According to government statistics collected by the Associated Press, the majority of COVID-19-related deaths in the United States are now being recorded as persons who haven’t been vaccinated against the virus.
On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that fully vaccinated adults accounted for only around .8% of the virus’s deaths last month or about 150 out of 18,000 overall.
Similarly, fully vaccinated persons made up only about.1% of the 853,000 COVID-19-related hospitalizations in the United States.
The Associated Press observed that the CDC had not projected hospitalization and death percentages in fully vaccinated people from May data, which they obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, citing “limitations in the data.”
The news arrives as the extremely contagious Delta strain spreads across the country. As of Wednesday, incidences of the variety had doubled in the previous week, rising to 20.6 percent, and federal health officials expect it will overtake the prevalent strain in the coming weeks.
The Delta variation, first discovered in India, has spread quicker than other strains and resulted in more hospitalizations, even though it does not appear more dangerous. In addition, testing suggests that Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines are approximately 100 percent effective against the Delta strain, preventing infection in 94 percent of completely vaccinated people.
On Tuesday, during a White House briefing, Dr. Fauci said, “The Delta variant is currently the greatest threat in the U.S. to our attempt to eliminate COVID-19.”
Fauci told Savannah Guthrie Wednesday morning on the Today show, “The news that’s so important is that the vaccines that we have now, that we’ve done so well in distributing … over 65% of the adult population have received at least one dose. We’re doing well with a vaccine that does quite well against this problematic variant.”
Despite the vaccinations’ efficacy and safety being repeatedly affirmed by scientists and health groups, many people, including those in the healthcare industry, still refuse to get them.
178 Houston Methodist Hospital employees were suspended without pay earlier this month for failing to comply with the hospital’s requirement that all personnel is completely vaccinated against COVID-19. Workers had until June 7 to comply with the regulation, which was announced in April.
The Houston Methodist Hospital system representative told NPR that 153 workers were either terminated or stepped down after the two-week suspension period ended on Tuesday. (A hospital spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.)
According to the CDC, 53.7 percent of Americans, or 53.7 percent of the population, have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination, and 45.6 percent are fully vaccinated as of Friday morning. 62.8 percent of vaccine-eligible Americans (those aged 12 and older) have received at least one dose, while 53.3 percent have been fully immunized.