CORAL GABLES, FL (CBS News)- New evidence the COVID vaccines are having a powerful impact in the battle against the virus. Sixteen states reported no COVID deaths on Monday.
Nationwide, deaths have fallen to 546 per day. They haven’t been that low in more than a year. “Message to young people is get vaccinated,” said White House Senior Advisor for the COVID Response Team Andy Slavitt.
The positive news on COVID comes with a plea to vaccinate as cases in children are on the rise. Nearly a quarter of new weekly COVID-19 infections are in kids according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
More than 600,000 kids ages 12 to 15 have been vaccinated since the Pfizer vaccines was authorized for that age group last week. That still leaves more than 16 million to go.
The University of Miami Health System is trying to boost the numbers sending a mobile pediatric unit to underserved communities like the little Haiti neighborhoot, to give shots to children and adults.
“Now I feel safer to leave the house, said Tatiana Pierre. Sixteen-year-old Tatiana is the first among her friends to get one.
“A lot of them want to get the vaccine but they don’t know like a lot about it. So I think they’re waiting for me to get by so I can tell them about it,” said Tatiana.
Eric Green got his too. “Oh a lot. Very important. It’s getting out to the community and we need to get back to normal life,” said Green.
So far in Florida, only 7% of vaccinated people are Black. The White House acknowledged on Tuesday the need to balance vaccine inequities. “We are making progress in equity with very intentional focus however, the next phase of our vaccine program we know there is much more to do,” said Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, Senior Advisor to the COVID-19 Response Team.
There are questions about when all ages groups will be eligible for the vaccine. Dr. Anthony Fauci gave this timeline. “It is likely that by the time we get to the end of this calendar year and the first quarter of 2022 that we will likely have enough information,” said Fauci.
While some states hang on to their mask mandates, people who violated local COVID restrictions in Florida are starting to see their criminal cases dropped. Tuesday, the governor of Texas announced the state will not allow any government entity, including schools, to require masks or they could face a $1,000 fine.