As of June 16, about 88% of those who received a dose of vaccine and were eligible for their second – recommended 21 days after the first shot of Pfizer / BioNTech or 28 days after the first shot of Moderna – had completed their series of two. doses. , according to data shared with CNN by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This is down from the completion rate of 92% earlier in the year.
Studies have shown that vaccines are much more effective against the Delta variant – also known as B.1.617.2 and first identified in India – after the two-dose series is completed.
“Because this virus has mutated, there are versions of it that are better able to evade some of the immune protection we get from the vaccine,” US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. last week, citing research that found that two doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine offered 88% protection, compared to 33% protection after just one.
Experts warn that the Delta variant may soon become the dominant strain in the United States.
It could perhaps be within a few weeks in under-vaccinated areas, Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said on Wednesday. And CDC data shows the Delta variant may already account for more than one in five new Covid-19 cases, a rapid increase from less than one in 10 two weeks earlier.
This leaves millions of partially vaccinated people at risk as the Delta variant continues to become more prevalent in the United States, as well as 46% of the country’s population who have not been vaccinated at all.
Almost 11% of people eligible to receive their second dose of vaccine – around 15 million people – had not completed their immunization series by June 16, and 1.5% of those eligible – around 2 million people – did not complete their immunization series by June 16, and 1.5% of those eligible – around 2 million people – did not had not yet received a second dose but were within an “allowable range” of 42 days, according to the CDC.
Adults under 30 were the most likely to have missed their second dose, with almost 12% outside the allowed 42-day interval.
Young adults have become a priority for the White House.
Officials said adults under 26 are the only group expected to miss the administration’s goal of vaccinating at least 70% of adults with at least one dose by July 4.
And CDC studies released Monday found that young adults also lagged behind others in vaccination intent.
People aged 30 to 39 were also more likely than average to miss their second dose, according to CDC data. But children under 18 were the least likely to miss their second dose, with only about 5% outside the allowed interval.
Hispanics were more likely than average to miss their second dose (11.4%), as were Native Americans (12.6%) and Hawaiians / Pacific Islanders (12.4%).
A March CDC report said people who received their second dose in a location different from the first may be counted among those who missed their second dose, possibly overestimating the number of second missed doses.
But experts say more transmissible variants may increase the herd immunity threshold, making each dose as large as the last.
“I will say that as worrying as this Delta strain is about its hyper-transmissibility, our vaccines are working,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said last week on Good Morning America.
“So I would encourage all Americans, get your first shot and when you’re due for your second get your second shot and you’ll be protected from this Delta variant.” “