White House officials say the vast majority of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are among those who are not vaccinated.
“Virtually all COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in the United States are now occurring among unvaccinated individuals,” said White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients last Thursday.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said data suggests 99.5% of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. were in unvaccinated people.
“Those deaths were preventable with a simple, safe shot,” said Walensky.
Zients said there will likely continue to be an increase in cases among unvaccinated Americans and in communities with low vaccination rates, especially since the more transmissible delta variant has become the dominant strain of coronavirus in the U.S.
We’re already seeing these types of increases across the country. USA Today reported Sunday that 42 states saw an increase in cases last week from the week before. The newspaper chain said only Alaska, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and West Virginia saw a decline in cases during that period of time ending Saturday.
Citing data from Johns Hopkins University, CNN found that states with below-average vaccination rates have nearly triple the rate of new COVID-19 cases as opposed to states with above-average vaccination rates.
To address these spikes in cases in areas with lower vaccination rates, the White House says it’s mobilizing COVID-19 surge response teams to provide additional support to states.
“The COVID-19 surge response teams have begun working with several states to identify and support the state-specific or county-specific needs. This includes states such as Missouri, Nevada, Illinois, and Arkansas,” said Zients.
Those efforts include providing expert support from the CDC on outbreak investigation, working with local health officials on getting more treatments for people with COVID-19, and helping states increase vaccine confidence, answer questions, and expand access to vaccinations and testing.