“Our vaccines work very well,” Walinsky told CNN. “They continue to be effective against delta very well, in terms of severe disease and death — they prevent that, but what they can’t do anymore is prevent transmission.”
Walinsky explained that this is why the Centers for Disease Control changed its guidance last week, and is now recommending that even people who have received the vaccination wear masks indoors again.
Last week, the agency released a study that showed that the “delta” mutant produces similar amounts of virus in both vaccinated and unvaccinated people if they become infected, and the data suggests that vaccinated people who have a breakthrough infection may have a similar tendency to spread Virus like unvaccinated.
Walinsky recommends wearing masks indoors “if you’re going home to someone who has not yet been vaccinated, to someone who can’t be vaccinated, someone who may be immunocompromised or slightly compromised, or someone who has comorbidities that put them at high risk.”
The dangerous “delta” mutant has fueled the latest wave of Covid-19 cases in America, and if more Americans do not receive vaccinations or refuse to wear masks, the country may soon see “several hundreds of thousands of cases per day”, similar to the winter wave, she said. Walinsky.
Walinsky noted that while US states across the south – including Florida and Louisiana – have seen massive spikes in cases, they haven’t peaked yet.
Next Mutant Nearby
Experts say vaccinating more people will not only help quash this increase, but will help prevent other potentially more aggressive mutations from emerging in the future.
“The next mutation is around the corner, if not everyone is vaccinated,” said Admiral Brett Giroir, who was involved in the virus task force under former US President Donald Trump.
“I just beg the American people to understand that in order to defeat this virus, we must raise everyone’s immunity, and that is simply the case,” he added.
About 58.2% of the US population received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control, while about 49.9 percent received the full vaccination.
And there was some encouraging news Thursday, when White House data director Dr. Cyrus Shahbar tweeted that there had been the highest number of doses recorded in a single day in more than a month.
He said more than 864,000 doses had been registered compared to the previous day’s total, including about 585,000 people who received the first dose.
Over the coming weeks, increases are likely to reach all of the United States, not just areas with low vaccination rates, former CDC director Tom Frieden said Wednesday.
Frieden added that the outbreaks, however, would not be strong in areas with higher vaccination coverage.
As cases increase, the number of hospitalizations and deaths are likely to rise as well, according to the group’s projections published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wednesday.
The data predicts that a total of 624,000 to 642,000 deaths will be recorded by August 28.
As of Wednesday, there were 614,342 deaths from COVID-19 in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
And if you’re not protected from COVID-19, you could potentially catch the virus, Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told CNN Wednesday.
Fortunately, available vaccines appear to offer a strong defense against the delta mutant, especially when it comes to severe disease and mortality, Frieden said.
“We are at war with this virus that has already killed more than 610,000 Americans, and we now have the tools with vaccines and masks to stop more death, suffering and destruction,” CNN’s medical analyst Lena Win said Wednesday.
The US Food and Drug Administration could develop a strategy for booster doses of the vaccine next month
Meanwhile, as more questions emerge about whether fully vaccinated Americans will need boosters, a Biden administration official told CNN that internal discussions at the FDA have centered around an early September timeline for developing a strategy.
This strategy will be applied to all vaccinated persons.
The official said a decision on those who are immunocompromised and at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 is expected soon.
Earlier this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci noted that people with weakened immune systems may need extra protection after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and there is an effort to make booster vaccines available to these people “very soon.”
“There are individuals who are immunocompromised, for example, transplant patients, patients who are receiving chemotherapy for cancer, patients who are on an immunosuppressive regimen to treat autoimmune diseases,” Fauci said during a virtual event hosted by Virginia Governor Ralph Northham on Tuesday. Those individuals we know almost always don’t have an adequate response, so the need to give them an extra boost is much more pronounced than in the general population.”
The CDC’s vaccine advisors met to discuss whether immunocompromised people might need additional protection from the booster vaccine but did not make a recommendation or vote on the guidance.
On Wednesday, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said a federal government recommendation for vaccine boosters would come “if and when” there is evidence that higher infections are caused by lower vaccine immunity.
“I understand that individual clinicians and their patients may make a decision … about … getting an additional dose and that may be the same but formally, we can’t make that recommendation yet until we feel the data are clear and suggest that booster doses are required,” Murthy added.