COVID-19 Round-Up: US Experiencing a “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated,” Says CDC Director; and More

Here are some of the latest headlines as it pertains to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

CDC Director: “A Pandemic of the Unvaccinated”

A lack of vaccinated people in certain geographies is leading to a surge in COVID-19 cases; catalyzed in large part to the quickly-spreading Delta variant. “This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” US CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said during a White House Covid-19 Response Team briefing. “We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk, and communities that are fully vaccinated are generally faring well,” she said. “In the last week, 10% of counties have moved into high transmission risk,” Walensky said, “and 7% of counties have moved into substantial risk.” “Those counties most frequently correspond to counties with low vaccination rates,” the CDC director added.

Nearly All US COVID Deaths Among the Unvaccinated

A report from the Associated Press finds that almost all of COVID-19 deaths in the US are among people who were unvaccinated. The Press analyzed government data from May, which shows that “breakthrough” infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 of more 107,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations, or about 1.1%. All the more reason why everybody needs to get a shot.

FDA Grants Priority Review to Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine

The US Food and Drug Administration has granted priority review to the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the companies announced. According to the FDA’s website, priority review “will direct overall attention and resources to the evaluation of applications for drugs that, if approved, would be significant improvements in the safety or effectiveness of the treatment, diagnosis, or prevention of serious conditions when compared to standard applications.”

COVID Still an International Health Emergency, Says WHO

The director general of the World Health Organization said that the COVID-19 pandemic is still a public health emergency. “The Committee unanimously agreed that the COVID-19 pandemic still constitutes an extraordinary event that continues to adversely affect the health of populations around the world, poses a risk of international spread and interference with international traffic, and requires a coordinated international response. As such, the Committee concurred that the COVID-19 pandemic remains a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) and offered the following advice to the Director-General,” the WHO statement said, according to a CNN report.