Number of people getting vaccinated rises in areas hit hard by delta variant

Coronavirus

NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — While COVID-19 breakthrough cases are infecting fully-vaccinated Americans, more than 99% of deaths are still among the unvaccinated.

The rapid spread of the Delta variant is proving to be the last straw for many who are finally giving in and getting their shots.

Some local governments are calling for vaccine mandates. Among the most vocal, the Republican governor of Alabama.

“It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down,” said Gov. Kay Ivey.

Ivey has praised science and former President Donald Trump’s administration’s work on Operation Warp Speed. She’s also encouraging Americans to get the shot and says she hopes common sense prevails.

“Surely they don’t want to choose a self-inflicted horrible illness and possible death,” said Ivey.

However, blaming the unvaccinated is farther than the White House wants to go.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked Friday if the administration should be taking a sharper tone against unvaccinated people for putting vaccinated people at risk. Psaki said she doesn’t think the administration’s role is to place blame.

Instead, the administration says it’s sticking with science.

“Importantly, states with the highest cases are actually seeing their vaccination rates go up,” said Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 response coordinator. “It’s a very positive trend.”

Even so, a new poll shows many Americans don’t care about the evidence. Nationally, 45% of the unvaccinated still say they will not get the shot and just 3% said they definitely will.

Across the country, medical experts are now holding regular briefings on the COVID-19 numbers and the cold, hard facts.

“It is so much more infectious than the original Wuhan virus,” said Dr. Steve Stites, Chief Medical Officer at the University of Kansas Health System. “If you are around a group of people — and you’ve all been vaccinated — you’re probably fine. But if you’re around a lot of unvaccinated people, there is a good chance that you could still get the delta virus and you might transmit it.”

Just like the very first wave of COVID-19, the message is if you catch it, you run the risk of transmitting it to vulnerable populations like the elderly — with potentially deadly results.

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