The majority of U.S. states are seeing a spike in COVID-19 infections as variants of the virus continue to spread, driving up case numbers in areas with low vaccination rates.
A total of 43 states and the District of Columbia have documented an increase in average daily cases over the past two weeks, according to a DailyMail.com analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
Of those states, at least 15, most of them in the South, have seen their numbers of infections at least double across a 14-day period.
Even states with high vaccination rates, such as California, Illinois, New York and Vermont are seeing cases rise.
The U.S. is now recording an average of 23,000 COVID-19 cases per day, which is the highest figure seen since late May, the analysis found.
Health experts warn that the worrying increase in cases is linked to the Indian ‘Delta’ variant, which accounts for as many 97 percent of infections in some states.
It comes as President Joe Biden’s administration is reportedly out of ideas on how to raise the stagnate Covid vaccination rate – with only 68 percent of adults vaccinated – and is moving ahead with how to manage the pandemic.
A total of 43 states and the District of Columbia are seeing their numbers of COVID-19 infections increase, according to data from John Hopkins University
The U.S. is now recording an average of 23,000 COVID-19 cases per day, which is the highest figure seen since late May
In many states cases have doubles such as Louisiana, where just 35.8% are fully vaccinated. Cases have increased by 115% from a seven-day rolling average of 389 per day on June 28 to 840 per day on July 12
In Mississippi, one of the state’s with the lowest infection rates, COVID-19 infections have spiked by 57 percent from 192 cases recorded on June 28 to an average of 303 per day on July 12.
Additionally, the number of residents hospitalized with COVID-19 has increased 65percent between July 4 and Sunday, July 11, according to state data.
What’s more, only 33.4 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, which is the second lowest rate in the country, CDC data show.
‘We have a lot more vulnerability than we should,’ said Mississippi State Health Officer Dr Thomas Dobbs during a livecast of the Mississippi State Medical Association on Friday, according to Mississippi Free Press.
‘We are way undervaccinated as a state. We have a vast pool of unimmunized people who are a perfect breeding ground for Delta variant, and it’s gonna kill folks. And it’s already killing folks.’
Other Southern states including Arkansas, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina have seen their cases more than double across the last two weeks.
In Louisiana, cases have increased by 115 percent from a seven-day rolling average of 389 per day on June 28 to 840 per day on July 12, according to Johns Hopkins data.
Just 35.8 percent of the state is fully vaccinated.
‘I do think we’re in it. We are seeing what is likely the beginning of increases,’ Dr Joe Kanter, Louisiana state health officer, told The Advocate.
Across the country, the spike will be bigger in the areas that have lower vaccination rates, which unfortunately is us and a number of our neighboring states. There is just no question about that.’
Even states with high vaccination rates are seeing infections soar.
On July 12, Los Angeles County recorded more than 1,000 new cases for four days in a row for the first time since March.
The populous Californian county recorded an average of 851 cases per day on Monday, a staggering 228 percent increase from the average two weeks previously.
‘The majority of states have large swaths of population that are still not protected,’ Dr Amber D’Souza, a professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health told The Hill.
D’Souza said that the new data show that outbreaks are mostly hitting areas with lower vaccination rates and said they expect a continuing surge in infections until vaccination numbers rise.
It comes after President Biden’s administration is out of ideas on how to raise the stagnate COVID vaccination rate, according to a report on Monday.
They reportedly plan to move ahead with how to manage the pandemic with only 68 per cent of adults vaccinated amid vaccination hesitancy.
Even states with high vaccination rates are seeing infections soar, such as California, with cases in Los Angels County recordeding more than 1,000 new cases for four days in a row. Pictured: S woman gets a COVID-19 vaccine in Los Angeles, Ju;y 9
Health experts blame the spread of the Indian ‘Delta’ variant, which makes up more than half of all new infections in the country and up to 97% in some states
Resistance to getting a shot in the arm, led by some Republicans, has caused the vaccination rate to flatline despite an all-out effort by the White House to raise it.
Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff have been on a nationwide tour to urge vaccinations.
Officials are running out of ideas for jumpstarting the pace of coronavirus vaccinations, Politico reported.
‘We are under no illusions that each person in this stage will take longer to reach,’ a senior administration official said. ‘The first 180 million were much easier than the next 5 million.’
White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the administration’s outreach program on vaccinations in her press briefing on Monday.
‘We want to make sure we are lifting up some of the innovative innovative ways that Americans across the country are meeting their communities where they are with the vaccine,’ she said.
‘We all have a duty to continue making the cases of vaccine to our friends and family. Companies, media and individuals all can play a special role as trusted messengers to an unvaccinated person by sharing the fact that the vaccines are safe, effective, accessible and free. Across the country, we’re seeing Americans step up,’ she added.
In the US, 59 percent of adults are fully vaccinated while 68 percent have at least one shot, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
It comes as President Joe Biden’s administration is allegedly ‘out of ideas’ of how to raise the vaccination rate, which has stalled at 68% of adults with at least one dose
For the total population, 184 million have at least one shot while 159 million are fully vaccinated. Less than half of all Americans – 48 percent – are fully vaccinated.
‘Our focus now is on doubling down on our efforts as we continue to vaccinate millions of people across the summer months,’ Psaki said last Tuesday.
‘It is ultimately up to individuals to decide if they are going to get vaccinated,’ she added. ‘But, no, these programs will continue, and we’re going to continue to press forward on approaches that we have seen work in the past.’
Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Monday that a large segment of the population is now left vulnerable to infection from the Delta variant.
‘Given the number of people in the country who are not vaccinated, that really is the concern because the vaccines we have available…do very well against the Delta variant, particularly protecting against severe disease leading to hospitalization,’ he told CBS’ This Morning.
‘We’re concerned about those regions of the country, those states, those areas, those cities in which the level of vaccination is really quite low, hovering around 30 percent or so,’ he said.
According to CDC data updated last week, the Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, makes up 51.7 percent of all new infections.
The Delta variant has been detected in all 50 states and accounts for more than 80 percent of new infections in Midwestern states such as Iowa, Kansas and Missouri, where vaccination rates are lagging.