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People wearing masks outside of a coronavirus vaccine site in Los Angeles on July 6. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Image

The Delta variant is now the dominant version of COVID-19 in the United States, according to new estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: The Delta variant, first detected in India, is more transmissible than other versions and is rapidly spreading in multiple countries around the world.

Of note: All coronavirus vaccines used in the U.S. protect against the Delta variant.

By the numbers: The Delta variant surpassed the Alpha variant and accounted for 51.7% of new COVID cases in the U.S. over the two weeks ending July 3.

  • The variant, also known as B.1.617.2, now accounts for roughly 80% of new coronavirus cases in Missouri.
  • Roughly 67% of U.S. adults have had at least one shot, and 58% are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

The big picture: The World Health Organization has said the Delta variant is anticipated to become the dominant variant globally.

  • The rise of the variant has prompted local governments in the U.S. and national governments in other countries to reimplement mask mandates, Axios' Marisa Fernandez reports.

Go deeper: States most vulnerable to COVID are also some of the least vaccinated

Go deeper

Sep 20, 2021 - Health

Biden administration to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated international travelers

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced on Monday that the Biden administration will allow fully vaccinated travelers from around the world to enter the U.S. beginning in November.

Why it matters: The announcement comes as President Biden seeks commitments from countries to donate vaccines to the global COVAX initiative. He is expected to host a COVID summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week, and many of the countries attending have expressed frustration with the travel ban.

21 hours ago - World

Biden to push vaccine-sharing at UN, but boosters at home

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

President Biden will convene world leaders on Wednesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to push them to do more to end the pandemic — though he's also facing criticism for prioritizing boosters at home.

Why it matters: There is still no functional plan in place to vaccinate the world, and past summits of this sort have flopped. The White House hopes that this virtual gathering will produce ambitious promises, accountability measures to track progress, and ultimately help achieve a 70% global vaccination rate this time next year.

21 hours ago - Health

U.S. COVID death toll surpasses 1918 flu fatalities

White flags are seen on the National Mall on Sept. 18, honoring Americans who have lost their lives to COVID-19 epidemic. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

The recorded number COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. has now surpassed the known number of fatalities from the 1918 flu pandemic.

The big picture: The U.S. has now marked more than 676,000 deaths from the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the 1918 pandemic killed about about 675,000 people.