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Are the majority of covid-19 hospitalizations in the US from non-vaccinated people?

The surge in infections from the Delta variant is driving up hospitalizations nationwide especially in states with low vaccination rates.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, responds to questions by Senator Rand Paul.
J. Scott ApplewhiteAFP

The Delta variant, first located in India, is the fastest growing variant in the US. It is estimated to be 125% more infectious than the original covid-19 variant and is becoming the dominant strain not just in the US but worldwide. As countries have been trying to navigate their way out of the pandemic, the emergence of a new and severe strain could throw people's lives and livelihoods back into the lurch.

The hope with the vaccine rollout, aside from eliminating the virus, is the seriousness of the illness is diminished. Vaccination is proven to reduce the hospitalization rate greatly and a huge majority of those in hospital with covid-19 are unvaccinated. For example, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective against hospitalization after 2 doses. Dr Fauci has publicly declared that all three vaccines in circulation work aginst the Delta variant.

More Delta variant coverage:

How prevalent is the Delta variant in the US?

As of CDC data from July 17, the Delta variant makes up 83.2% of all cases in the US. Three weeks ago it was just over 50% and by today it could be the only major variant in circulation.

With only 48.8% of the US population fully vaccinated there is still a high risk of many people needing hospital care for covid-19. As the nation begins the path towards winter, when hospitals are traditionally at their busiest anyway, there is a risk of hospitals being unable to cope with the amounts of patients.

The increased infectiousness has driven new cases up to 64,317 a day and is mostly affecting states with low vaccination rates. Florida accounts for nearly a quarter of these with 14,258 new cases on Saturday alone. These states are much more at risk because the severity of the illness will be much greater than a state with high vaccination levels.

How many people are in hospital with covid-19?

The seven-day average for hospital admission s is 3,521, a 32.2% increase on the week of July 6 - July 12. July 20 saw nearly 5,000 people admitted to hospital with covid-19 problems. While not at the height of the nearly 15,000 of January, the rise is a worrying sign for a nation that is beginning to end extra support for the unemployed and businesses.

While a confinement is almost out of the question, if cases and hospitalizations continue to rise then further restrictions can be expected less the population be unduly exposed to the virus. These restrictions will most likely be decided on a state-by-state basis.

What percentage of these people are unvaccinated?

Unvaccinated Americans account for 97 percent of these hospitalizations. While vaccines don't give you immunity, in the sense that you are invulnerable to the virus and its effects, the chances of developing serious symptoms if covid-19 is caught are greatly reduced.