On Friday, President Joe Biden urged Americans to get vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus as quickly as possible and warned that the high contagious Delta variant is “particularly dangerous” for young individuals, according to CNBC.
In a news conference from the White House, Biden said, “The data is clear: If you are unvaccinated, you’re at risk of getting seriously ill or dying or spreading it.”
The Delta variant, which was first identified in India, “will leave unvaccinated people even more vulnerable than they were a month ago,” the president added. “It is a variant that is more easily transmissible, potentially deadlier and particularly dangerous for young people.”
He said the best way to protect yourself is to get fully vaccinated. He urged, “Please, please if you have one shot, get the second shot as soon as you can.”
Biden’s comments come as his administration’s latest goal to get 70% of American adults partially vaccinated by the Fourth of July is falling short as the pace of vaccinations slows.
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist of the World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday that the Delta variant is becoming the dominant strain of the disease worldwide because of its “significantly increased transmissibility.”
Research has shown that the Delta strain is nearly 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant, which was first identified in the United Kingdom. The Alpha variant was found to be more contagious than the original strain that emerged from Wuhan, China.
On Friday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director, said that she expects the Delta strain to become the dominant variant in the United States, urging people to get vaccinated.
The CDC says the variant now makes up 10% of all new cases in the United States, up from 6% last week, according to CNBC.
“As worrisome as this delta strain is with regard to its hyper transmissibility, our vaccines work,” Dr. Walensky told the ABC program Good Morning America. If you get vaccinated, “you’ll be protected against this delta variant,” she added.
Public health officials say the Delta variant is particularly dangerous among young people, many of whom are still unvaccinated.
Dr. Paul Offit, Director, Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said this variant has essentially replaced alpha, adding that the virus continues to mutate and the U.S. will need a higher rate of vaccination.
He said, “How much more information do we need to see that this virus mutates and creates viruses that are more contagious? We need to vaccinate now. Get everyone vaccinated now.”
The CDC says more than 176 million (53%) Americans have had at least one shot and more than 148 million are fully vaccinated as of Friday. The story was published on CNBC.