The extra transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus now makes up about 83% of latest COVID-19 instances within the U.S., with nearly all of deaths occurring in unvaccinated individuals, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mentioned Tuesday.
“This is a dramatic increase up from 50%, the week of July 3,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky mentioned of the present price of instances involving the delta pressure throughout a Senate listening to. “In some parts of the country, the percentage is even higher.”
Over the final week, the U.S. has averaged 239 deaths per day from the virus. This is a near-48% improve from the prior week. The overwhelming majority of deaths are amongst those that are unvaccinated, she mentioned.
“Each death is tragic and even more heartbreaking when we know that the majority of these deaths could be prevented with a simple, safe, available vaccine,” she mentioned.
While total, the variety of new COVID-19 instances has declined since vaccines have been made obtainable within the U.S. early this yr, they’ve began to rise in current weeks. Nearly two-thirds of counties nonetheless have vaccination charges of lower than 40%. Where vaccination charges are low, instances and hospitalizations are beginning to climb once more, permitting for the delta variant’s unfold, she mentioned.
“The message from the CDC remains clear: The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 variants is to prevent the spread of disease, and vaccination is the most powerful tool we have,” she mentioned.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, equally confused the necessity for all Americans to get vaccinated whereas underscoring the risk that this new variant poses on human well being and security.
“It has the capability of transmitting efficiently from human-to-human in an extraordinary manner, well beyond any of the other variants that we have experienced until now,” he mentioned on the similar listening to. “We have the tools to end this epidemic. It is up to us to utilize those tools to their maximum.”
Fauci had warned late final month, when the variant made up an estimated 20% of latest instances, that the variant can be the dominant pressure within the U.S. in only a matter of weeks. By early July, it made up simply over 50% of latest instances, in line with the CDC.
Fauci mentioned Tuesday that well being officers are at the moment finding out whether or not booster pictures are wanted for these vaccinated to make sure the sturdiness of the vaccines, however that at the moment, extra info is required.
The CDC continues to advise individuals to put on masks indoors if they aren’t totally vaccinated towards the coronavirus.
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