Jun 30, 2021 - Health

Fauci: Divergent vaccination rates could create "two Americas"

Anthony Fauci

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Tuesday that contrasting vaccination rates in various parts of the countries could lead to "two Americas."

Why it matters: As of mid-June, about 15 states had inoculated 70% or more of their adult populations with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But some states, particularly in the South, are lagging.

The big picture: The low vaccination rates across parts of the U.S. will make these communities particularly vulnerable to the highly transmissible Delta variant of the virus, Fauci said.

  • "When you have such a low level of vaccination superimposed upon a variant that has a high degree of efficiency of spread, what you are going to see among under-vaccinated regions — be they states, cities or counties — you're going to see these individual types of blips," he said.
  • "It's almost like it's going to be two Americas," Fauci added.
  • "You're going to have areas where the vaccine rate is high, where there's more than 70% of the population has received at least one dose. When you compare that with areas where you may have 35% of the people vaccinated, you clearly have a high risk of seeing these spikes in those selected areas," the infectious disease expert explained.

These spikes could be "entirely avoidable" if more people get vaccinated, Fauci noted.

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