In anticipation of the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, states and cities across the United States have taken advantage of the reopening of once-closed communities for business, recreation, summer festivities and travel as life has returned to normal.
However, health officials remain on high alert given a lingering hurdle to ending Covid-19: large swathes of unvaccinated people in America who could allow the virus to mutate further and potentially generate more variants. transmissible and increasingly fatal.
This means that unvaccinated people are not only more at risk for Covid-19 themselves, but could also potentially undermine the entire deployment of vaccines in the United States if a future variant emerging in the United States were significantly resistant to vaccines.
âUnvaccinated people are basically the cannon fodder of the virus. The virus needs people to infect in order to replicate and the more people it has vulnerable or susceptible to infection, the more likely it is to mutate, âsaid Dr Michael Saag, professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Forty-six U.S. states recorded an increase of at least 10% in new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, according to CNN. Travel advisories have been declared for several states, including Nevada and Florida, due to the increase in Covid-19 cases, warning aspiring vacationers to stay away.
Against the backdrop of an almost nationwide increase in Covid-19 cases, the focus is once again on vaccine deployment. After narrowly missing the July 4 deadline to get at least 70% of American adults their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, the Biden administration – working with federal, state and local health officials – is encouraging people, especially young adults, to get vaccinated as quickly as possible.
But, even amid the most aggressive attempts to increase vaccination rates, several states, many of them concentrated in the south, are lagging behind. As of July 5, Arkansas, which has fully vaccinated less than 35% of its adult population, contracted new cases of Covid-19 at a rate five times the national average. Likewise, Oklahoma, where only 39% of adults are fully vaccinated, has seen a similar increase in Covid-19 cases. Those who remain unvaccinated risk infection as well as an increased risk of hospitalization or death from Covid.
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