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COVID Update: How Puerto Rico Became the Most Vaccinated Place in the United States

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Members of the Scientific Union, who advise the Government of Puerto Rico on the coronavirus pandemic, have recently joked about the island’s high Covid-19 vaccination rate, resulting from a surge in the island’s drugstore chain.

Rafael Irizzary, a professor of biostatistics at the TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University, said: “Everywhere you go, you have everything you need. Rum. Coffee. Get the fireworks and then the vaccine.”

Irizzary was joking about vaccination rates and over 100 Walgreens stores in Puerto Rico.

Caribbean islands have been hit by deadly hurricanes, earthquakes, political instability and debt in recent years, but even in the state of New England, which has the highest vaccination coverage in the country. Is quietly surpassing.

“All these emergencies and collective trauma have stimulated Puerto Rico and its leaders, the scientific community and the medical community,” said Daniel Colon Ramos, a professor of Yale Medical School who presides over the Coronavirus Coalition, which advises the government. rice field. “There was a sense of urgency. Many of the people I worked with had the following attitudes: not on my watch. Never again.”

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Puerto Rico has fully vaccinated more than 73% of its 3.3 million inhabitants. That’s over 2.3 million people.

The island has the highest total vaccine dose, at 154,563 per 100,000. According to the CDC, 4.9 million doses were given as of Friday.

On the mainland, Vermont is fully vaccinated in 70.8% of the population, followed by Connecticut at 70.2% and Maine at 70%, according to the CDC, and 57% of the total US population as of Friday. He adds that Strong is fully vaccinated. ..

Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Faculty of Public Health at Brown University, wrote on Twitter that Puerto Rico’s “great” vaccination efforts have “not received much attention.”

“As far as I know, they’ve done this primarily by not linking vaccines to politics,” Ja wrote last weekend. “They pay less attention to mainland politics. All their parties actively support vaccination. And in general, politics (identity) and vaccination are not mixed. . “

Jha pointed out that Puerto Rico is not only poorer than much of the mainland, but also more populous than 21 states. It’s about “five times bigger” than Vermont, he wrote. According to the US Census Bureau, the poverty rate on the island was about 43% in 2018, but at the national level it was 13%, more than double the 19.7% in Mississippi.

“Many saved lives”

“It represents a lot of saved lives,” Colonramos said of the successful vaccination of the island. “It’s really about the fact that hundreds (if not thousands) are currently roaming somewhere in Puerto Rico, and without these efforts they wouldn’t be there.”

Dr. Iris Cardona, Chief Health Officer of the Island’s Department of Health, said the success was due to teamwork by leaders from the scientific community, the private sector, government agencies, medical associations, schools, national guards, religions and local governments. Said.

“This is a collaboration,” said Cardona, who oversees the vaccination program. “Given the difficulties the world knows that Puerto Rico has endured over the last five years, people of all levels of Puerto Rico have worked together, including hurricanes, earthquakes, political and financial crises.”

Its cooperation includes both vaccine education programs and vaccination events.

Throughout the pandemic, the island government enforced blockades and other restrictions, issued mask and vaccination obligations, and introduced strict indoor diet and social distance rules, according to members of the Covid-19 Union. Did.

“In the Puerto Rican cultural context, social distance is not easy for us as Puerto Ricans. We want to be intimate,” said Colonramos. “But people were able to navigate it well.”

“Consistent message … based on scientific evidence”

Some states are fiercely resisting Covid-19 restrictions and vaccine obligations, but US territories are not.

“Currently, the legislature is governed by one party and the governor is governed by another, but despite those differences … the desire to save lives during a pandemic is in Puerto Rico. It was never politicized, “said Colon Ramos.

“Difficult decisions were made and criticized,” he said. “But, for example, Mask’s obligations were never actually politicized. The importance of vaccination did not become a political issue. Send a consistent message based on scientific evidence. It helped me to do it. “

According to the island’s health department, at least 151,245 Covid-19 cases were identified and 3,219 deaths were reported during the pandemic in Puerto Rico. In Connecticut, which is about the same size as Puerto Rico, more than 400,000 Covid-19 cases have occurred and 8,721 have died.

Dr. Victor Ramos, a pediatrician and chairman of the Island Doctors and Surgeons Association, said the mass vaccination center was set up by the National Guard in shopping malls across the island.

There was a door-to-door vaccination event in a remote rural town, especially in the elderly and bedridden homes.

“We go wherever we need to go to vaccinate people,” Ramos said. “After (Hurricane) Maria, many people were trapped in remote towns and we had to go there to help them. We are now doing the same with vaccines. increase.”

Other news: NYC union group requires vaccinated workers to pay $ 500

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COVID Update: How Puerto Rico became the most vaccinated place in the United States

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Fire Under Control Near Fountain Creek Park

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Update 11:12 a.m.

Firefighters put out a wildland fire early Thursday in the Fountain area, officials said.

The blaze was reported about 3:45 a.m. on the east side of Fountain Creek and south of Duckwood Park, Fountain police said in news release. Crews from fire departments in Security, Stratmoor Hills, Fort Carson and Hanover responded to heavy smoke and flames.

The fire was about a mile west of Colorado 85.

“The mild weather conditions this morning made it easier for fire crews to get this fire under control quickly,” police said.

The fire burned less than an acre before it was fully contained, officials said. As of Thursday morning, officials said the area is being monitored and might take several hours before the scene is cleared.

The cause of the fire is under investigation but officials said a lightning strike Wednesday afternoon might have ignited it.

Update 11 a.m.: The fire is 100% contained and burned less than one acre. No structures were threatened and no reported injuries.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, however, officials think it possibly started from a lightning strike due to later afternoon storms on Wednesday.

Fountain fire department battled a wildland fire near Fountain Creek Regional Park Thursday morning, Fountain police said.

The fire ignited around 3:30 a.m. between Hwy 85 and Comanche Village Drive and crews managed to get the fire under control, police said.

Containment was 50% as of 7 a.m. but police did not give any estimates of the fire’s size.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, police said.


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Original Post: gazette.com

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911 Lines Down in Fremont and Custer Counties, Officials Say

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Fremont and Custer counties have been without 911 services since Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

According to the Fremont County Emergency Management, the lines have been down since 5:15 p.m. Wednesday. The public is asked to not call 911 “to test or check your phone.”

Calls will be be routed to the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, officials said. From there, they will be transferred back to Fremont County dispatchers.

This is a developing story. Check with gazette.com for updates.


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Original Source: gazette.com

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Alaska Rep. Don Young to Lie in State at US Capitol

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Rep. Don Young, the longest-serving Republican in U.S. House history, will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol on March 29.Read More

Original Article: seattletimes.com

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