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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

Oct 14, 2021 - Health

FDA panel unanimously endorses Moderna boosters for certain populations

A pharmacist prepares to give a COVID-19 booster vaccination. Photo: Karwai Tang/Getty Images

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Thursday endorsed boosters for Moderna recipients who are at high risk of severe COVID-19, occupational exposure to COVID-19 or are 65 years and older.

Why it matters: The unanimous decision mirrors the FDA conditions for those who qualify for a Pfizer booster.

Oct 14, 2021 - Sports

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says he requires all employees to be vaccinated

Photo: Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in a podcast Wednesday that he requires all of his employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Driving the news: Cuban's comments come the same week Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Monday that prohibits COVID-19 vaccine mandates by any "entity," including employers.

Oct 14, 2021 - Health

FDA will review Merck COVID-19 pill

The Merck logo. Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on Thursday that it will meet on Nov. 30th to review Merck's experimental oral antiviral COVID-19 treatment

Why it matters: An oral antiviral drug designed to prevent or treat COVID-19 could be a key tool to combat the pandemic. Merck ended its vaccine development in January.