Dr. Kavita Patel warned that the longer people wait to get vaccinated, “the more it poses a risk down the line for even those of us who are vaccinated.”
“It’s not just that vaccinations work, it’s that we have to vaccinate the whole world, and the more people that are unvaccinated or remain unvaccinated, the virus replicates. As it replicates, it mutates, and the more efficient it gets with mutations, that’s where you get variants like delta,” said Patel, a former Obama administration policy aide.
The delta variant is the dominant Covid-19 strain in the United States and accounts for more than half of all new cases nationwide, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The World Health Organization described the delta variant as the “fastest and fittest” variant yet, and data shows it could be up to 60% more contagious than the original variant, alpha.
“Fast forward six months, and we have, unfortunately, millions of Americans that could still be affected,” Patel said Wednesday.
White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci explained to NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that about 99.2% of recent Covid deaths in the U.S. involved unvaccinated people. Patel echoed Fauci and raised concerns about unvaccinated clusters becoming breeding grounds for the next Covid variant.