Surgeon general says success in pandemic 'does not equal no cases'

Surgeon general says success in pandemic 'does not equal no cases'
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U.S. Surgeon General Vivek MurthyVivek MurthyMore than one-third of eligible seniors have received boosters, White House says Confusion reigns over vaccine booster rollout CDC director partially overrules panel, signs off on boosters MORE told Politico that success with the coronavirus pandemic does not mean there will be no COVID-19 cases. 

"It is really important that we convey that success does not equal no cases," Murthy said. "Success looks like very few people in the hospital and very few dying."

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths were all much higher on Labor Day in 2021 than Labor Day in 2020, underscoring the severity of the delta variant of the coronavirus. 

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While vaccinations have reduced infections, vaccination rates remain relatively low in a number of states. Only 64 percent of adults 18 years old and older are fully vaccinated. 

The spike in COVID-19 cases came after the U.S. was seeing lower case numbers toward the end of spring and early summer.

The low case numbers were followed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saying fully vaccinated individuals no longer had to wear masks. 

Murthy stated that the rise of the delta variant has overshadowed the progress that has been made in the COVID-19 battle.

He points to the vaccines as one example of the progress made in the fight against the coronavirus as fully vaccinated individuals are much less likely to go to the hospital or die if they contract the virus. 

Health officials are urging Americans to get the vaccine so case numbers can go back down to the point where the recommendation by the CDC can be reimplemented.