As of July 19, 2021, the Delta variant represents 57.6% of total U.S. COVID-19 cases. In some parts of the country, this percent is higher, especially in areas with low vaccination rates.
Since the Delta variant was first detected in the United States in March, it has steadily taken over as the dominant variant across the United States.
“We know the delta variant has increased transmissibility, and it’s currently surging in pockets of the country with low vaccination rates,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a White House COVID-19 briefing July 8.
She continued “We also know that our authorized vaccines prevent severe disease, hospitalization, and death from the Delta variant…Preliminary data from several states over the last few months suggests that 99.5 percent of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States were in unvaccinated people. Those deaths were preventable with a simple, safe shot.”
As of July 19, 2021, 186 million people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 161.2 million are fully vaccinated. The U.S. missed President Joe Biden’s goal to get 70% of U.S. adults to have at least one shot by July 4; however, 68.2% of adults in the U.S. now have had at least 1 vaccination.
The FDA added a new warning to the Johnson and Johnson fact sheet that says the single-shot may lead to an increased risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a life-threatening autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack parts of the nervous system and causes nerve inflammation leading to muscle weakness.
This is the second hit to the J&J vaccine after the administration of their vaccine was temporarily paused over concerns linked to 6 cases of women age 18-48 who developed a rare and severe blood clot cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) after receiving the J&J shot.
Pfizer is planning to request FDA approval for a 6-month booster shot based on evidence they have not made public that there is a greater risk of infection due to the highly contagious Delta variant 6 months after inoculation. Pfizer claims the vaccine effectiveness fell 64% in June for those vaccinated in January or February among people in Israel.
The FDA & CDC published a joint statement reinstating that “People who are fully vaccinated are protected from severe disease and death, including from the variants currently circulating in the country such as Delta.”
Both the FDA & CDC encourage unvaccinated people to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Over the past week, the total cases of COVID-19 have increased by 16% but still are 94.1% lower than the highest peak reported on January 10. There has been an average of 8.6% increase in hospital admissions with a trend in adults from 18-49 years old representing 40% of COVID-19-associated hospitalized patients.
These hospitalizations are likely due to lower vaccination rates in this age group compared with older adults.