WASHINGTON: The highly contagious delta variant, a strain of COVID-19 first detected in India, now makes up approximately 83 per cent of coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On Tuesday, CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky said the number is a “dramatic increase” from the week of July 3.
In a testimony before the Senate Health Committee, US top federal medical official said, “The message from 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.”
Welensky told senators that the “overwhelming majority” of COVID-19 deaths are occurring in the unvaccinated population.
“This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Walensky said last week. “We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk. Communities that are fully vaccinated are generally faring well.”
With less than half of the US population fully vaccinated, infection rates in the states of Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi are among the highest – with vaccination rates among the lowest.
The national vaccination campaign chalked out by the Biden administration has slowed down significantly. The US is administering 5,21,000 doses daily, an 85 per cent decrease from a peak in April when 3.38 million doses were administered every day.