Travelers view Covid-19 results after being tested at JFK International Airport in New York on December 22, 2020.
Hit by Betancur | AFP | Getty Images
Federal health officials continue to urge more Americans to get vaccinated as the Delta variant accounts for a larger proportion of new cases in the United States.
“You need to get vaccinated to be protected from Covid-19, the Delta variant and any other variant that might come on the way,” said Jeffrey Zients, White House coordinator of the coronavirus response, Thursday.
The variant, first discovered by scientists in India, has now spread to more than 80 countries and accounts for more than 10% of new cases in the US, up from 6% last week.
“If you are vaccinated, you are protected, and if not, the threat of variants is real and growing,” said US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy in the briefing on Thursday after explaining that the Delta variant “is significantly more transferable and can be more dangerous than previous variants.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently identified the Delta variant as a variant of concern “based on increasing evidence that the Delta variant spreads more easily and compared to other variants, including B.1.1.7 (Alpha) causing more severe cases. “
New cases and deaths are falling dramatically in the United States thanks to generally successful vaccination campaigns in many states. Some parts of the country are still seeing spikes in cases and hospital admissions.
“We see that communities with the highest vaccination rates have lower new cases and hospital admissions, and communities with the lowest vaccination rates have higher new cases and hospital admissions,” Zients said.
In the UK, the Delta variant recently became the dominant strain there, outperforming its native alpha variant, which was first discovered in the country last fall. The Delta variant now accounts for more than 60% of new cases in the UK
Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, said last week that “we cannot allow this to happen in the United States” when he urged more people, especially young adults, to be vaccinated.