Pandemic Control Continues to Require Strong Support and Adherence to Public Health Measures
Barbara D. Alexander, MD, MHS, FIDSA – President, Infectious Diseases Society of America
Declining rates of coronavirus infections, illnesses and deaths across the country reflect the success of public health measures we’ve taken and the benefits of increasing access to effective vaccines against the virus. Reports indicating that these reductions have stalled should remind us that our progress is fragile.
Only around 10% of Americans nationwide have been vaccinated, and many of the people at greatest risk have yet to receive a vaccine. COVID-19 continues to spread and take lives. Emerging and more transmissible variants of the virus pose new and increased risks. We need to use every tool we have to control this pandemic. Everyone should seize the opportunity to be vaccinated when eligible. Whether you are vaccinated or not, masks remain crucial to preventing the spread of the virus and should be worn in all community settings. Maintaining social distance, avoiding large gatherings and frequent handwashing continue to be critical to preventing infections.
All of these measures together will bring us closer to ending the pandemic. Abandoning them now will postpone the day we can put COVID-19 behind us. We can’t forget the lessons this pandemic has taught us, or its terrible toll, and we must not relinquish the ground we’ve gained.
We ask our leaders and policymakers to support and increase our chance for success against the virus by following public health guidance and providing appropriate resources.