As COVID-19 cases continue to climb across the country—with some states seeing vertical rises—public health experts are once again emphatically imploring Americans to get the highly effective, safe COVID-19 vaccines that are readily available.
Despite an oversupply of vaccine doses, only about 49 percent of the country is fully vaccinated overall—and many states and areas have lower vaccination coverage still. Meanwhile, the hyper-transmissible delta coronavirus variant continues to blaze through unvaccinated communities. It now accounts for 83 percent of sequenced cases nationwide.
While cases are rising overall, they’re growing fastest in places with low vaccination rates. Louisiana, for instance, only has about 36 percent of its population fully vaccinated, and it is seeing one of the steepest rises. Daily new case counts now rival those seen in the winter surge. But about one in every five new cases in the country is in Florida. The state’s top hot spot is the area around Jacksonville, which has the highest rates of infection in the state. That area includes Baker county, which has only 20 percent of its population vaccinated. Arkansas, Missouri, Nevada, and Mississippi are also seeing sharp rises—all with relatively low vaccination coverage.