The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday that 50% of the U.S. population, including more than 60% of adults, is now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus while COVID-19 cases rise rapidly in Florida and Texas.
The agency said 165.9 million U.S. residents have received two shots while 193.7 million, or 58.4% have received at least one shot. For adults, those 18 and over, 157.3 million, or 60.9% are now vaccinated and 182.3 million, or 70.6% have received at least one dose.
New cases have jumped significantly in Florida. According to the state’s health department, Florida recorded 134,505 cases for the week ending July 30th after confirming 11,437 for the last week of May, a more-than-tenfold increase. The new case positivity rate leaped from 3.6% during the last week of May to 18.9% during the last week of July. Despite the rising numbers, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his administration worked to undermine mask mandates set to local school districts by allowing parents to “opt-out” of such rules to protect students not wearing masks from “COVID-19 harassment.”
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) August 7, 2021
In Texas, the health department on Saturday reported 16,899 new confirmed cases with another 3,082 probable cases, a new high since its last spike in February.
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) August 6, 2021
Health officials have said that the Delta variant, which accounted for more than 80 percent of new cases in early July, is far more contagious than the original strain. While data shows that infections and illness among vaccinated people are rare, the variant’s spread caused the CDC to revise its mask guidance on July 27th, recommending that vaccinated people wear masks in areas with high Covid transmission.
The case surge, most acute in states with low vaccination rates, prompted President Joe Biden to make a renewed push for vaccinations, including new requirements for federal workers to either get the shots or wear masks.
% of ALL staffed adult ICU beds filled with COVID patients, by state:
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) August 6, 2021
Vaccination rates are still low in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana, where less than 40 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. So far, northeastern states such as Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maine are leading the country, with more than 60 percent of their populations fully vaccinated.