Please Get Vaccinated. These Numbers Explain Why.
COVID-19 cases have more than doubled in the last two weeks, and — in sadly all too familiar news — hospitalizations and deaths are beginning to rise again. The more transmissible nature of the Delta variant is creating a unique challenge — although many of the recent outbreaks began in states with low vaccination rates, they are now also spreading to areas where large portions of the population are protected.
California, for instance, is above the national average in completely vaccinated people. Despite this, cases grew 121% over the last two weeks. Now, the state is averaging more than 2,900 cases per day. Similarly, Florida is less than one percent below the national average for fully vaccinated citizens, yet is averaging more than 5,500 new COVID-19 cases per day, an increase of more than 200%.
But changing this narrative is within our grasp. The vast majority of new cases and deaths are amongst people who are not fully vaccinated. Recent research shows that the COVID vaccine is highly effective against this variant as well, protecting fully vaccinated people against severe illness, hospitalization and death.
HealthWeather now lists nine states, including Arizona and Florida, that are categorized as Moderate Risk. Nevada, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana —states where the latest wave had an early hold— are now at High Risk.
Despite this recent uptick in cases, vaccination rates continue to stay low, hovering around 500,000 doses per day compared to a peak of more than 3.3 million per day in April. About 56 percent of the population has at least one shot, and 48 percent are fully vaccinated.
The more a virus spreads, the more opportunity it has to mutate and continue affecting even the vaccinated. With our current vaccination rate, 171 million people are still at risk of catching and spreading COVID-19.
If you or a loved one has questions about the COVID vaccine, our clinicians and epidemiologists answered some of the most common ones here.
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