated.

The CDC is tracking "increased respiratory disease activity in the United States for several respiratory pathogens," but it made no mention of China or a rise in mysterious pediatric pneumonia cases in the country in recent weeks. The agency mentioned only influenza, RSV, and COVID-19.

"In the past 4 weeks, hospitalizations among all age groups increased by 200 percent for influenza, 51 percent for COVID-19, and 60 percent for RSV," it stated.

Historical data show that the recent increase COVID-19 hospitalizations appear to be relatively low compared with previous increases during the pandemic.

"Infants, older adults, pregnant people, and people with certain underlying medical conditions remain at increased risk of severe COVID-19 and influenza disease. Infants and older adults remain at highest risk of severe RSV disease; it is the leading cause of infant hospitalization in the United States," the CDC bulletin reads.

Other than vaccines, health care providers should recommend antiviral medications for influenza and COVID-19 for all eligible patients, especially older adults and people with certain underlying medical conditions, according to the CDC.

Vaccine Fatigue?

However, recent surveys have shown that Americans appear to be showing signs of vaccine fatigue. One from the health policy research group KFF found that about three-fourths of respondents said they weren't concerned about getting COVID-19.

“With fall and winter holidays coming up, the possibility of a further wave of COVID-19 infections is looming with increased indoor gatherings and time with friends and family. Yet, most of the public is not worried about spreading or catching COVID-19 over the coming months,” the KFF stated.

It noted that 54 percent are “not too worried” or “not at all worried” about COVID-19 increases or hospitalizations.

There were 7.4 million fewer influenza vaccine doses administered to adults in pharmacies and physician offices than were administered during the 2022–23 influenza season, according to the CDC.

Nearly 16 percent of U.S. adults aged 60 and older were reported to have taken an RSV vaccine, and 36 percent of U.S. adults aged 65 and older took a COVID-19 vaccine for the 2023–24 period.

The CDC also stated in December that COVID-19 booster uptake is lower than it had anticipated for this season, and a member of the Food and Drug Administration's panel of experts said in September that he won't take the latest booster shot and wouldn't advise a healthy American younger than 70 to get it either.

I think the goal of this vaccine is to keep people out of the hospital, keep them out of the intensive care unit and keep them from dying. That's the goal. That was always the stated goal. It remains the goal,” Dr. Paul Offit told a media outlet. “So who is it that's getting hospitalized? Who is it that most benefits? People who are elderly, people who have multiple comorbidities, health problems that put them at high risk, chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc. People who are immunocompromised and pregnant people. I think that those are the ones who most benefit.”

Recent CDC Study Results

Earlier this month, a CDC study found that children who reported to pediatric center emergency departments with respiratory illness and were hospitalized were more likely to have taken COVID-19 vaccines.

The overwhelming majority of the young children in the study never received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That group of 6,377 far outnumbered the 281 children who received one dose and the 776 children who received at least two doses. Across the United States, most young children are unvaccinated. Of the unvaccinated children in the study, 44 percent were hospitalized. Of the vaccinated, 55 percent were hospitalized.

The study focused only on COVID-19 vaccines, not vaccines for influenza or RSV.

A health care worker prepares a COVID-19 vaccine in Hong Kong in a file photograph. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

Pfizer Stock Drops

Pfizer has COVID-19 and RSV vaccines that are approved in the United States, while Moderna and Novavax have "bivalent" COVID-19 vaccines that are also approved by federal agencies.

We are in the middle of the COVID fatigue,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said during an investor call on Oct. 16, according to media reports. “Nobody wants to speak about COVID."

Notably, Pfizer's stock recently fell to 10-year lows after reporting this week that its 2024 sales could be as much as $5 billion below Wall Street expectations, in part because of its weakened ability to move COVID-19 products such as vaccines and treatment drugs.

Zachary Stieber and Reuters contributed to this report.