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Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

15 of the country's largest hospitals reported vaccination rates ranging between 51% to 91%, according to a survey conducted by USA Today.

The state of play: USA Today surveyed more than 270 hospitals, or approximately 4.5% of U.S. hospitals. Most reported vaccination rates that fell below President Biden's goal of having 70% Americans with at least one dose by the Fourth of July holiday.

Between the lines: The federal government said last week that employers can legally require workers to get the coronavirus vaccine, as well as offer incentives.

  • Yes, but: Most hospitals are still not mandating the vaccine. Hospital executives told USA Today that they understand the concern from workers who say that the vaccine has not gotten full approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Some hospital workers said the vaccines were new and worried about what the long-term effects could be.

What they're saying: "I think it’ll be a bit of a struggle to get to that 70-to-75% vaccination rate," Stacey Gabriel, CEO of Ohio's Hocking Valley Community Hospital, told USA Today. Only 50% of her workers are vaccinated.

  • "What I don’t understand is how come 40% of my nurses who have worked with me in my COVID unit, where three patients die every day, they still say no," said Joseph Varon, a doctor at Houston’s United Memorial Medical Center.

Mandating vaccines has proven to be effective at increasing rates for FDA-approved shots.

  • The FDA approves the flu vaccine every year. 94% of workers at hospitals that require the flu vaccine got the shot in 2019.
  • At hospitals without mandates, less than 70% of workers got the flu vaccine, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The big picture: Vaccination rates across the country have been slowing down, following an initial rush from people who were enthusiastic about getting inoculated. Biden on Wednesday announced new initiatives to boost rates and reach his 70% goal over the next month.

Go deeper

Sep 10, 2021 - Health

FDA "will follow the science" to approve COVID vaccine for kids under 12

A nurse gives a boy a dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The FDA said on Friday that it is "working around the clock" to support the process of making the coronavirus vaccine available for children under the age of 12.

Why it matters: The number of children getting hospitalized due to the virus is increasing, with some infectious disease doctors worrying that the Delta variant could be causing more serious illness in kids.

Updated 19 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Booster shots overtake first doses in the U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate entire Brazilian city as part of study — FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adultsU.S. to lift restrictions for fully vaccinated international travelers on Nov. 8.
  2. Health: New cases down, but the West is at risk — Low vaccination rates exacerbate America's caregiving crisis — COVID is here to stay. So what does "victory" look like? — FDA will review Merck COVID-19 pill.
  3. Politics: NHL announces all but four players have been vaccinated — WHO names new advisory group on COVID origins — Biden admin warns Moderna to "step up" global vaccine supply.
  4. Education: LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations amid staffing shortage — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive — Arizona can't use aid for anti-mask education grants, Treasury says.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Sep 11, 2021 - World

France grants citizenship to 12,000 COVID frontline workers

A nurse takes care of a patient infected with COVID in the intensive care unit of Lyon-Sud Hospital in Pierre-Bénite, France. Photo: Jeff Pachoud/AFP via Getty Images

France granted citizenship to 12,000 COVID frontline workers this week in a show of gratitude for their efforts and sacrifices.

Why it matters: Immigrants comprise a quarter of the essential workers who remained active in the Île-de-France province during lockdowns, per data from a French health observatory.