As the Delta variant spreads, the US could see about four times the current rate of Covid cases in the next four to six weeks, and the population hits a wall on vaccinations, according to a former CDC director. According to Dr Tom Frieden, “We’re heading into a rough time. It’s likely, if our trajectory is similar to that in the United Kingdom, that we could see as many as 200,000 cases a day. The US likely won’t see the horrific death tolls of earlier in the pandemic, thanks to the number of vulnerable people who are vaccinated. You will see a steady increase in deaths, and these are preventable deaths.”
Tom said the Delta variant is more transmissible than other strains, so much that it is essentially finding unvaccinated people. Much of the country remains unvaccinated despite urging from health experts and incentive programs. Only 49.1% of the US population is fully vaccinated, according to CDC. The rate of daily vaccination is lowering, with only about two-thirds of the eligible population has received at least one dose.
According to Tom, despite the risk posed by many unvaccinated people, vaccines are still helping to make the impact of pandemic less severe. In the coming weeks, he further said that there would have been hundreds that end in death if vaccinations were not there for every case that ends in death.
Some health experts have emphasized that vaccination should be compulsory to work in certain venues or attend school. Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Monday that in August, California would require all healthcare workers and all state employees to provide proof of regular test or vaccination status. The unvaccinated state employees will have to get tested at least once a week and wear N95 masks at all times. The unvaccinated health workers will have to get tested twice a week, state health officials said.
A similar requirement will be implemented in New York City. All the workforce for the city’s agencies, including police, fire, the school, will be given a choice between regular testing or vaccination Mayor Bill de Blasio said. As longs as vaccination rates are low and cases continue to increase, some experts say returning to the mask is the important layer of protection for everyone.