The director of the CDC, Dr Rachel Walensky, said at a recent news briefing that people who are not vaccinated against the coronavirus “remain susceptible, especially from the transmissible Delta variant, and are particularly at risk for severe illness and death”.
She continued, “Preliminary data from several states over the last few months suggest that 99.5 per cent of deaths from Covid-19 in the United States were in unvaccinated people.”
No timeframe was provided for the data by Dr Walensky on 7 July, but the findings are in line with other assessments about the benefits of being vaccinated against the coronavirus.
For example, analysis from last month by the AP discovered that 0.8 per cent of the covid deaths in May were among people confirmed to be fully vaccinated against Covid.
Dr Walensky’s data arrives at the same time as concern about the national spread of the Delta variant, which was first identified in India. It is now believed that half of covid cases in the US are this new strain, which is more transmissible than the original strain of the novel coronavirus.
"Although we expected the Delta variant to become the dominant strain in the US, this rapid rise is troubling," she said to journalists. The Delta variant is spreading rapidly in areas with low rates of vaccination.
According to Dr Walenksy, 173 counties had 100 case per 100,000 people, a worrying trend as CDC data shows this to be three times the national average, which currently stands at 32 cases per 100,000.
She said that 90 per cent of those areas had a vaccination rate of less than 40 per cent.
Following his failed attempt to get 70 per cent of eligible adults vaccinated by Independence Day, President Joe Biden has suggested new tactics to target the vaccine hesitant. On July 6, he floated the idea of beginning a door-to-door vaccination service.
“Using CDC data, we targeted areas with low vaccination rates and large ‘movable’ populations, and knocked on every door there,” a White House official told The Independent on 7 July. “ We saw movement in states where we deployed this tactic, including in Alabama, Florida, Texas and Georgia which had vaccination rates above the national average in the month of June. We plan to continue this work moving forward in the months ahead.”
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