Coronavirus delta variant fuels concern

Coronavirus concept
Coronavirus concept
Creative Neko via Shutterstock

The White House on Tuesday said the country won’t meet President Joe Biden’s goal of vaccinating 70 percent of all American adults against COVID-19 by Independence Day.

Meanwhile, the delta variant of the coronavirus, first identified in India, has grown to account for more than 20 percent of all U.S. infections in the past two weeks and up to half of new cases in some regions. But so far existing COVID-19 vaccines have proven highly effective at preventing serious illness from the delta variant. 

What’s next? The overwhelming majority of those at greatest risk from COVID-19 have received a vaccine: The number of fully vaccinated adults older than 65 is climbing toward 90 percent.

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The White House is now encouraging young people to get shots, particularly those ages 18-26. Health officials have attributed spikes in new infections in some rural parts of Missouri to the spread of the delta variant among younger, unvaccinated people.

Nationally, the average daily number of new infections is down to about 11,000, and fewer than 300 people are dying of the virus a day.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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