Today’s TIP News: FDA authorizes Pfizer booster for 16-17 year olds; 10% of Americans say COVID vaccines conflict with their religious beliefs; Michigan hospitals seeing younger unvaccinated COVID patients; save the date for our annual Community Immunity Luncheon.
Hello, and welcome to TIP News for Dec. 10, 2021. TIP News is a podcast production of The Immunization Partnership. My name is John David Powell.
In today’s TIP News: The FDA authorizes Pfizer booster for 16 and 17 year olds; 10 percent of Americans say COVID vaccines conflict with their religious beliefs; Michigan hospitals seeing younger unvaccinated COVID patients; and it’s time to save the date for our annual Community Immunity Luncheon.
We end the week with news that 16 and 17 year olds can get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine booster. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off Thursday with the FDA authorization and the CDC recommendation.
This makes about 2.6 million teens eligible for boosters after six months of full vaccination.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky encourages these teens to roll up their sleeves. And acting FDA commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock says vaccinations, booster shots, wearing masks, and avoiding large crowds all remain among "our most effect methods" for fighting Covid-19.
And we agree.
But about 10 percent of Americans do not. A new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute and the Interfaith Youth Core shows tens of millions of Americans of various faiths believe getting a COVID vaccine conflicts with their religious beliefs. But 59 percent of Americans in the same survey disagree with them and say too many folks use religion as an excuse not to get vaccinated.
Those numbers change among white evangelical Christians. Only 41 percent of that group say religious beliefs do not keep them from getting vaccinated.
There seems to be an increasing number of younger individuals in Michigan who regret not getting vaccinated, regardless of religious, political, or personal beliefs. The Michigan Health & Hospital Association says the state’s COVID hospitalizations jumped 88 percent in the past month to record levels.
Jim Dover is president and CEO of Sparrow Health System. He told CNN that his hospitals have seen more patients than ever and more patients dying than ever before. About 289 deaths since January, with 75 percent of those unvaccinated. He says no person with a booster has died in Sparrow Health hospitals.
Katie Sefton is a nurse and assistant manager at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan. She told CNN that she never thought COVID could get this bad and certainly not this late in the pandemic.
She said she’s seeing a disturbing trend: younger COVID patients coming to her hospital.
Indiana University Health said it asked the six-person National Guard teams to help at most of its 16 hospitals across the state because of the strain on team members, nurses, and providers. And IU Health is not alone as the number of COVID patients in Hoosier hospitals has more than doubled in the past month with about 30 COVID deaths a day. That, according to the state health department.
Finally today, we hope you'll join us for our 13th Annual Community Immunity Luncheon on
April 6, 2022. We use this special event to focus community leaders on the importance of immunization issues, to raise funds to support our programs, and to honor individuals who have advanced immunizations and increased immunization rates.
We will present Dr. Jason V. Terk with the Ralph D. Feigin, MD Award for Excellence, and H-E-B with the John R. Boettiger, Jr. Award for Community Partnership. Dr. Terk is with Cook Children’s Physician Network in Keller, Texas. We also will honor Venus Ginés with our first Community Immunization Champion Award.
You can make your reservation and get more information at immunizeusa.org/getinvolved
That’s our TIP News for today, Dec. 10, 2021.
TIP News is a podcast production of The Immunization Partnership. We invite you to subscribe to our podcasts, Vaxx Voice, which deals with vaccines in general, and Vaxx to the Future, where we feature information specifically related to COVID-19 and its vaccines. You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also find more information on our webpage, immunizeusa.org. For all of us at The Immunization Partnership, I’m John David Powell. Thanks for listening.