Delta variant surges as vaccination numbers plummet

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – We thought by now the worst was firmly behind us. But America’s summer of recovery from COVID is rapidly becoming a season of dread and frustration over Americans who remain unvaccinated and highly vulnerable to the Delta variant now representing more than half of new COVID cases in this country.

After weeks of growing confidence amid falling infections rates, a dramatic turnabout is underway with infections, hospitalizations and deaths climbing again. Crowded emergency rooms in some parts of the country are fueling a sense of deja vu.

The number of Americans 12 and older at least partially vaccinated is now over 184 million. But the daily number of vaccinations has plummeted.

The summer spike is catching experts by surprise, who never expected numbers like these. New infections, hospitalizations, even deaths are increasing when many predicted they would at all-time lows.

In Missouri, more COVID patients are filling beds than during the deadly winter surge. Hospitals there are pleading for more doctors. Dr. Sam Page said, “The tidal wave is coming towards our unvaccinated population, this variance, spreading quickly, and this variant has the ability to devastate those in its wake”

After accounting for just 0.15 of cases in April, the dangerous, highly contagious Delta variant now makes up nearly 60% of new cases. And as infections double, vaccinations are plummeting, down 54% last week.

As more states go door to door offering at-home vaccinations, a new report said the Tennessee Department of Health will stop all adolescent vaccine outreach amid pressure from Republican lawmakers. The agency said they are reevaluating their process and wouldn’t comment on former Medical Director Michelle Fiscus, who said she was fired after efforts to get teens vaccinated at school.

“Children are not going to get vaccinated if they’re not vaccinated at school,” Fiscus said. “And that is the travesty that’s here. That’s the injustice.”

With 60% of children who are eligible for vaccination still not inoculated, many fear with the return to school and after a summer together a fall surge is imminent.

Former FDA Director Dr. Scott Gottlieb stated, “The Delta variant is going to move its way through the country over the course of August and September, maybe into October. Unfortunately, the worst is yet to come. It’s going to get worse before it gets better in terms of the spread of this infection right now.

Several big cities are reporting a substantial rise in COVID cases after having very few. In LA County, COVID cases are up 500% over last month with the Delta variant the positivity rate has skyrocketed almost 700%.

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