“We’ve seen this in Arkansas, Missouri, Wyoming … those are the places where we’re going to see more hospitalizations and deaths as well, unfortunately. And any time you have large outbreaks, it does become a breeding ground for potentially more variants,” he told CNN on Monday.
About 56% of adults in Missouri have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose and 39.4% of residents are fully vaccinated, CDC data shows. Arkansas has fully vaccinated 34.6% of its total population as of Tuesday, CDC data shows.
Overall, data shows that Covid-19 is expected to swell in less vaccinated communities, especially as the Delta variant continues to spread in those areas.
“If ever there was a reason to get vaccinated, this is it,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN on Tuesday.
Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, added that America has ample vaccine supply, but there is still a significant portion of people who don’t want the shots.
“There are places in the world, where people would do anything to get vaccine, and yet we have a substantial proportion of people in very specific regions of the country, who just do not want to get vaccinated,” he added.
In response to the more contagious Delta variant, the Biden administration said it would deploy response teams comprised of officials from the CDC, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to areas with a high spread of the virus and low vaccination rates.
In Missouri, the surge team will include an epidemiologist, research assistants, a health communication specialist, contact tracers and others who will help with vaccination and outreach, according to the health department.
“More team members will be added, both remotely and in person, to assist with data and research, vaccine uptake strategies and outreach,” said Lisa Cox, a communications director with the Missouri health department.
Full FDA approval for Pfizer vaccine may come this month, former White House advisor says
And while the current seven-day vaccination pace of 490,918 people becoming fully vaccinated daily has plateaued since two months ago, experts are hoping that could change soon.
The US Food and Drug Administration could fully approve Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine this month, according to Andy Slavitt, a former White House senior adviser for Covid Response, adding that the full authorization could sway people who have yet to get their shot.
“That will be a telltale sign for them to say ‘Why am I on the fence any longer? This has now been fully approved by the FDA,’ and even though it’s got a great record already, that will I think be another stamp of approval,” Slavitt said.
The FDA does not comment on pending approvals, but officials across the Biden administration have said they expect the agency to grant full approval.
Currently, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccines are administered under Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA.
A recent survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that 31% of adults who have yet to get vaccinated would be more likely to get a shot that has been fully approved by the FDA. The report polled 1,888 US adults.
Study finds people are more likely to have health complications if they had a severe case of Covid-19
Vaccines are not only effective in preventing severe illness from Covid-19, they also prevent its long-term health effects, according to experts.
The researchers examined patient records for nearly 11,000 people treated in their health system. Of those patients, 114 had severe Covid-19 and needed to be hospitalized. Another 211 had mild or moderate Covid-19.
The other patients were treated for unrelated health problems. Researchers tracked these patients for six months.
“Data are, unsurprisingly, showing that people who aren’t vaccinated are more likely to get sick,” study co-author Arch Mainous said in a news release Tuesday.