United States President Joe Biden urged American citizens to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus as soon as they are able to combat the spread of the disease as the Delta variant continues to infect more and more people.
Residents who have not received their vaccination shots are more at risk of being infected by the illness and developing serious symptoms or dying from it, Biden said during a news conference from the White House.
The Delta variant of the coronavirus was first identified in India and is much more transmissible than the original virus, threatening unvaccinated people even more. Biden noted the new strain was much deadlier than the previous variants, particularly for young people.
Getting fully vaccinated is the best way for young residents to protect themselves from the dangers of the disease, Biden said. He urged people who have already gotten their first shot to apply for their second as soon as they can.
The Democrat's statements come amid his administration's goal of vaccinating at least 70% of the country's adults by July 4 is expected to fall short amid a sudden drop in inoculation rates, CNBC reported.
The Delta variant is expected to become the most dominant COVID-19 virus strain in the U.S. this summer, the director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rochelle Walensky, said.
The medical expert added the variant was much more transmissible than the alpha or UK strains. In the short span of one or two months, the country's health officials observed the immediate dominance of the UK variant, which they expect would also happen with the Delta strain as well, Walensky said during an interview on Friday.
A new variant could be more resistant to currently available coronavirus vaccines, Walensky warned, noting, however, that full vaccination protects against the Delta strain. She reassured residents that despite the deadliness of the new variant, the vaccines are still effective in fighting against it, the Washington Post reported.
Dominant Coronavirus Variant
Earlier this Friday, the World Health Organization's chief scientist echoed concerns of the Delta variant becoming the dominant strain in the United States. Scientists conducted studies that discovered the new strain is 60% more transmissible than the alpha variant which was first identified in the UK and was considered much more infectious than the original strain that came from Wuhan, China in 2019.
The CDC released data that showed the Delta variant now made up about 10% of the total number of cases in the United States, an increase of 4% from last week's statistics. Currently, scientists are unsure whether or not the Delta strain causes more severe symptoms in infected individuals but argued there was evidence that suggests it caused different symptoms.
The Delta variant has essentially replaced the alpha strain as the most dominant COVID-19 variant in the United States, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. Paul Offit said. The continuous mutation of the virus in the U.S. will require more citizens to be vaccinated in order to stop its expansive spread.