MIAMI, Fla. (NBC) – There are some concerning coronavirus trends with the Delta variant becoming the dominant strain in the U.S. as we’re starting to see cases and hospitalizations trending upwards.
In about a month, kids across the country are going to be returning to school and there is an incredible impetus right now to get as many of them vaccinated as possible before they return to the classroom because at no point in this pandemic perhaps has it been more clear the disparity between states that have high vaccination rates and low vaccination rates.
Those at the very bottom, states like Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi, have seen some of the biggest increases in COVID-19 infections.
There has been a 16% increase in infections nationally and an 8.6% percent increase in hospitalizations.
Some good news: deaths are on the decline from COVID-19, down 25%. But right now, there are all kinds of concerns with the Delta variant which is two and a half to three times more transmissible than the original strain and it is permeating communities all over this country right now, especially those that are vulnerable because of low vaccination rates.
Later Monday, there are going to be conversations between Pfizer and the CDC and top health officials about whether or not we will need a third booster shot with Pfizer saying it might be necessary within six to 12 months. But top officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci say they want to see the clinical evidence before issuing that kind of guidance.