But with only 45% of Americans fully vaccinated and only 16 states that have fully vaccinated more than half of their population, health experts are concerned about the spread of the highly contagious virus. . It is 60% more contagious than the Alpha variant discovered in the UK, which was the last variant of concern, according to infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm.
“In areas where they have large pockets of unvaccinated people, we can surely expect to see increases in cases, in some situations jeopardizing the health care capacity of this local area,” Osterholm told David Begnaud of CBS News.
The Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, is a hospital facing an overflow of patients. Mercy Hospital President Craig McCoy said the hospital “holds patients in the emergency room, waits for admissions, waits for discharge on any given day.”
In Springfield, only 32% of the surrounding county is vaccinated, andhospitalizations have increased by more than 210% since June 1. Perhaps most alarming: 90% of all COVID samples sequenced in this county are positive for the Delta variant.
McCoy told his hospital that almost all COVID patients are unvaccinated.
“We only had two that came out as inpatients who were fully vaccinated. The vaccine, from all we can see, appears to be effective against the Delta variant, ”he said.
While there are signs America is pushing back the pandemic with the help of vaccines, there are also indications of a potential new wave of COVID.
“The Delta variant is clearly going to be another wave. If you decide not to get the vaccine, this virus will always find you, ”Osterholm said.
McCoy told Begnaud that although more than 75% of the elderly in his county are vaccinated, that number drops among those between the ages of 21 and 60. He said that percentage is somewhere in their mid-30s and those in that age group are coming to his hospital.