Today’s Infectious Disease News (1/14/23)

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As COVID-19 Hospitalizations Rise, Interest in Life-Saving Vaccinations Remains Low

COVID-19 cases have risen by 50% since Thanksgiving, leading to a spike in hospitalizations and deaths across the US. Yet interest in the updated COVID-19 booster, designed specifically to combat the omicron variant, remains low. The inadequate vaccination rates are especially concerning for older Americans, who have been hit hardest by this new wave of outbreaks. About 3,200 people age 70 and older have been hospitalized every day this winter. However, only 38 percent of seniors have received the lifesaving booster. The Biden administration announced several initiatives aimed at increasing vaccinations. The administration will permit nursing homes to vaccinate their residents and has contacted governors of states with the worst nursing home vaccination rates. Federal health officials are encouraging state regulatory agencies to consider imposing penalties for long-term care facilities that have zero residents vaccinated. The administration is seeking ways to promote vaccines with the assistance of organizations such as AARP and the nonprofit LeadingAge. The White House has also requested more funds to make vaccines more accessible, including $125 million for in-home vaccinations and accessible clinics and $350 million to help health facilities host vaccine events.

Full Story: Politico