United States Covid-19: These areas in the United States worry officials as Covid-19 cases increase

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All 50 states and Washington, DC, have reported cases of the Delta variant, which is believed to be more transmissible than other strains. And although experts have pointed out that vaccines are the best defense and offer strong protection against the variant, parts of the country still lag behind in terms of vaccination rates, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. United States.

“As a nation, as a whole, we are doing very well. We have… about 50% of the population that is vaccinated,” said the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr Anthony Fauci. on NBC “Meet the Press.” “But we have a big country with a disparity in the willingness to get vaccinated.”

The holiday weekend highlighted the divide as some areas saw an increase in Covid-19 infections and others celebrated holiday gatherings with the safety of vaccine protection.

“It is truly an Independence Day – for people in the United States who are vaccinated, it is truly a holiday that celebrates our independence from the fear, death and hardship that so many people in this country have. were faced, “CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner told CNN’s Brian Stelter.

Meanwhile, the South, Southwest, and parts of the Midwest are starting to see surges. Florida, in particular, is hit hard, Reiner noted, with about 17% of all new U.S. cases reported in the state.

“People will continue to die until we vaccinate everyone,” Reiner said.

The importance of vaccination became particularly clear last month, when more than 99% of Covid-19 deaths in the United States were in unvaccinated people, Fauci told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeffrey Zients told CNN on Sunday: “If you are not vaccinated you are not protected, so we will redouble our efforts to vaccinate millions of people. ‘Additional Americans in July and August. “

Relaunching the debate on masks

In areas with high Covid-19 transmission and low vaccination rates, even those vaccinated may want to wear masks, Fauci said on Sunday.

“When I’m in that area where there’s a considerable degree of viral circulation, I might want to go the extra mile to be careful enough to make sure I’m getting the extra level of protection – even though the vaccines themselves are highly effective, ”Fauci told NBC.

And while some areas, such as Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine, have fully vaccinated more than 60% of their total population against the virus, others are far behind, according to the CDC.

Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi are the furthest behind, with 35.3% or less of their population fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.

“Currently, about 1,000 counties in the United States have vaccine coverage below 30%. These communities, mainly in the Southeast and Midwest, are the most vulnerable,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle said Thursday. Walensky. “As the Delta variant continues to spread across the country, we expect to see increased transmission in these communities, unless we can immunize more people now.”

In states where about 35% of the population or less is vaccinated, counties or cities could see epidemics, Fauci said.

Even with the possibility of epidemics among under-vaccinated populations, Reiner said the vaccines provide strong enough protection that those who are vaccinated do not need to wear masks, except for those with extenuating circumstances like a compromised immune system.

Vaccination is “the ticket to getting your life back,” Reiner said.

For his part, Zients would not say on Sunday whether masks should be mandatory for vulnerable regions, but said local governments will make their own decisions and the CDC has made it clear who should and should not wear masks.

Regardless of terms of office, former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb said on Sunday that masks could become standardized for some people seeking to protect themselves from respiratory pathogens – whether they are is it the coronavirus or the flu.

“I think people are going to use them on a voluntary basis,” Gottlieb told “Face the Nation” on CBS on Sunday. “I think going to work with the sniffles is going to be frowned upon. I think companies are going to have access to routine testing. I think there might be symptom checks in some settings.”

A push to increase vaccination rates over the summer

Zients, the White House official for the coronavirus, said the administration would redouble efforts this summer to get more people vaccinated so they can resume life without fear of Covid-19.

President Joe Biden had set a goal of having at least 70% of American adults at least partially vaccinated by July 4. The nation missed that mark by around eight million on Sunday.

It's good to celebrate the Fourth with caution, despite the pandemic, says Fauci

The numbers are still ahead of what most people expected them to be, Zients said in defending immunization progress, but added that federal officials will focus on increasing the accessibility of vaccines to the public to increase the numbers.

“The most reliable messenger is the local doctor, the local health care provider, so we have more and more vaccines in doctors’ offices, in health clinics, so people can get their questions answered. and roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated, ”Zients said.

If not enough people receive this injection, it could lead to an upsurge in the pandemic this winter, experts have said.

Vaccine expert Dr Paul Offit estimated in May that 80% of the population will need to be immunized with vaccines or previous infections to avoid a winter wave.

“The proof will be in the pudding next winter,” Offit told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

CNN’s Jacqueline Howard, Lauren Mascarenhas, Jasmine Wright and Maggie Fox contributed to this report.


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