Americans were urged to protect themselves and adhere to mitigation steps amid coronavirus on Tuesday in an open letter published by several groups of U.S. medical leaders.
The letter, which also pledged a commitment to a “rigorous scientific and regulatory process” for coronavirus vaccine evaluation and approval, comes as U.S. regulatory authorities approach deliberation on emergency approvals for coronavirus vaccines, and on the same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sets out to vote on distribution.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have come together as physicians, nurses, and hospital and health system leaders to urge the American people to protect themselves, their neighbors and their loved ones amid the worst global health crisis in generations,” said officials with the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association in an open letter provided to Fox News.
“As we approach the point when a vaccine may be available, more than 260,000 Americans and more than 1.4 million people worldwide have lost their lives to COVID-19, we know that vaccines will save lives and help us turn the page on this virus,” the letter continues.
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“Vaccines have eradicated smallpox, nearly eliminated chickenpox and polio, and minimized the impact of countless other diseases. To achieve a similar result from COVID-19 vaccines requires trust in the process to develop, distribute and administer a safe and effective vaccine and broad willingness to get vaccinated.”
The associations then pledged their commitment to a “rigorous scientific and regulatory process” for evaluation and approval.
“Until our population has been broadly immunized, we continue urging that you protect yourself and others from the virus by taking three critical, scientifically-proven steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19: wear a face mask, maintain physical distancing and wash your hands. These actions remain essential,” the letter concluded.
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The open letter was released on the same day that the FDA commissioner was summoned to the White House to conduct a briefing on the coronavirus vaccine approval process and just one day after the CDC documented rising coronavirus spread, hospitalization rates and deaths over the last several months.
“The overall weekly hospitalization rate is at its highest point in the pandemic, with steep increases in individuals aged 65 years and older,” reads the report. “The overall cumulative COVID-19-associated hospitalization rate through the week ending Nov. 21, 2020, was 243.8 hospitalizations per 100,000 population.”
Fox News’ Alexandria Hein and Madeline Farber contributed to this report.
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