While the vaccination effort has been a success, for the most part, cases are beginning to surge again in Florida.
This week the Florida Department of Health on Friday announced 23,747 new resident cases of COVID-19 and 172 deaths since July 2. That's higher than the 15,684 cases reported the previous week.
This is also more than double the number of cases that were reported in May and June. This could be due to the Delta variant of the virus which wreaked havoc in India and is now spreading across the globe. It's likely to become the dominant strain in America and the world in a matter of months.
While 60% of Floridians have been vaccinated, this is still below the percentage necessary to break transmission and induce herd immunity. A percentage of 80% or above would be needed to provide widespread cover against Covid and prevent transmission.
A little over 11 million people aged 12 or over have had at least one dose of the vaccine in Florida. This represents 58% of the population, a long way short of the figure needed to protect the whole state.
Forbes reported earlier in the week that Florida is one of the states with the highest Covid-19 cases per capita in the country. As well as cases, hospitalizations are also increasing, sparking a fear there could be a new wave of the virus putting medical staff under more pressure.
President Joe Biden was adamant the effort to vaccinate more people needed to continue to ensure the safety of all in wider society:
“We need to go to community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and often times door-to-door, literally knocking on doors.”
The Delta variant has the Federal government worried and is what is sparking the renewed push to increase vaccination.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky was also adamant vaccination needed to continue at pace:
“Widespread vaccination is what will truly turn the corner on this pandemic. Please know if you are not vaccinated, you remain susceptible, especially from the transmissible Delta variant, and are particularly at risk for severe illness and death.”
The Delta variant is thought to be 40 to 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant which was first identified in the United Kingdom. Multiple studies have shown vaccines are effective against the Delta variant and help to prevent hospitalization.
With cases raising in Florida, the risk to those who aren't vaccinated is increasing. If you're unsure about vaccination or haven't yet booked one, it might be time to think again. Vaccines are safe and proven to protect against the virus.
Only when a large proportion of society is protected against Covis will the spectre of the virus subside. Please get vaccinated today and help out your fellow Floridians!
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