The director of the National Institutes of Health says the latest increase may be a turning point for the unvaccinated

The director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Francis Collins, said Sunday that the current increase in the coronavirus, which is being led by the highly contagious delta variant, may be a “tipping point” for people who are not immunized.

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“Cases have gone up about fourfold in the last two weeks. We are pushing about 100,000 cases a day now, especially in those hot spots where vaccination rates are still very low, maybe 30 percent. That would be in Missouri and Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida. And these are areas that raise deeply concerned,” Collins said.

However, Collins noted that vaccination rates have also been up across the country, increasing by 56 percent in the past two weeks.

“So, I think I might try to look on the bright side of this. What’s the bright side about this is that people are waking up to this. And that might be a turning point for those who have been hesitant to say, ‘Okay, it’s time,'” Collins said.

“I hope this is what happens,” he added. “That’s what we desperately need to happen if we’re going to put this Delta version back in place, because, right now, it’s having a really big party downtown.”

According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 69.7 percent of eligible adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly half of the total US population – 49.5 percent – has been fully vaccinated.

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