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COVID-19 News Roundup: Progress in Vaccine Equity, COVID-19 Cases Decline Nationally

5 Things to Know from Today’s COVID-19 News

September 28, 2021

The United States is making clear progress to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the nation’s public health leaders said today.

Citing research released this morning from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), the White House’s COVID-19 Response Team said it is seeing encouraging trends to close vaccination gaps across racial and ethnic lines. Officials said the work continues to help vaccinate the more than 70 million eligible Americans who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine. 

“We’ve made important progress in increasing vaccination rates and in decreasing vaccination inequities,” said Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, senior advisor to the White House COVID-19 Response Team.

Here are five important takeaways from today’s COVID-19 Response Team briefing:

  1. Closing racial equity gaps:  Between July and September, Hispanic adults and those between ages 18 and 29 had the largest uptake in vaccination, according to the KFF report. Vaccination rates are comparable across reported racial and ethnic groups (71% of White adults, 70% of Black adults, 73% of Hispanic adults)
  2. Key milestone:  Tomorrow, the U.S. is expected to hit 200 million adults with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
  3. Encouraging trends:  The nation is reporting declining seven-day averages for COVID-19 case counts (95,228, -29.2%), hospitalizations (8,701, -14.8%), and deaths (1,333, -11.6%)
  4. Boosters:  Today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report included a report indicating there were no unexpected patterns of adverse reactions after an additional dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine
  5. Next steps for children:  Pfizer-BioNTech announced today that it had submitted data for emergency approval of its COVID-19 for children between five and 12. Federal regulators are expected to convene next month to review the trial data, which included more than 2,200 participants and found a “favorable safety profile and elicited robust neutralizing antibody responses”

In Pennsylvania, there were 5,429 new COVID-19 cases reported today, as well as 2,778 patients hospitalized, and 666 patients in the intensive care unit. All Pennsylvania counties—and 94 percent of U.S. counties—have “high” rates of transmission, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

HAP continues to join organizations encouraging eligible Americans to receive the safe, free, and effective COVID-19 vaccines. Additional information about the vaccine is available online.

HAP also is committed to address disparities in health care, participating in the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Covid-19 Health Equity Response Team and the subcommittee COVID 19 Racial and Ethnic Minority Committee. For more information about the latest COVID-19 public health developments, contact Robert Shipp III, PhD, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, vice president, population health and clinical affairs.