Currently, 10% of Covid-19 infections in the U.S. can be attributed to the Delta variant, but that proportion doubles every two weeks, said Scott Gottlieb, a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner.
That may not mean a sharp rise in infections across the country that has administered more than 309 million doses of Covid-19, but certain regions are at risk, he said.
“I think in parts of the country where you have fewer vaccinations – especially in parts of the south, where you have some cities where the vaccination rate is low – there is a risk that you could see outbreaks of this new variant,” Gottlieb said.
Nationally, 64.4% of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, but some states have significantly lower rates. Less than half of adults living in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Wyoming received at least one dose of Covid-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For countries lagging behind in vaccination, the Delta variant could pose a serious risk because experts believe the Delta variant is significantly more portable than its predecessors, Gottlieb said.