Vaccination discrepancies, along with the development of the COVID-19 delta variant, could lead to the creation of "two Americas," according to White House's top medical advisor Anthony Fauci. The director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases is "very concerned" about the significant discrepancy between regions with low and high vaccination rates.
However, according to Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, coronavirus outbreaks are "absolutely preventive, totally preventable" with vaccination. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Delta variant - a stin first identified in India that is predicted to become dominant in the United States and other countries - has spread to nearly every state and accounted for 26.1 percent of US COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday.
Fauci: Regions with low vaccination rates are at significant risk
The parts of the country with the lowest vaccination rates are at risk of significant COVID-19 case increases, Fauci claims. Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Wyoming now have the lowest vaccination rates of under 35 percent of the population.
According to Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the state health officer for the Mississippi Department of Public Health states that individuals who have not yet been vaccinated represent more than 90% of all new cases and fatalities connected to the virus in the state. Experts are concerned that regions with poor vaccination rates would be more vulnerable to the COVID-19 Delta variant, which spreads more quickly and has been more aggressive in certain cases, Radio.com via MSN reported.
Fauci further stated that two weeks after the second dose the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is 88 percent effective against symptomatic infections caused by the variant. Those who have only had one of their vaccinations are at a disadvantage. The top medical advisor told CNN that no studies from Johnson & Johnson's Moderna have been proven. Both firms, however, claim that their vaccines will protect people against all variants.
The United States drew closer to the 50% milestone on Tuesday, with 46.4 percent of the population being completely vaccinated. In addition, 16 states have met the president's target of 70% of individuals receiving at least one dosage by July 4.
Vaccinated Americans are urged to continue wearing face masks
Fully vaccinated people can continue most indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask or observing social distancing, according to the CDC. However, due to the rapidly spreading Delta variant, Los Angeles County health officials urged both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents to continue wearing face masks indoors on Tuesday.
The World Health Organization issued similar advice this week, recommending everyone to continue wearing masks regardless of vaccination status. Fauci, on the other hand, put such remarks in perspective.
Roughly 10% of the world's population is completely vaccinated, the WHO said. Meanwhile, Fauci claims that the United States is a "well-vaccinated country" amid an "under-vaccinated" world. Still, he is worried about those who have not gotten vaccinated until now.
Fauci stressed out that unvaccinated people are at serious risk of a virus that spreads so rapidly, urging people to get vaccinated. "We are asking people, almost pleading with people, if you are not vaccinated, please get vaccinated," the infectious disease expert said, as per CBS News.