We’re at it again. Covid-19 is currently in its fourth wave in the United States, with infections increasing at an alarming rate. The Delta variant, which accounts for 83 percent of sequenced samples in the United States and is predicted to be twice as transmissible as the original strain, is driving the increase in new daily cases. Delta spreads more easily because a person infected with this variety has a viral load 1,000 times higher than someone infected with the original SARS-CoV-2 strain.
Hospitalizations and deaths are also on the rise, though at a slower pace than cases, reflecting the fact that only 49% of all Americans have received all of their vaccines. Covid-19 vaccinations are extremely efficient at preventing serious disease and death, even when Delta is present. President Joe Biden’s senior medical advisor on Covid-19, Anthony Fauci, says that almost 99 percent of persons who die in the United States from the disease are unvaccinated.
The United States is currently experiencing a patchwork pandemic, with communities with low vaccination rates more likely to experience outbreaks. According to a recent study, 463 counties in the United States now have high rates of new infection—at least 100 new cases per 100,000 persons in the previous week, which is more than five times the national average. Less than 40% of residents are properly immunised in 80 percent of these counties.