A man is vaccinated against COVID-19 at a vaccination festival in New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, on May 29, 2021.
Lan Wei | Xinhua Press Agency | Getty Images
More and more people who were once hesitant to vaccinate in several southern states are now getting their first injections as the delta-Covid variant rips through areas of the US with low immunization rates.
In Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, the seven-day average of daily reported first doses has more than doubled since early July, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows, as the outbreak worsened across the country.
Over that same period, the average number of cases per day has risen from about 13,000 per day across the country to about 94,000 per day on Aug. 4, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, with the vast majority of new infections among those who are not. vaccinated.
“It’s clear that Americans are seeing the impact of being unvaccinated and unprotected and they are responding by doing their part, rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinated,” White House Covid Czar Jeff Zients told reporters on Thursday. .
In Arkansas, which has the third-worst outbreak in the country based on new cases per capita every day, vaccinations have nearly tripled. On July 1, according to a The Washington City Times analysis of CDC data, the state administered a seven-day average of 2,893 first doses in weapons, representing new people getting their first injections. On August 4, that number skyrocketed to a seven-day average of 8,585 first doses administered per day.
Mississippi, which experienced the fourth-worst outbreak in the country, saw a 178% increase in first doses given since early July on Aug. 4, with Louisiana having a 128% increase and Alabama, where the fifth worst outbreak across the country, with a 109% increase.
Louisiana is experiencing the worst outbreak of new Covid cases per capita in the country and recording hospitalizations after the delta variant targeted the state’s largely unvaccinated population.
The state governor has re-implemented a mask mandate until at least September 1 in an effort to delay the handover. Although even with the recent surge in vaccinations, Louisiana still ranks fifth in the nation when it comes to residents fully vaccinated at 37.2%.
Behind Louisiana is Arkansas with 37% of residents fully vaccinated, Wyoming at 36.7%, Mississippi at 34.8% and Alabama at 34.6%, according to CDC data.
Covid cases with serious consequences are also on the rise, according to US officials. The seven-day average of daily hospital admissions is 41% higher than a week ago, and the average daily death toll is 39% higher, said CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky Thursday.
Studies have shown that unlike the original Covid strain, the delta variant is much more transmissible and requires two doses of vaccine to give the body a chance to prevent infection and severe symptoms.
“Even if someone decided today that they wanted to get the vaccine, it will take some time for their bodies and immune systems to be trained to deal with it,” Gigi Gronvall, an immunologist and senior scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told me. The Washington City Times. “You want to make sure you’re not exposed before your body has a chance to stop that virus.”
Still, residents of hard-hit states who begin vaccination will help slow the spread of the virus sooner rather than later and prevent hospitalizations and deaths in the future.
Patients of different ages hospitalized with Covid in states like Missouri, Florida, Arkansas and Louisiana are expressing regret and begging their communities to get vaccinated after initially failing to get the shot.
Overall, the US reports an average of about 677,000 daily vaccinations in the past week as of August 4, up 11% from a week ago.
The number of first vaccine doses is rising faster than the total number. According to the CDC, an average of about 446,000 first doses were administered each day for the past seven days, an increase of 17% from the previous week.