On Friday, U.S. health officials called for COVID vaccines to be rolled up and rolled up their sleeves as cases, hospitalizations and deaths increased.
“There’s a clear message coming in: this is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Disease Control and Prevention Centers Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters.
The agency reported more than 33,000 new cases on Thursday, bringing the seven-day average to 23,306, up 70% from the previous week.
The seven-day average hospital admission is about 2,790 daily, up 36%. And after weeks of falls, the seven-day average of deaths was 211, up 26 percent.
The peaks focus on communities with low vaccination rates, and “unvaccinated Americans account for virtually all recent hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19,” said Jeff Zients, White House coronavirus response coordinator.
The new wave is driven by the Delta variant, which now accounts for more than 80 percent of new cases, according to covSpectrum tracker.
A recent study in the journal Virological shows that Delta grows faster inside the body compared to past strains, and infected people leave much more in the air, greatly increasing the likelihood of it being transmitted.
Vaccines, including those made by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, remain highly effective against the variant, but the U.S. vaccination campaign has shrunk dramatically in recent weeks.
President Joe Biden set July 4 as the target for 70% of adults to have received one or more doses, but as of July 15 the figure was still 67.9%. At the current rate the target will not be reached until the end of the month.
Some parts of the country that voted for former Republican President Donald Trump in the 2020 election have significantly lower vaccination rates than those who voted for Democrat Biden and are now at the center of the rises.
Points of interest include Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
But health officials hope that as 80% of the most vulnerable age groups over the age of 65 are fully vaccinated, the rise in hospitalizations and deaths will not be as dramatic as the rise in cases.
This would follow the pattern seen in Israel and Britain, countries highly vaccinated and affected by the Delta waves.
Walensky, a CDC-convened expert group, will examine next week whether people with immunodeficiency, whose bodies have responded to COVID vaccines, may require a third dose, Walensky said.
© 2021 AFP
Citation: US warns that COVID “becomes a pandemic of the unvaccinated” (2021, July 16) recovered on July 16, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-covid-pandemic-unvaccinated .html
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