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Biden’s vaccination goal faces roadblocks in the South

President Biden’s push to get 70% of Americans vaccinated by the Fourth of July is hitting roadblocks, even with million-dollar lotteries and free beer.

Sixty-two p.c of U.S. adults had acquired at the least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of final week. This week, it is inched as much as virtually 64%. 

But in a handful of states — principally in the South — fewer than half of adults have had a shot, in keeping with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The charges are so low that at the present tempo, it might take Mississippi greater than a year to achieve the 70% vaccination goal and two-and-a-half years for Alabama to hit it. 

“It’s not just that they’re low, they’re really low,” mentioned Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. “If you remember this time last year, we were looking pretty good. Then we saw this massive surge and I worry with the low vaccination rates in the South, we could see something like that again.” 

The hesitancy to get the vaccine contains hospital staff. A USA Today examine discovered the variety of staff totally vaccinated at the nation’s largest hospitals ranges from 91% at the excessive finish to simply 51% at the low finish. 

Houston Methodist Hospital says it has vaccinated 99% of its 26,000 staff throughout eight campuses. The hospital is requiring employees to be vaccinated by Tuesday or threat dropping their job. 

“We have incredible real world experience to show that [the vaccines] are safe and effective,” mentioned Marc Boom, CEO of Houston Methodist Hospital. “We’re in a pandemic here and we are a hospital system that cares for vulnerable people.”

More than 100 workers have filed swimsuit towards the hospital, together with Jennifer Bridges, a nurse. 

“There’s not enough research on board. It’s not fully FDA approved. It’s still experimental,” Bridges mentioned about her choice to carry off on the vaccine. 

Boom referred to as it a “nonsense claim.” But Bridges mentioned she will not change her thoughts and Monday shall be her final shift at the hospital. 

The federal authorities just lately up to date vaccine steerage for employers, saying they may require staff to be vaccinated. But firms are required to permit for medical and spiritual exemptions.