The spread of Delta variants in the U.S. casts a shadow over the July 4th celebrations
Scientists warn that celebrations held across the United States on July 4 may accelerate the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19, especially in areas where vaccination rates are lagging behind.
The United States is preparing for the weekend to celebrate Independence Day. This weekend is full of parades, concerts and fireworks. This is in stark contrast to last year, when many major events were cancelled due to fears about the virus.
Despite the progress made in fighting the pandemic, experts say that large-scale domestic travel and large gatherings may increase the spread of the delta virus, especially in People who have not been vaccinated, Improving the prospect of a local surge in cases and hospitalizations.
“Take the hyper-transmissible Delta variants and large gatherings as examples, and the emotional state of mind in the United States that thinks the pandemic is over… and you can definitely rely on the surge in cases,” Gregory, director of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota Poland said.
Despite this, Joe Biden pushed ahead with his plan to host a party for more than 1,000 people on the South Lawn of the White House on July 4. The President of the United States will also visit Michigan on July 3 to participate in a trip called “America Reunited” to promote progress in the fight against this disease and promote vaccines.
Biden told reporters on Friday that he is not worried about a large-scale outbreak, but encourages people to get vaccinated. His government has admitted that it cannot achieve its goal of vaccinating at least 70% of adults before the July 4 holiday.
He said: “I am worried that people who have not been vaccinated have the ability to catch the mutation and spread the mutation to other people who have not been vaccinated,” he added: “July 4th this year is different… Number, it will be better next year.”
Although the number of cases has fallen sharply since the pandemic peaked earlier this year, there are concerns that the spread of Delta variants may complicate this progress. In some of the most endemic states in the Delta, cases have risen again.
According to the Financial Times analysis of the latest sequencing data submitted to the global repository Gisaid, this variant now accounts for the majority of genetic sequencing cases in the United States.
It is now estimated that about three-fifths of the country’s cases are from a highly infectious variant first discovered in India, and the prevalence in some states is as high as 90%.
These numbers are the same as U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates A national prevalence rate of 26%, but calculated using the latest data pointing to the continued growth of this strain.
According to research conducted by the British government, although the transmission rate of Delta is about 60% higher than that of the Alpha variant, the three Covid-19 vaccines authorized in the United States have been proven to be effective in preventing serious diseases. According to the CDC, nearly 156 million people in the United States are fully vaccinated.
Research by the British government shows that two doses of BioNTech/Pfizer injections are 88% effective against Delta’s symptomatic diseases, while preliminary data from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shows that their injections will trigger antibodies against this variant.
But US officials are particularly worried about the delta’s spread in areas of the country with low vaccination rates. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that about 1,000 counties in the United States have less than 30% vaccination rates.
“As the Delta variant continues to spread across the country, we expect the spread in these communities to increase unless we can vaccinate more people,” she said on Thursday.
After a fiery beginning, the introduction of vaccines in the United States has slowed down, and states are trying to attract hesitating people by Offer rewards From free food and drinks to the chance to win millions of dollars.
Worryingly, the White House said it will deploy a surge response team to help community leaders complete tasks including testing and contact tracing.
According to the analysis of the British “Financial Times”, the danger posed by Delta is obvious in Missouri, where new cases account for 90%. The surge in hospitalizations in the southwest of the state has forced some hospitals to transfer patients to other institutions.
“Missouri is now almost the center of Delta variants in the United States,” said Alexander Garza, incident commander of the St. Louis Regional Pandemic Task Force.
He said that 37% of hospitalized patients in the region are under 45 years of age. He added that the large gathering planned this weekend provides the “best environment” for the spread of the virus, especially among the unvaccinated.
In Missouri, 56% of people received a dose of the vaccine, compared to more than 70% in New York.
Although vaccines are available and many state and local authorities have taken steps to relax restrictions, some US health officials encourage people to continue to exercise caution in view of the increased infectiousness of the delta virus.
This week, officials in St. Louis and Los Angeles County strongly recommended that people wear masks indoors, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not, which is in sharp contrast to CDC regulations. Simplified mask guidance.
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer (Barbara Ferrer) said that although the vaccine can effectively prevent Delta’s hospitalization and death, wearing a mask indoors will reduce transmission.
Amesh Adalja, a senior infectious disease scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Health Safety Center, said that from the weekend of July 4, states that have not been vaccinated will bear the brunt. He added: “The Delta variant will not be a systemic risk, but a regional risk.”
Additional reporting by Lauren Fedor in Washington