CDC Head Sees ‘Pandemic of the Unvaccinated’ as Case Counts Rise

With deaths and hospitalizations from Covid-19 on the rise, the U.S. is seeing a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” in parts of the country where inoculation rates are low, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

While Covid cases have fallen dramatically since the introduction of vaccines, the seven-day average of new infections is now up 70% from the previous week, with 26,300 new infections a day, CDC Chief Rochelle Walensky said at a White House briefing on Friday. The agency’s biggest concern given the falling pace of shots is that the agency will continue to see preventable cases, hospitalizations and deaths, she said.

CDC Head Sees ‘Pandemic of the Unvaccinated’ as Case Counts Rise

Just four states accounted for 40% of Covid cases in the past week, said Jeffrey Zients, President Joe Biden’s Covid-19 response coordinator, with 1 in 5 cases occurring in Florida alone. The 7-day average of hospital admissions nationwide rose 36% to 2,790 while daily deaths jumped 26% to 211 per day.

“These cases were primarily among unvaccinated individuals,” Zients said during the briefing. “If you’re unvaccinated please get vaccinated now.”

Roughly 55% of Americans having received at least one dose of the vaccine, but the pace is falling. On July 1, the Biden administration announced the deployment of response teams to unvaccinated pockets of the U.S. in an attempt to combat the spread of the highly transmissible delta Covid-19 variant.

“If you are fully vaccinated you are protected against severe Covid, hospitalization, and death, and even protected against the known variants, including delta variant circulating in this country” Walensky said at the briefing. “If you are not vaccinated, you remain at risk.”

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