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US reports fewer COVID cases and more vaccinations; health officials urge to remain cautious

Published: Oct. 9, 2021 at 10:22 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The U.S. may finally be turning a corner in the pandemic with fewer COVID-19 cases reported and more vaccinations.

However, top health officials say the country isn’t out of the woods yet.

“We have certainly turned a corner,” Admiral Brett Giroir, Former Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said. “Cases are down about 50 percent from their peak, we have passed the peak of Delta infection, and hospitalizations and deaths are trailing off. These are very, very good signs.”

Top health experts say the drop in cases is associated with vaccinations, more COVID-19 testing, and more mask wearing, but urge Americans to remain cautious.

In the past two months, the CDC says 42 percent fewer people in the U.S. have gotten their first shot.

There’s a concern for regions where fewer people are rolling up their sleeves. The U.S. Surgeon General said vaccine requirements help.

“This is really about creating a safe environment for people to work, for young people to study and for all of us to engage in commerce,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said.

The FDA is set to discuss the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 on October 26. Health experts are concerned about a geographic divide in regions, like the south and mountain west, where fewer eligible 12 to 17-year-olds have been vaccinated.

“I have to believe they’ll probably hold back on vaccinating the younger kids as well,” Dean of National School of Tropical Medicine of Baylor College of Medicine Dr. Peter Hotez said.

U.S. health officials say vaccination is key to keeping us going in the right direction.

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