According to preliminary data from CDCCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, the Delta variant now represents 51.7% of new cases of coronavirus in the country, ahead of the Alpha variant, which dropped to 28.7%.
These figures are based on projections for a two-week period ending July 3 and are subject to revision.
As feared by US health authorities, the Delta variant has experienced a dramatic increase: for the previous two-week period, it represented 30.4% of cases, behind the Alpha variant, then at 44.2%.
Just before, it barely exceeded 10% of the total number of cases.
Less than three weeks ago, the director of CDCCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle Walensky, said he believed he would become
probably the dominant strain in the United States within the next two months, but it has beaten the odds.
For several weeks, public health experts have been particularly concerned about the spread of this variant within the unvaccinated population, especially in the south of the country.
After declining sharply for two months, the number of coronavirus cases in the United States has plateaued in recent weeks, due to spikes in infections in the least vaccinated areas of the country, for example in states like Missouri and Arkansas.
Biden steps up vaccination efforts
President Joe Biden provided an update on vaccination during a White House press conference.
Photo : Reuters / EVELYN HOCKSTEIN
A few hours before the announcement of CDCCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, Joe Biden presented new measures to increase the vaccination rate, highlighting the risks posed by the Delta variant which he said is
more easily transmitted and
potentially more dangerous.
The US president has once again stressed the importance of vaccination as several states grapple with a sharp increase in the number of cases.
During a brief press conference given at the White House, Joe Biden indicated that his administration intends to increase the availability of vaccines in doctors’ offices and in the workplace.
In view of the start of the school year in a few weeks, the White House is also targeting an increase in the vaccination rate of adolescents aged 12 to 18 by pediatricians and other healthcare providers.
Its strategy includes expanding mobile vaccination units to places of religious or sporting gatherings, and sensitizing unvaccinated Americans through a door-to-door campaign.
My administration is doing everything in its power to provide a whole-of-government response […] in order to defeat the pandemic, affirmed the American president.
We need everyone to do their part.
According to figures released by the CDC on Monday, 67.1% of Americans over 18 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Joe Biden hoped that this proportion would have climbed to 70% among adults on July 4, the symbolic date of Independence Day.
Vaccination has however slowed down in recent months, despite a local vaccination campaign, then an all-out strategy to pick up speed.
According to New York Times, immunization providers administered an average of some 1.1 million doses per day as of Friday, down about 68% from the peak of 3.4 million reached in mid-April.
The millions of Americans who aren’t vaccinated are vulnerable to the coronavirus, Joe Biden warned.
Their communities are at risk, their friends are at risk, the people they love are at risk, he hammered, again calling on Americans who had not already done so to receive one of the three vaccines available in the country.
It has never been more important. Do it now for yourself and for your loved ones, for your neighborhood, for your country. It may sound trite, but it is a patriotic act.
A target reached a few days late
The US president, however, indicated that 160 million American adults, or nearly 63% of that segment of the population, would be fully immunized by the end of the week.
As I said in my speech to the nation on Independence Day, we are closer than ever to declaring our independence from this deadly virus, he declared, two days after having “celebrated the return of America”.
Currently, 58.2% of Americans over 18 are fully immunized.
The disposition towards the vaccine depends largely on political affiliation. According to a recent survey conducted for the Washington Post and ABC News, 86% of Democrats say they have received at least one dose of the vaccine, compared to just 45% of Republicans.
Nearly 20 states with the highest vaccination rates all voted for Joe Biden in the November 2020 presidential election.
In return, some fifteen states that are among the most resistant to vaccination voted for Donald Trump.
In addition, 47% of Republicans say they are reluctant to receive the vaccine, compared to 6% of Democrats.