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Experts Are Predicting the U.S. Could See Another 100K COVID Deaths By Christmas. Here’s How to Avoid That.

With nearly 100,000 Americans hospitalized with Covid-19 and infections surging among the unvaccinated population, it’s possible another 100,000 people could die from the virus by December, according to a recent University of Washington model. It’s the first time that level has been reached since January 2021 as medical workers say they’re once again struggling to treat waves of patients.

The latest figure, amid a summer surge in Covid-19 cases driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant, is also more than double what it was on the same day last year when vaccines were not available as they are now. Hospitals and researchers have been saying the vast majority of this year’s hospitalized patients are unvaccinated. The availability of vaccines makes the current hospitalization surge tragic.

Brandon Rivera, a Los Angeles County emergency medical technician, gives a second does of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to Aaron Delgado, 16, at a pop up vaccine clinic in the Arleta neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, August 23, 2021. – The US Food and Drug Administration on August 23, fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid shot, triggering a new wave of vaccine mandates as the Delta variant batters the country.
Around 52 percent of the American population is fully vaccinated, but health authorities have hit a wall of vaccine hesitant people, impeding the national campaign. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

“What is going on now is both entirely predictable, but entirely preventable,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday, saying the outcome of the model is possible. “We know we have the wherewithal with vaccines to turn this around.”

On Monday, data presented by a vaccine adviser from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed a hospitalization rate 16 times greater in the unvaccinated population than in those vaccinated. “This to me seems to be a strong indication that the current epidemiologic curve that we’re seeing is really a reflection of a failure to vaccinate, not vaccine failure,” Dr. Matthew F. Daley said at the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (AICP) meeting.

 

With a daily average of 155,000 newly reported infections, many hospitals are buckling under the weight of another surge. Across the South last week, many hospitals were reporting oxygen shortages amid a rise in hospitalizations from the virus. Around 80 million eligible Americans are still not vaccinated — the very group that could help turn the pandemic around, Dr. Fauci said.

“We could do it efficiently and quickly if we just get those people vaccinated. That’s why it’s so important now, in this crisis that we’re in that people put aside any ideologic, political, or other differences, and just get vaccinated,” he said.

 



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