Jun 21, 2022 - COVID

Our COVID checkup

Illustration of a pattern of covid particles and positive signs turning into each other.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

New COVID-19 cases in Middle Tennessee are on the rise, according to state data.

  • While hospitalizations have also ticked up in recent weeks, they remain well below the peak levels seen earlier this year.

Why it matters: Vanderbilt University Medical Center infectious diseases expert William Schaffner tells Axios more infections are likely to bubble up throughout the summer, as more people travel and return to group activities where the virus can spread.

  • But Schaffner says the relatively low hospitalization data represents a significant silver lining.

By the numbers: Hospitalizations in Davidson County hit 92 earlier this month after dipping to a low of 22 in April.

What he's saying: "Remember when our health care system was just clogged full of people desperately ill with COVID?" Schaffner says. "The vaccines prevent that."

  • Schaffner says most of the people getting hospitalized now are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or fully vaccinated but otherwise medically vulnerable.

What to watch: Over the weekend, the CDC approved COVID vaccines for children as young as 6 months.

  • Tennessee preordered vaccines ahead of the approval.
  • A spokesperson for the state health department tells Axios their supply could be available "within the next few days."
  • Nashville health department officials encourage families to reach out to their pediatrician or family doctor for information about getting vaccines.

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