US CDC labels highly transmissible delta strain a COVID-19 'variant of concern'
What to know about the Delta variant first detected in India
The Delta variant, which was first detected in India, has prompted recent calls from President Joe Biden and Anthony Fauci for more Americans to get vaccinated. Your browser does not support this video MORE: This is why vaccine lottery prizes may work for some, according to psychology experts While prevalence of the variant, also known as B.1.617.2, is still low in the U.S., its prevalence has doubled since last week, rising from 3% to 6%, according to a report from HHS.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is labeling the highly transmissible delta strain of the coronavirus a "variant of concern" amid growing concerns about the strain fueling outbreaks among unvaccinated people in the United States.
"Today the CDC announces the Delta variant as a variant of concern," tweeted White House spokesman Kevin Munoz. "The stakes are high for those who are unvaccinated but the vaccines work."
The delta variant, first identified in India, is believed to be about 60 percent more transmissible than a previous variant known as alpha, according to British researcher Neil Ferguson. The delta variant has become dominant in the United Kingdom.
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LONDON (AP) — The British government fended off calls Tuesday to provide more financial support to businesses and workers who will suffer from its decision to delay the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions in England by four weeks to July 19. Although many restrictions have been eased in recent weeks, allowing large parts of the U.K. economy to reopen, a number of businesses, particularly in the hospitality and entertainment sectors, have remained shuttered because it was not financially viable. © Provided by Associated Press People sit at outdoor tables at a restaurant in Soho, in London, Monday, June 14, 2021.
Health experts also say the delta variant could cause more severe disease and an increased risk of hospitalization.
"This change is based on mounting evidence that the Delta variant spreads more easily and causes more severe cases when compared to other variants, including B.1.1.7 (Alpha)," a CDC spokesperson said. "Two doses of the mRNA vaccine are effective against this variant and other variants currently circulating in the United States."
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, both mRNA vaccines, are about 88 percent effective against the delta variant after two shots.
Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in an interview with CBS News on Sunday that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine "also appear[s] to be effective" against the delta variant, though perhaps at a level closer to 60 percent.
Delta variant: How worried should you be?
The Covid news is contradictory. The country is more open every day and getting back to normal. People who want a vaccine should already have it. Sports stadiums are packed. Airlines are full. Restaurants are booked. © Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg/Getty Images People gather at Washington Square Park in New York, U.S., on Saturday, May 22, 2021. But as the US passes 600,000 confirmed Covid deaths, there are also warnings about the rise of a new Covid strain, the Delta variant, taking over in the US. It's hard to understand how worried to be.
Much of the vaccine research has focused on the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which make up the large bulk of vaccinations in the U.S.
The CDC's move was.
Experts say the rise of the delta variant further underscores the importance of vaccinating more Americans, to stem any potential COVID-19 spikes in the U.S.
It is also important that people get both shots of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, experts say, since one shot is much less effective against the delta variant.
The concern is that the more transmissible delta variant could fuel spikes in areas of the U.S. with lower vaccination rates.
Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said the delta variant comprised about 6 percent of U.S. cases last week.
Gottlieb on Sunday said the delta variant is doubling in prevalence in the U.S. every two weeks.
"I think in parts of the country where you have less vaccination, particularly in parts of the South, where you have some cities where vaccination rates are low, there's a risk that you could see outbreaks with this new variant," Gottlieb told CBS News.
Updated at 1:50 p.m.
How Bad Could the Delta Variant Get in the U.S.? .
It is set to become the dominant COVID strain in a matter of weeks.Ben: The Delta variant of COVID-19 that swamped India is picking up steam in the U.S., as predicted: It accounts for about one in five cases now, could be the dominant strain in a matter of two or three weeks. And experts have said that it is significantly more transmissible than previous variants.