“The vaccine is the most important pathway to ending this pandemic. That means we’ve got to get everyone in our country vaccinated,” US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said Monday.
“Now what we’ve got to do is No. 1: Get the vaccine. No. 2: Turn around and look at our family and friends and ask if they’re going to get vaccinated. If they need help, that’s what we’ve got to do.”
“It has always been a race between the vaccines and the variants. And hesitancy just slows down that vaccine leg.”
‘We’re treating younger patients than we ever saw before’
Dr. Jayne Morgan, clinical director of the Piedmont Healthcare Covid Task Force in Atlanta, said she’s concerned about how the virus is hitting younger groups.
A big part of the country’s 65+ population — which got priority access to vaccine before younger Americans — has already been vaccinated. Now officials are seeing a shift in Covid-19 cases “down to a younger and younger age group,” Morgan said.
“We’ve got to begin to get serious about this,” she said.
Officials in Michigan, which is in the middle of another violent surge, said their hospitals are filling up with younger patients.
“It really is presenting in all of our ERs and frankly in our inpatient units,” Beaumont Health CEO John Fox said.
“We’re treating younger patients than we ever saw before.”
US awaits a decision on the J&J shot
While the US tries to beat variants with vaccinations, doctors await word on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Vaccine advisers to the CDC will meet Friday to discuss whether the J&J vaccine may have caused blood clots, and if so, what to do about it.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he expects a decision soon.
“I don’t want to get ahead of the CDC and the FDA and the advisory committee, but I would imagine that what we will see is that it would come back and it would come back in some sort of either warning or restriction,” Fauci said.
“I hope that we don’t see anything extended beyond Friday. We need to get Friday some decision, one way or the other.”
Fauci and other health officials said the pause was important so experts can gather all the necessary data to help inform their decision.
CNN’s Naomi Thomas, Maggie Fox and Harry Enten contributed to this report.