Thousands of healthcare workers in New York City were vaccinated against Covid-19 before Monday’s deadline, helping the state avoid the worst-case case of staff shortages in hospitals and nursing homes.
Statewide health officials reported that employees rushed to get vaccinated before Monday, avoiding being suspended or fired. New York has 600,000 healthcare workers.
Statewide, the vaccination rate for hospital workers rose Monday night to 92% of workers who received at least one dose, according to preliminary data from the governor’s office. The nursing home rate also jumped to 92% on Monday, from 84% five days earlier.
Many nursing homes faced severe staff shortages prior to the mandate, making any further staff cuts potentially dangerous.
In New York’s public hospital system, more than 8,000 workers were not vaccinated a week ago. But on Monday morning, that number had fallen to 5,000, or just over 10% of the workforce. Although these unvaccinated employees were not allowed to work, city officials said they believed they could handle the shortcomings.
In Rochester, officials at Strong Memorial Hospital suspended planning for elective procedures for two weeks and warned patients to expect longer wait times for routine appointments as the deadline neared the last week. But on Monday, they said they were able to increase the vaccination rate of their staff to 95.5%, from 92% last week, meaning fewer than 300 out of 16,000 employees will be laid off if they do not weaken. not.
“Some are still very scared,” said Kathleen Parrinello, the hospital’s director of operations. “So they need to be held by the hand and reassured.” Other employees, she said, had told her that they weren’t convinced they should get the shot, but they didn’t want to lose their jobs either.
Opposition to the mandate remains strong, despite vaccinations at the 11th hour. At least eight lawsuits challenging him have been filed, some based on First Amendment grounds and others arguing that the state should recognize immunity from prior infection as equivalent protection. In a federal case, healthcare workers are demanding that the state allow religious exemptions.
The Delta variant was the main reason people decided to get the Covid-19 vaccine this summer and why most say they will receive boosters when they are eligible, according to the latest monthly HIV Attitude Survey. vaccines from the Kaiser Family Foundation, released Tuesday morning. But the survey said nearly three-quarters of unvaccinated Americans see the boosters very differently, saying their need shows vaccines don’t work.
This division suggests that while it may be relatively easy to persuade vaccinated people to queue for an additional injection, the need for reminders may complicate efforts by public health officials to persuade remaining unvaccinated people to get their injection. initial injection.
Another takeaway from the Kaiser Family Foundation investigation: for all carrots hanging to make people hesitant to get vaccinated against Covid – cash, donuts, racetrack privileges – no more credit for the recent increase of immunization comes back to bear. Almost 40% of those newly vaccinated said they sought the vaccines due to the increase in Covid cases, and more than a third said they were alarmed at overcrowding in local hospitals and overcrowding. ‘increased death rates.
“When a theoretical threat becomes a clear and present danger, people are more likely to take action to protect themselves and their loved ones,” said Drew Altman, CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The nationally representative survey of 1,519 people was conducted from September 13 to 22 – during a period of sharply rising Covid deaths, but before the government allowed recalls for millions of people to high risk who had received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, including those 65 and over and adults of all ages whose work puts them at high risk of infection.
Sweeteners played a role in getting the shots fired. One-third of respondents said they had been vaccinated to travel or attend events where vaccines were required.
Two reasons often cited as important for motivating those who hesitate to get vaccinated – employer mandates (around 20%) and full federal approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (15%) – have less influence.
Seventy-two percent of adults surveyed said they were at least partially vaccinated, up from 67 percent at the end of July. The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are even higher, showing 77 percent of the adult population in the United States with at least one injection. The most marked change this month has been in vaccination rates for Latinos: a 12 percentage point jump since the end of July, to 73 percent, in the number of Latino adults who have received at least one injection.
With the racial gap in vaccination narrowing, the political divide has grown to be the widest by far, with 90% of Democrats reporting having received at least one dose, compared to 58% of Republicans.
Perhaps reflecting pandemic fatigue, around eight in 10 adults said they believe Covid is now a permanent part of the health landscape. Only 14% said they believed “it would be largely eliminated in the United States, like polio.”
Japan ends its state of emergency measures on Thursday amid a drop in the number of new daily coronavirus cases and a vaccine rollout that has reached nearly 60% of the population, hoping the move will help revive the country’s economy.
It will be the first time since April 4 that no part of Japan will be in a state of emergency.
The move was announced by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Tuesday, a day before a vote by the Liberal Democratic Party which will select a leader to succeed him. Mr Suga said he would not extend the emergency measures currently active in 19 prefectures and instead they would expire at the end of the month, as planned.
“In the future, we will continue to give the highest priority to the lives and livelihoods of the people,” Suga told Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.
He said the government “will work to continue to achieve both infection control and the restoration of daily living.”
New daily cases of the coronavirus in Japan have declined 73% over the past two weeks, to an average of 2,378 per day, according to the Our World in Data project at the University of Oxford. And there has been a marked improvement in vaccine deployment in Japan, with nearly 60% of the population fully vaccinated, a rate that exceeds that of the United States and many other Pacific Rim countries.
Under the state of emergency, people were asked to refrain from non-essential outings and restaurants were asked to close at 8 p.m. and not to serve alcohol. The government plans to ease these restrictions in stages.
Yasutoshi Nishimura, a government minister leading Japan’s response to Covid-19, said serving alcohol would be allowed but “the governors will decide as appropriate, depending on the region’s infection situation. “.