‘Unvaccinated pandemic’ fuels surge in new COVID cases
COVID-19 cases are on the rise again across the country, as well as in Georgia, South Carolina and the Augusta region, health officials said. And it is clear why.
“There is a clear message going,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “It is becoming an unvaccinated pandemic.”
Georgia saw its average number of new cases jump from 195 a day two weeks ago to more than 555 a day on Friday, according to a database maintained by The Augusta Chronicle.
South Carolina has also seen an increase in the number of cases, from 69 per day two weeks ago to 230 per day on Friday, according to the database. Augusta counties have seen an 86% increase in the past two weeks in new cases, according to Chronicle’s analysis.
Nationwide, new cases are on average 26,300 per day, a 70% increase from the previous seven-day period, Walensky said. But serious results are also on the rise: Hospitalizations were on average around 2,790 per day, up 36% from the previous week, and deaths, which were down, were up 26% to 211 per day, she said.
Cases are increasing in counties with the lowest overall vaccination rates and in some states, health officials said. Florida alone accounted for one in five cases, said Jeff Zients, the White House’s COVID-19 response coordinator.
The rapid increase and spread is likely due to the more infectious Delta variant, which is dominant in the United States and around the world, said Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Disease. infectious diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden.
But the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against this variant show good protection both in the lab and in real clinical conditions, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been shown to be effective in lab tests, he said.
“At the end of the day, we are dealing with a formidable variant of the Delta variant,” Fauci said, and there is “extreme vulnerability of unvaccinated people, which will explain the infections, hospitalizations and, ultimately, deaths”.
Health officials have issued a new call for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and be protected.
“Do it for yourself, your family and your community,” Walensky said. “And please do it to protect your young children who, at this time, cannot get vaccinated on their own.”