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Vaccine "Hesitancy Pandemic": CDC Issues Health Advisory Over Miniscule Vaccination Rates

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

The CDC sent out the alert on Thursday regarding shots for COVID-19, RSV, and the flu.

December 14, 2023: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent out a "health advisory" Thursday regarding "low vaccination rates" for influenza, RSV, and COVID-19.

The agency said that the relatively low vaccination rates "could lead to more severe disease and increased healthcare capacity strain in the coming weeks" and amid "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 also said.

The CDC added that it is also tracking "increased respiratory disease activity in the United States for several respiratory pathogens," although it made no mention of China or a rise in mysterious pediatric pneumonia cases in the country in recent weeks. The agency only made mention of 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 said, although historical data shows that the recent increase COVID-19 hospitalizations appears 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," said the CDC bulletin.

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, the CDC said.

Vaccine Fatigue?

Recent surveys, however, have shown that Americans appear to be showing signs of vaccine-related fatigue. One from the health policy research group KFF found that about three-fourths of respondents said they were not 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,” said KFF.

It added 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 compared with the 2022–23 influenza season, according to the CDC.

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

The CDC also said in December that COVID-19 booster uptake is lower than it had anticipated for this season, while 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 recommend a healthy American under 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 news 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.

More than half of vaccinated children included in the study were admitted to hospitals as inpatients, compared to less than half of unvaccinated children, it found.

The study examined children aged 6 months to 4 years who went to emergency departments at one of seven pediatric medical centers, including Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Some of the children were admitted to hospitals. The encounters happened as early as July 1, 2022, and as late as Sept. 30, 2023.

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

The overwhelming majority of the young children in the study never received a dose of a COVID 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.

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 shots that are also approved by federal agencies.

“We are in the middle of the COVID fatigue,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla stated 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, due to its weakened ability to move COVID-19 products like vaccines or treatment drugs.

Zachary Stieber and Reuters contributed to this report.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:


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