PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia health officials are touting some success from week to week on vaccination rates but the push for more residents to get vaccinated continues, and one group, in particular, is being urged to do so right away.
Philadelphia is seeing progress in the fight against COVID-19, but health officials say the battle does continue. Just weeks after establishing an indoor mask mandate and mandating vaccinations for colleges, universities and healthcare workers, COVID-19 numbers in the city do seem to be on the decline.READ MORE: 3 Men Injured In Wynnefield Shooting, Police Say
“Vaccines and masks remain our best weapons against this virus and Philadelphians have been stepping up,” Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said. “Our data shows us a sharp increase in mask use in the city and uptick in the rate of new vaccinations in the past few weeks.”
At least a million Philadelphians have already received at least one dose of the vaccine and this week’s positive COVID-19 counts are even less than in last weeks.
City officials gave an update on the weekly COVID statistics Thursday morning, saying there is one group they are most concerned about right now, pregnant women who are hesitant about getting vaccinated.READ MORE: Pennsylvania High Court OKs 'Comfort Dogs' For Witnesses
“Research shows that pregnant people are at a higher risk for getting severely ill if they have COVID-19,” Stacey Kallem, with the Philadelphia Health Department, said. “Pregnant women with COVID are more likely to be hospitalized, be admitted to an intensive care unit, need a ventilator or even die if they get COVID. COVID infection during pregnancy is also a risk to the baby since you’re more likely to birth prematurely.”
City officials are also continuing to encourage parents with children 12 and over to get them vaccinated now that in-person classes have resumed in Philadelphia.
They are awaiting CDC guidance on when children under the age of 12 can begin vaccinations.MORE NEWS: Woman Killed After Shooting Inside Kensington Home, Police Say
CBS3 will have more information on Eyewitness News beginning at 4 p.m.