The COVID-19 pandemic has been tamped down in America thanks to vaccinations—but in states where not enough people have been vaccinated, it can still be extremely dangerous. In fact, there could be another surge, because a new variant, dubbed Delta, and originating from India, is more transmissible and soon to be the most dominant. "I think in parts of the country where you have less vaccination—particularly in parts of the South, where you have some cities where vaccination rates are low—there's a risk that you could see outbreaks with this new variant," former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on Face the Nation yesterday. Read on to see which states may be responsible for the next outbreak, because less than half the adults living there have been vaccinated—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.
Mississippi Ranks Last in the Nation
"The push to get more people vaccinated in Mississippi continues. Right now, the state is ranked last in the nation for its vaccination rate, and there are concerns about the state's high supply and low demand," reports the local Fox 13. "We are seeing some complacency, some folks think it's over, its good the cases are low, but we have some challenges, and we will continue to see deaths," said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. Says Fox: "Dr. Dobbs said more people need to get vaccinated in the state."
Alabama Lags Right Behind Mississippi
"Alabama continues to lag behind most of the country in COVID-19 vaccination coverage as public health officials struggle to break through strong vaccine hesitancy across the state," reports the Montgomery Advertiser. "In a 'race to the bottom,' as one official called it, Alabama outranks only Mississippi in vaccination rates. Just over 34% of eligible Alabamians have received at least one vaccine dose, with 29.4% fully vaccinated, according to Mayo Clinic calculations." "Vaccine hesitancy is very serious right now. We really have reached a point where folks are just trickling in for vaccines," said Suzanne Judd, an epidemiologist in UAB's School of Public Health.
Louisiana May See a Rise in Deaths
"Louisiana saw the lowest number of people die from COVID-19 in April and May than any other months since the disease began tearing through the state, but despite the recent lull in severe cases, health experts fear low vaccination rates make the state vulnerable to yet another spike in cases," reports the Advocate. "The state has hit a wall with getting shots into arms, and the number of people being hospitalized for COVID-19 has remained fairly flat — albeit historically low — for the past several weeks, according to state Department of Health figures. Meanwhile, more infectious variants of the virus are spreading in parts of the country and appear to also affect the unvaccinated far more severely than the initial version of the virus that gripped the state last year."
Wyoming Has Had Infection Rates Rise
"Just eight states — Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Wyoming — have seen their seven-day rolling averages for infection rates rise from two weeks earlier, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. All of them except Hawaii have recorded vaccination rates that are lower than the US average of 43% fully vaccinated, according to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," reports USA Today.
What to Do If You Live in One of These States, or are Unvaccinated
Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP, wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.