The SARS-CoV-2 delta variant now makes up 83% of new U.S. cases, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stated on Tuesday (July 20) at a Senate hearing.
“This is a dramatic increase up from 50% the week of July 3,” Walensky stated. “In some parts of the country, the percentage is even higher, particularly in areas of low vaccination rates.”
An overall of 161.5 million individuals, or 48.6% of the overall U.S. population, has actually been totally immunized, according to CDC information. But almost two-thirds of U.S. counties have less than 40% of their homeowners immunized, Walensky stated. “Areas with limited vaccine coverage are allowing for the emergence and rapid spread of the highly transmissible delta variant.”
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But some locations with high vaccination rates, such as San Francisco, are likewise seeing an increase in cases, according to a state information tracker. Still, the large bulk of individuals who are presently hospitalized in San Fransisco with COVID-19 have actually not been immunized, according to ABC7 News.
The delta variant, or B.1.617.2, was very first found in India, however has now infected more than 100 nations, according to the World Health Organization. Delta is believed to be around 60% more transmissible than the previous dominant pressure, the alpha variant, Live Science formerly reported.
In June, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and transmittable Diseases, called the delta variant the “greatest threat,” to the U.S. efforts to get rid of COVID-19, Live Science formerly reported.
“The reason [delta is] so formidable is the fact that it has the capability of transmitting efficiently from human to human in an extraordinary manner well beyond any of the other variants that we’ve experienced up to now,” Fauci stated throughout the hearing on Tuesday. That’s why delta has now end up being the dominant variant, he included.
“In areas where vaccine coverage is low, cases and hospitalizations are starting to climb again,” Walensky stated in the hearing. COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have actually increased by almost 48% over the previous week to about 239 deaths each day, she stated. “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,” Walensky stated.
Current information suggests that vaccines work versus the flowing versions in the U.S. (consisting of the delta variant) and secure individuals versus extreme illness, hospitalization and death, she stated. “The message from CDC remains clear: The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 variants, is to prevent the spread of disease,” she stated. “Vaccination is the most powerful tool we have.”
During the rundown, Fauci restated that the vaccines being utilized in the U.S. are extremely efficient at securing individuals versus delta, especially in avoiding hospitalizations and death.
Now, research studies are being done to identify whether booster shots will be required to increase the resilience of defense versus SARS-CoV-2. “We don’t want people to believe” that the factor there’s all this speak about boosters is due to the fact that the vaccines aren’t efficient,” Fauci said. “They’re extremely efficient,” and a booster may just be needed to increase the durability of that protection.
Experts have said that most people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the U.S. are strongly protected against the highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus, and likely do not need booster shots yet, Live Science previously reported. But people who are immunosuppressed may need boosters as part of their initial vaccination regimen, Fauci said.
Right now, it is of “amazing value,” to get as lots of people immunized as we potentially can, Fauci included.
Originally released on Live Science.