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Concerns grow as delta variant of coronavirus infects vaccinated people

Virus Outbreak US Surge
Posted at 7:58 PM, Jul 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-05 19:58:17-04

Over the past week, new COVID-19 cases are up more than 9% across the country, as vaccine hesitancy remains high, mask mandates ease and the delta variant spreads.

"The best defense against these variants is to get vaccinated," President Joe Biden said.

The country fell just short of its goal to get 70% of eligible adults vaccinated by this holiday weekend, reaching about 67%.

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows an uphill battle ahead; 74% of unvaccinated Americans say they probably or definitely will not get a vaccine.

"The delta variant is super infectious, and that is the problem," Dr. Sarah Pitt, a virologist at the University of Brighton said.

Israeli media are reporting a concerning drop in efficacy for the widely-used Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

While it's still more than 90% effective at preventing hospitalizations, it appears more vaccinated people are getting COVID-19, likely because of the variant.

More than half of Israel’s new cases are reportedly in people who are fully vaccinated.

"The vaccine can't work any harder than it already is, which means we're going to have to help it along by being a little bit more careful, a little bit more cautious ourselves," Pitt said.

Israel isn't alone. Deaths are surging in Russia for a fifth day in a row.

All troubling warning signs, especially in states where vaccination rates are lowest. 

"We're going to double down on our efforts to vaccinate millions of more Americans across July and August," Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator said.

"Each individual country, each individual person has to do their bit for the sake of all the other countries and all the other people. It's a global effort," Pitts said.

This story originally reported by Meg Hilling on Newsy.com