“This FDA approval cannot come a moment too soon,” said Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency physician and associate dean at the School of Public Health at Brown University. “I can’t overstate how important this is on multiple fronts.”
Because the vaccine has been distributed so far under emergency use authorization, a granting of full approval will help allay concerns with those who are vaccine hesitant, Ranney told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield Saturday.
“With this full approval in hand, we’re going to have a chance to message again about the safety and effectiveness of this vaccine. We can help to fill the airwaves and the newspapers and social media with messages about what a difference this vaccine makes in terms of preventing hospitalization and death, even in the face of the Delta variant,” Ranney said.
“We’re encouraged by the increase in uptick of vaccines, but remember, you’ve got something like 90 million people not vaccinated. So, a million a day leaves you months and months of lots of people susceptible to severe illness or death,” Frieden said.
Covid-19 hospital crisis continues
The number of patients in Mississippi requiring hospitalizations and ICU care reached record numbers this week, according to Gov. Tate Reeves, who is working with health officials to deploy additional staff and support to area hospitals.
“The fact is, it’s not a lack of beds,” Reeves said on Thursday. “It is a lack of staff.”
Reeves encouraged Mississippians to get vaccinated to help protect fellow residents. And elsewhere, acts needed to help others extend past vaccinations and mask-wearing.
In Florida, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer on Friday asked residents to conserve water as liquid oxygen — typically used to treat the community’s water supply — was being diverted to hospitals locally and statewide to treat critically ill Covid-19 patients.
Those at high-risk should avoid cruises for now, CDC says
The close quarters on cruise ships have made them trouble spots for infections — not only Covid-19, but also viruses such as norovirus long before the pandemic.
Unvaccinated people are strongly urged to avoid such travel, the CDC said.
“If you are at increased risk for severe illness and considering cruise travel during the Covid-19 pandemic, discuss this type of travel with your healthcare professional. Older adults and people of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are more likely to get severely ill if they get Covid-19. People with weakened immune systems, including people who take medicines that suppress their immune systems, may not be protected even if fully vaccinated,” the CDC advised.
Anyone who has Covid-19 symptoms, was exposed within 14 days to someone who has Covid-19, or is awaiting results of a Covid-19 viral test should not board cruise ships, the CDC said.
CNN’s Maggie Fox, Rebekah Riess and Jamie Gumbrecht contributed to this report.