As the US states lift further coronavirus restrictions, experts fear that people who are not fully vaccinated could contribute to the further spread of the virus.
The delta variant, first reported in India, currently accounts for almost 10 percent of coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the CDC.
Concerned that it could soon become the dominant strain, medical experts emphasize the importance of full vaccination.
“I worry about those who are not vaccinated,” US surgeon General Vivek Murthy told CNN on Tuesday, noting that the Delta variant “is increasing rapidly here in the United States.”
The CDC has determined that the Delta variant is a “variant of concern,” a name given to strains of viruses that scientists believe are more communicable or can cause more serious diseases.
The Delta variant “appears to be significantly more transferable than even the Alpha variant or the British variant that is now prevalent in the United States,” Murthy told CNN.
“The second reason it’s worrying is because there is some data to suggest that it can actually be more dangerous, cause more serious illnesses. That needs to be understood more clearly, but these are two major concerns and they explain in part … why this has become the predominant variant in the UK, where over 90 percent of cases are the Delta variant, “Murthy said. p>
A new study by Public Health England found that two doses of a coronavirus vaccine are “highly effective against hospital stays” caused by the Delta variant. The study found the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine was 96 percent effective against hospitalization after two doses.
Murthy said there wasn’t enough data to demonstrate the effectiveness of Johnson’s & Johnson single-dose vaccine on the Delta variant, but the vaccine has shown that it can prevent hospitalizations and deaths when infecting people with other strains are.
According to the CDC, by Tuesday 43.9 percent of the total US population had been fully vaccinated while 52.6 percent had received at least one dose of a vaccine.
This follows according to data from Johns Hopkins University, which has exceeded 600,000 deaths in the United States since the coronavirus pandemic began. That means about one in 550 people in the US has died from the virus.
So far, 14 states have met Biden’s goal of vaccinating 70 percent of adults with at least one dose by July 4th, according to CDC data released Tuesday.
New York is one of the states that reached this milestone and urged Governor Andrew Cuomo to lift all state-mandated COVID-19 restrictions.
The restrictions have been lifted in all commercial and social settings, including social gathering requirements, capacity restrictions, social distancing, health screening, cleaning and disinfecting logs, and contact tracing. Mask requirements will continue in pre-K settings, public transit and healthcare, Cuomo said.
Fireworks were shown in various locations across the state on Tuesday evening to celebrate key workers and the lifting of restrictions.
“This is a meaningful day and we deserve it because it’s been a long, long road,” said Cuomo. “We can now return to life as we know it.”
California also lifted most of its COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday, ending capacity limits, physical distancing and masking requirements for vaccinated people.
Abbey Food & Bar in West Hollywood brought back dancing, DJing, and bar seating for a party to celebrate the end of restrictions. The Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball held a “Reopening Day” promo with 25,000 Justin Turner bobble heads to welcome a full home crowd.
Meanwhile, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said his state will lift all COVID-19 restrictions and the state of emergency, including masking requirements, on July 1. Companies can still enforce their own requirements, said Hogan.
Maryland has vaccinated 72.3 percent of its adult population with at least one dose, CDC data shows.
Delaware is on its way there, with 68.3 percent of adults receiving at least one dose, Governor John Carney said. He added that his state is anticipating its COVID-19 Emergency Ordinance on July 13th.
“Get the vaccine. Ask your friends and family if they got their vaccination. These vaccines are extremely safe and effective,” said Carney.
Pediatricians are committed to vaccinating not only newly eligible children and adolescents against COVID-19, but also adults.
A month after Sandhills Pediatrics in Southern Pines, North Carolina began offering the COVID-19 vaccine, the practice administered 940 doses of the Pfizer vaccine – 268 were not given to patients but to adults over the age of 23.
Dr. Christoph Diasio, a pediatrician in the practice, said he offered the vaccine to most patients and their family members.
“I’ve seen every reaction from crossed arms that basically jumped away from me; ‘There’s no way I can do this’ to ‘I wanted it – I just couldn’t plan it with work,'” Diasio told CNN.
His practice has also offered other routine vaccinations such as the flu vaccination for relatives of patients for years. He says the practice is fairly common among pediatricians across the country and may offer some protection to babies too young to receive the vaccine on their own.
Customers wear face masks in an outdoor mall with a closed store amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Los Angeles on Friday, June 11, 2021. (AP Photo / Damian Dovarganes)
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