Fauci: Divergent vaccination rates could create "two Americas"
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.