Health experts predicted, the combination of unvaccinated people and the more contagious Delta strain of coronavirus has led to new Covid-19 surges. In 46 states, the rates of new cases this past week are at least 10% higher than the rates of new cases the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
In 31 states, new cases this past week are at least 50% higher than new cases the previous week. The vast majority of new Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths have one thing in common: unvaccinated people, doctors say.
More than 99% of all Covid-19 deaths in June were among unvaccinated people, said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And younger people are getting hospitalized with Covid-19.
Missouri has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country and one of the worst outbreaks of the Delta variant. The situation is serious enough that in Missouri the United States deployed a surge team to help stop the spread — including members from the CDC and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Springfield emergency physician Dr. Howard Jarvis said the Covid-19 patients he’s seeing are the youngest he’s seen. And all the Covid-19 patients admitted to his hospital during this surge have not been vaccinated. “If they’re sick enough to be admitted to the hospital, they are unvaccinated. That is the absolute common denominator amongst those patients,” he said. “Earlier in the pandemic, and certainly before we had vaccinations, we were seeing a much older patient population in the emergency department and getting admitted to the hospital,” Jarvis said. “In recent weeks, we’ve been seeing a much younger population,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot of people in their 30s, 40s, early 50s. We’re seeing some teenagers and some pediatric patients as well.”
In St. Louis County, officials said the rate of new cases jumped by 63% over the past two weeks. “A tidal wave is coming towards our unvaccinated populations,” County Executive Sam Page said.
If unvaccinated Americans want to stave off the Delta variant but don’t want to wear masks, the choice is simple: Get vaccinated, said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University. “We can’t have it both ways. We can’t be both unmasked and non-socially distant and unvaccinated. That won’t work,” he said.
Some don’t want to be vaccinated because of popular myths and concerns about the Covid-19 vaccines.