US health officials are trying to get more and more Americans vaccinated everyday to keep Delta, a Covid-19 variant first identified in India, from proliferating and becoming the dominant strain infecting individuals across the country.
The variant has already become the most dominant strain in the United Kingdom, accounting for about 60% of the active cases in the UK. Initially, scientists were worried about the Alpha strain, formerly known as the B117 strain, from becoming dominant, but the Delta strain is showing to be more prevalent in those aged from 12 to 20-years-old.
In the US currently the Delta variant accounts for about 6% of the cases that scientists have been able to genetically sequence, but the actual number is likely much higher as it takes time to sequence the DNA in each new case.
“In the UK the Delta variant is rapidly emerging as the dominant variant. We cannot let that happen in the United States.”
President Joe Biden previously laid out a plan to get 70% of Americans vaccinated with at least one of their doses by the fourth of July. Currently about 63.7% of America’s adult population has received their first dose for those who received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, and 53% of Americans are fully vaccinated.
The Delta variant is already thought to be present in 62 countries according to the World Health Organization.
“We continue to observe significantly increased transmissibility and a growing number of countries reporting outbreaks associated with this variant.”
The Delta strain in India has caused the healthcare system to practically crumble due to how overwhelmed they’ve become. The Indian government announced this week that the nation would be providing free Covid-19 vaccines to all adults in the country soon.
Fauci also warned that the Delta variant, like most of the new variants that have appeared, is much more contagious than the initial variant that was spreading throughout the world last March. It also has become associated with a higher risk of hospitalization.
Studies have luckily shown that both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are effective against the Delta strain, according to the National Institutes of Health. According to their data two doses of the Pfizer vaccine proved to be 88% effective against the Delta variant while two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine proved to be 60% effective.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.