(CNN) — A variant of the coronavirus identified for the first time in India is “like covid on steroids,” Andy Slavitt, former White House senior adviser for the covid-19 response, said Wednesday.
“(The delta variant) is a more virulent strain,” Slavitt told CNN. This is like COVID-19 on steroids. You can be around people for less time and still expose yourself.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has labeled the delta variant as a “variant of concern,” a designation given to strains of a virus that scientists believe are more communicable or may cause a virus. more serious illness.
The CDC says the variant accounts for about 10% of coronavirus cases in the United States.
Slavitt said the variant gives people one more reason to get vaccinated.
“If you got vaccinated, you have very little to worry about,” he said.
The delta variant increases its presence in the US.
US Chief Health Officer Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN on Tuesday that the delta variant “is increasing rapidly here in the United States.”
He said there is evidence that it could cause more serious illness.
“That still needs to be understood more clearly, but these are two major concerns and they explain in part … why it has become the dominant variant in the UK, where more than 90% of cases are the delta variant,” Murthy said.
The good news is that the vaccines appear to be effective against the variant.
A new study by Public Health England, the UK Institute of Public Health, found that two doses of a coronavirus vaccine are “highly effective against hospitalization” caused by the variant. The study found that the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective against hospitalization after two doses.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said during CNBC’s Global Evolve Summit that he feels “great” about the vaccine when it comes to variants of interest, but the company has a system in place in case a variant emerges. that requires a more personalized vaccine.
Murthy said there is not enough data to indicate the effectiveness of Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine with respect to the delta variant, but the vaccine has shown that it can help prevent hospitalizations and deaths when people are infected with other strains.
“The key is to get vaccinated, get both doses,” Murthy said.
As of Wednesday, 44.1% of the total U.S. population was fully vaccinated, while 52.7% had received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to the CDC.
Thirteen states, with the addition of Hawaii on Wednesday, have fully vaccinated more than half of their residents, according to the CDC.
This comes on the heels of the United States surpassing 600,000 deaths since the coronavirus pandemic began, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. That means that about one in every 550 people in the United States has died from the virus.
States continue to reopen
So far, 14 states have reached Biden’s goal of vaccinating 70% of adults with at least one dose by July 4, according to CDC data.
New York is among the states that reached that milestone, pressuring Governor Andrew Cuomo to lift most of the state-imposed covid-19 restrictions.
Restrictions were lifted in all business and social settings, including requirements on social gatherings, capacity restrictions, social distancing, health screenings, cleaning and disinfection protocols, and contact tracing. Mask requirements will continue in pre-K settings, public transportation and healthcare settings, Cuomo said.
Fireworks displays were put up in various locations across the state Tuesday night to celebrate essential workers and the lifting of restrictions.
“This is a momentous day and we deserve it because it has been a very, very long road,” Cuomo said. “Now we can return to life as we know it.”
California lifted most of the covid-19 restrictions on Tuesday, ending capacity limits, physical distancing and mask requirements for those vaccinated.
Businesses in the state are already adjusting.
The Abbey Food & Bar in West Hollywood had dancing, a DJ and a bar for a party to celebrate the end of the restrictions. The Major League Baseball Los Angeles Dodgers held a “Reopening Day” promotion, featuring 25,000 Justin Turner bobbleheads, to welcome a full-capacity home crowd.
Meanwhile, in Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan said his state will lift covid-19 restrictions, including mask requirements, and the state of emergency on July 1. Companies can still enforce their own requirements, Hogan said.
Maryland has vaccinated 72.3% of its adult population with at least one dose so far, CDC data shows.
Delaware is succeeding, with 68.3% of adults receiving at least one dose, Governor John Carney said. He added that his state awaits his covid-19 state of emergency order on July 13.
Get vaccinated. Ask your friends and family if they have received the injection. These vaccines are extremely safe and effective, ”Carney said.
Get more vaccines
Pediatricians are taking a step forward not only to vaccinate newly eligible children and adolescents against COVID-19, but also adults.
One month after Sandhills Pediatrics in Southern Pines, North Carolina, began offering the covid-19 vaccine, the practice administered 940 doses of the Pfizer vaccine; 268 were not for patients, but for adults over 23 years of age.
Dr. Christoph Diasio, a pediatrician with the office, said that he offers the vaccine to most patients and their families.
I’ve seen all the idle reactions, basically jumping away from me; ‘There’s no way I’m going to get that,’ to ‘I’ve had the intention of doing it, I just couldn’t program it but with work,’ “Diasio told CNN.
His office has been offering other routine vaccinations, such as the flu shot, to patients’ families for years. He says the practice is fairly common among pediatricians across the country and can provide some protection for babies who are too young to get the vaccine themselves.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism