US coronavirus: Delta variant is ‘Covid-19 on steroids’, experts say, with cases increasing in nearly half of US states
For people who have been fully vaccinated, he explained, the alternative “presents very little threat to you, and you are very unlikely to get sick.”
Slavet and other experts said the full approval of vaccines from the US Food and Drug Administration could encourage more people to get vaccinated. Vaccines currently distributed in the United States are permitted for emergency use only. On Tuesday, Slavett said full approval for a Pfizer vaccine could come as early as this month.
As of Wednesday, less than half of the US population has been fully vaccinated.
In total, three countries are responsible for more than a third of all global deaths. The United States, which has the highest number of deaths at 606,000, accounts for 15% of the global total, followed by Brazil and India.
Concerns about more variables if people are not vaccinated
But the delta variable isn’t the only one that worries health experts.
“I’m going to tell you now that you want to look at who gets the disease, whether it’s delta or any other type: it’s the people who haven’t been vaccinated,” Dr. Megan Raney told CNN on Wednesday.
“I don’t want it to get that far, but I hope that these sudden increases will prompt more people in those states with low vaccination rates to finally go out and get vaccinated.”
“What worries me most are the variants that have yet to come, and every time this virus passes from one person to another, it has a chance to mutate. It is only a matter of time until we have a variant against which vaccines no longer protect us.”
Current federal guidelines say that people who are fully vaccinated can refrain from routine testing. Studies and experts also said that vaccines are still very protective.
“Now I think we should reconsider this policy using the delta variable and determine whether the current recommendations hold up,” Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, wrote in an email to CNN on Wednesday. .
The CDC only reports data on “superstar” infections that cause serious illness. It could mean that scientists and health officials won’t know how many vaccinated people have mild or asymptomatic infections — and it will be very difficult to track whether a new variant like Delta causes more vaccine failure.
Local efforts to vaccinate continue
In a move to get more shots in the gun, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said the state will provide $1 million in college scholarships starting July 12 for people ages 12 to 17 who are vaccinated.
“I can’t imagine a better incentive than a college education,” said Dr. Jay Berman, Chancellor of the University of Maryland System.
Hogan said two scholarships will be given each week for eight weeks until Labor Day, when four winners will be selected. Hogan said winners will receive a Maryland 529 prepaid college credit contract, which maintains today’s tuition rates for the future, or the College of Maryland 529 investment plan.
The incentive is an effort by the state Department of Health and the Department of Higher Education.
State health data shows that more than half of Maryland’s 12-17 year olds have been fully vaccinated.
The announcement comes as the state said in a tweet that all of Maryland’s Covid-19 deaths last month have occurred in people who are not immunized.
CNN’s Deidre MacPhillips, Jacqueline Howard, Keri Enriquez, Virginia Langmaid and Hannah Sarrison contributed to this report.