Joe Biden on Tuesday urged more Americans to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as cases begin to grow in the United States as well, fueled largely by the Delta variant.
The U.S. president will announce a series of measures to encourage vaccinations, as officials say the virus is likely to spread to parts of the country with low inoculation rates.
Biden’s warning comes as the highly transmissible Delta variant sweeps in the UK, which has a vaccination rate similar to that of the United States, causing a surge in cases here.
The death rate in the UK remains low, but US officials have done so warned in recent days about U.S. pockets where low vaccination rates put them particularly at risk for a new wave of infections.
A White House official said the president will speak “about the importance of every American eligible to be vaccinated, especially since the Delta variant continues to grow among unvaccinated people across the country.”
The United States now records an average of about 13,000 new cases a day, up from just over 11,000 two weeks ago. Health officials are concerned that areas with low vaccination rates will become hot spots that could lead to a source of hospitalization and allow the virus to mutate further as it continues to circulate.
In Missouri, Delta accounts for about 90 percent of new coronavirus infections, according to an analysis by the Financial Times, and the growing cases have forced some hospitals to transfer patients to other facilities. A hospital said it had a shortage of temporary ventilators over the weekend of July 4th.
About 39 percent of the population in Missouri is completely vaccinated.
Rochelle Walensky, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said last week there were 1,000 counts across the country where vaccination rates were less than 30 percent.
The CDC has estimated that the Delta variant accounts for about a quarter of all American infections.
Meanwhile, data from IsraelOver the weekend he suggested that the BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine, which accounts for more than half of the doses administered in the United States, is 64 percent effective in preventing infections from the Delta variant – lower than it was for previous strains.
Measures to be announced by Biden on Tuesday include the creation of vaccination clinics in the workplace, the creation of more mobile vaccination clinics and the improvement of access for adolescents aged 12 to 18 years.
The administration will provide even more doses to doctors ’offices and send lawyers to visit people at their doorstep to provide information about vaccines.
Efficacy of the vaccine against the Delta variant