Massachusetts outbreak in national spotlight shows 'vaccines are


A COVID-19 outbreak in Massachusetts that was key to health officials deciding to expand masking recommendations could have been much worse without vaccines, health experts say. Fully vaccinated people made up nearly three-quarters of COVID-19 infections after Fourth of July events in Provincetown, the community that was examined in Massachusetts, according to a CDC study published Friday in the agency’s Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report. The seaside tourist spot is located in the county with Massachusetts’ highest vaccination rate. CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement that the findings “raised concern that, unlike with other variants, vaccinated people infected with delta can transmit the virus.”But the outbreak could have been much worse without vaccines.”The vaccines are working. Of the 900 cases related to the Provincetown cluster, there have been no deaths, 7 hospitalizations, and the symptoms are largely mild,” tweeted Alex Morse, the town manager of Provincetown.”The outbreak is contained and Provincetown is safe.”Ashish K. Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, called these “very low rates” on Twitter, adding that the numbers are “consistent with theme that vaccines prevent severe illness.”Jha said as “many thousands of people (some unvaccinated) showed up to celebrate July 4,” the “packed bars, clubs, and lots of mixing of vaccinated and unvaccinated folks in tight quarters” created “ideal conditions for COVID spread.””Bottom line? P-town outbreak would’ve been a nightmare if no one was vaccinated,” he said. Eric Topol, founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, called Provincetown a “perhaps worst case scenario” on Twitter and added vaccines are highly effective in protecting against hospitalization and severe cases. Peter Hotez, dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said on Twitter while some breakthrough infections occurred, “vaccines were still highly effective, saved lives” in Provincetown.► New Orleans emergency medical responders have been so hard hit by a resurgence in COVID-19 cases that the city doesn’t have the capacity to adequately handle 911 calls, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said Friday, according to CNN. Cantrell announced a new mask mandates and an increase in EMS resources.► Audience members at Broadway shows will have to show proof of vaccination and wear masks in theaters, producers announced Friday.► Disney World and Disneyland are requiring all employees to be vaccinated, and visitors must wear masks once again.► With many people complaining about brain fog, attention problems and confusion after COVID-19, researchers are exploring whether infections could have long-term consequences for the brain. In several trials made public Thursday, scientists have found changes in brain biology after hospitalization with COVID-19.

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