WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – As the push continues for 70% of Americans to have at least one dose of the COVID vaccine by July Fourth, there is a growing concern about a new, highly contagious strain of the virus that has now been detected in the U.S..
At the current pace, the nation will not reach the president’s goal of 70% of Americans with at least one dose of the vaccine by the Fourth of July.
One vaccine skeptic, Mary Christine Carlson, explained, “I just felt in my heart that I did not want to take it.”
Less than 15% of residents in Russell County, Alabama are fully vaccinated. Antonio Lyles was on the fence about getting the shot until the virus became personal. He lost his mother to COVID. “Once she got it, it was like, bam bam,” he said.
Lyle’s mom, Catherine Brundige, died from COVID-19 just five days before she was scheduled to get the vaccine. He got the shot two days after she passed.
A select group of kids are getting the shot too as part of a clinical trial to determine if children 11 and under should get the vaccine.
Father Adam Bright said, “I want to do that so we can get back to a regular normal instead of a new normal.” A “normal” under attack from a new strain of the virus: the Delta variant.
Brown University School of Public Health Dean Dr. Ashish Jha said, “It is by far the most contagious variant of this virus so we have seen throughout the whole pandemic, it’s what has caused the huge spikes in India.”
Doctors report the highly contagious strain is responsible for 6% of the cases in the U.S.