“We cannot let that happen in the United States,” Fauci said, calling the UK’s experience “such powerful argument” to get vaccinated.
The UK announced Monday that the easing of coronavirus restrictions would be delayed another four weeks, until July 19, following a rise in cases and, in particular, the growing spread of the Delta variant.
Delta variant in the United States
The may not seem like a lot, but the speed with which it’s spreading is a concern.
“It doubles every seven to 10 days, which means when it gets to three weeks from now, this variant will be dominant,” Topol said. “That means we have two to three weeks to just go flat out with vaccination to stop this trend.”
Topol said that the US was able to “ante up” and go “full tilt on vaccination” when the variant arrived in the United States.
With the Delta variant, Topol isn’t as optimistic.
“This is the most troubling variant by far, because it’s another 60% more contagious than the Alpha, so it’s a super spreader strain,” Topol said. But the vaccination rate is stalling.
In Mississippi, nearly 29% of population is fully vaccinated. In Alabama it’s less than 31%. In Arkansas, less than 33%. In Louisiana, Georgia, and Wyoming it’s less than 34%, according to CDC data.
Vaccines and the Delta variant
Dr. Peter Hotez, director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, said on CNN’s New Day Tuesday that he is “extremely worried” about the Delta variant, although two doses of Pfizer or Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccines look like they function “really well” to protect against it.
Now is “crunch time,” Hotez said, looking back to the surge of coronavirus cases across the South last year, when a “horrible” wave of cases emerged in July and August.
“I have to believe this, with this new Delta variant, the same thing is going to happen again with anyone who’s either unvaccinated or only a single dose of vaccine,” he said. “And so this is the time for everyone to get vaccinated, because even if you want to get yourself vaccinated tomorrow or your adolescent child tomorrow, it’s still going to take five to six weeks to get both of those doses of vaccine and then another week after that.”
CNN’s Naomi Thomas contributed to this report.