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COVID-19: Avoiding Care; Vaccine Update

As of June 30, 40.5 percent of adults in the United States delayed or avoided medical care this year due to COVID-19 concerns, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Of the 5,412 people surveyed, 12 percent reported delaying or avoiding urgent or emergency care, and 31.5 percent reported delaying routine care (there was some overlap between these reported categories). Care avoidance was especially prevalent among:

  • unpaid caregivers for adults;
  • people with underlying medical conditions;
  • Black adults;
  • Hispanic adults;
  • young adults ages 18–24; and
  • people with disabilities.

Researchers noted particular concern about increased avoidance among Black and Hispanic adults. COVID-19 hospitalization rates are five times higher among Black people and four times higher among Hispanic people than among white people. Structural inequities, prevalence of underlying medical conditions, health insurance status, health care access, and work and living circumstances compound racial and ethnic disparities. Public outreach tailored to diverse audiences and shared in accessible formats could encourage people to seek needed care.

FDA Outlines Upcoming Vaccine Development Milestones

In a Sept. 11 blog post, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials outline current and upcoming developments in the creation of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In addition to its June 2020 guidance document, the agency plans to release supplemental guidance including recommendations for the data and information needed to support emergency use authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine. FDA will give a public update on vaccine development at its Oct. 22 Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meeting.

New COVID-19 Entry Strategy for International Air Passengers

The U.S. government on Sept. 14 began halting enhanced entry health screenings for air passengers arriving from China, Iran, the Schengen region of Europe, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Brazil. Previously, all flights carrying passengers from these countries were required to land at one of 15 designated airports for a symptom-based screening. Instead, the government will redirect resources to other mitigation efforts, including passenger health education, illness response at airports, country-specific risk assessments, and training partners in the transportation sector on illness recognition and reporting.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the outbreak.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Emily Schweich is a senior communications associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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