“Southern states have a ‘real vulnerability’ to Delta Covid variant this summer, warns Dr. Peter Hotez
- Dr. Peter Hotez warned that Southern U.S. states could feel the impact of the highly transmissible Delta Covid variant as early as this summer, due in part to low vaccination rates.
- ‘Here in the South, particularly in Louisiana, Mississippi, we’re seeing really low vaccination rates. And less than 10% of adolescents are vaccinated in many of these southern states, so we have a real vulnerability here,’ Hotez said.
- Just around 30% of the population in many Southeastern states is fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
There are an alarming number of hospitals starting to fill up again not only in the Southern states but in other parts of the country as well.
“The number of people catching the virus has risen in more than half of the states over the past two weeks. And 18 states have greater numbers of new infections now compared with four weeks ago, including Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Missouri and Oklahoma, where new daily cases have doubled.
‘It’s an early trend,’ Nuzzo says. ‘Unfortunately looking at what’s happening in individual states, I do worry we will continue to see national numbers increase.’
The number of people getting hospitalized for COVID-19 has also started rising again in nine states, according to Johns Hopkins: Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin and Mississippi.
‘I expect that more states would join that list in a few weeks as they continue to see case increases,’ Nuzzo cautions.
For example, Newton County, Mo., has seen a 182% increase in new infections; Nacogdoches County, Texas, has seen a 632% increase. Ottawa County, Okla., has seen infections soar 828%.” (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of July 1-7, 2021)
As public health experts have warned for weeks, the Delta variant of COVID-19 is now the dominant strain circulating in Mississippi, causing a spike in cases and hospitalizations.
Delta is now also the dominant variant across the United States. Nationally, the average number of new cases has started to trend upwards due to localized Delta outbreaks in places, like Mississippi, that have low vaccination rates.
“State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs has repeatedly stressed that Mississippians have the choice of getting vaccinated or contracting COVID-19, and that in every scenario a vaccinated person is going to have a better outcome.”
“The Delta variant has considerably increased the already high risks posed by the virus to unvaccinated people.” “The Delta variant, first identified in India, is believed to be about 60 percent more contagious than the Alpha variant and up to twice as contagious as the original strain of COVID-19.”
“With over 2 million shots administered, only 31% of Mississippians have been fully vaccinated.”
People are simply declining to get their shots, and this is keeping Mississippi in last place.
DELTA VIRUS ALERT… JOIN THOSE VACCINATING NOW!
Pastor W.L. Hightower, who is the pastor of New Zion Baptist Church in Louisville, led his congregation in getting vaccinated to influence others in this African American Church to gain protection from this deadly new COVID strain.
W. L. Hightower, pastor of New Zion Baptist Church in Louisville, received a vaccine, “administered by Mississippi State Department of Health Pharmacist Kathryn Ward at New Hope Baptist Church in Jackson. Hightower was among a number of African American faith leaders from across the state to receive the COVID-19 vaccination Monday at New Hope Baptist Church in Jackson.” Hopefully those in their churches and communities will follow their example to reduce the threat of this new Delta Virus.
We urge all readers to follow the example of this Baptist minister and take time this week to join those getting vaccinated where you live to avoid dealing with this deadly new Delta Virus. Be sure to take someone from your church or neighborhood with you to get vaccinated too. With God helping us, there is no reason for young and old alike to put their lives and their health at risk.
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