CDC director says coronavirus outbreak ‘becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated’

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Posted at 12:20 PM, Jul 16, 2021

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the coronavirus outbreak "is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

During a White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing on Friday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the CDC reported more than 33,000 new cases in the U.S. on Thursday and the nation’s 7-day average is about 26,300 cases per day, an increase of nearly 70% from the prior 7-day average.

She said the 7-day average of hospital admissions is about 2,790, an increase of about 36% from the prior 7-day period.

“And, after weeks of declines, 7-day average daily deaths have increased by about 26% to 211 per day,” said Walensky.

Walensky provided some perspective about those numbers and how we should be thinking about where we are in this “critical point” in the pandemic.

“There is a clear message that is coming through, this is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” said Walensky. “We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk. And communities that are fully vaccinated are generally faring well.”

The CDC director added later that “over 97% of people who are entering the hospital right now are unvaccinated.”

Walensky said the good news is that if you’re fully vaccinated, you’re protected against severe COVID-19, hospitalization and death, and are even protected against the known variants, including the delta variant circulating in the U.S.

“If you are not vaccinated, you remain at risk and our biggest concern is that we are going to continue to see preventable cases, hospitalizations, and sadly deaths among the unvaccinated,” she warned.

Walensky also highlighted the importance of getting fully vaccinated because the two-shot vaccines created by Pfizer and Moderna are most effective when both doses are administered.

Watch the COVID-19 response team briefing below: