As the delta variant continues to spread globally and in the United States, new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects the variant now makes up over 20% of COVID-19 cases nationwide.
CDC data for the two-week period ending on June 5 showed delta variant cases made up 9.5% of the total COVID-19 cases in U.S., but now the CDC is projecting for the period ending on June 19 that the delta variant cases made up 20.6% of all COVID-19 cases.
Data also shows the delta variant made up for 2.3% of COVID-19 in Florida for the two-week period ending on June 5. Data for the last two weeks from each state is not yet available.
The delta variant, first identified in India and now a dominant strain in Britain, has been of concern for health officials as states continue vaccination efforts. Last week, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said she expects the variant will become the dominant COVID-19 strain in the U.S. It is still trailing the alpha variant, which accounts for 52.2% cases in the U.S.
Walensky is still one of many health officials urging people to get vaccinated “to stop the chain of mutations.”
#COVID19 vaccines do offer protection against Delta. Yet, Delta has a set of mutations that could cause it to change in ways that could evade our vaccines. Everyone eligible should get vaccinated NOW to stop the chain of mutations that could lead to a more dangerous variant.— Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH (@CDCDirector) June 22, 2021
Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a White House briefing Tuesday that current vaccines “are effective against the delta variant.” According to the Associated Press, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients also said the rise in delta cases should “motive younger Americans” to be vaccinated.
“The reality is many younger Americans have felt like COVID-19 is not something that impacts them, and they’ve been less eager to get the shot,” Zients said. “However, with the delta variant now spreading across the country, and infecting younger people worldwide, it’s more important than ever that they get vaccinated.”
In Florida, the latest data from the health department released last week shows 26% of people ages 12 to 19 have been vaccinated and 35% of those 20 to 29 have received the vaccine.
According to the CDC, the delta variant was first identified in the U.S. in March 2021 and is now labeled a variant of concern due to it being highly transmissible.