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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.

Go deeper

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February — FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated".
  2. Vaccines: Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: Beijing Olympic Committee lowers COVID testing threshold ahead of Games — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker
Oct 7, 2021 - Health

Pfizer asks FDA to authorize COVID-19 vaccine for younger children

Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech on Thursday said they submitted an official application asking the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for their coronavirus vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11.

Why it matters: If approved, it would become the first coronavirus vaccine for younger children. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has full FDA approval for people 16 and older and has an EUA for those between 12 and 15.

Public motivation for flu shot remains stale

Expand chart
Data: National Foundation for Infectious Diseases; Chart: Axios Visuals

A "potentially severe" flu season could be on the way the CDC warned this week, as public health officials once again urge the public to get its flu shot.

Why it matters: Americans may now have reduced immunity against the flu after cases reached an all-time low last year.