June 23, 2021 – Will the difference in COVID vaccination rates across the country ultimately divide America?

highly permeable delta version of coronavirus is rising in the US, with the CDC predicting that this related tension will soon prevail.

This approach leads to the question of whether regions of the country with low vaccination rates may have worse outcomes. And if so, could this disparity lead to ‘two Americas’?

“COVID-19 and its variants, including the Delta strain, will be a part of our lives for the foreseeable future,” David Hirschwork, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Northwell Health in Manhasset, NY, tells MedicalHealthDoctor.com. Medscape.

“So far, so good,” says Hirschwerk, speaking to research looking at current Vaccination Efficacy against different types of SARS-CoV-2. However, for non-vaccinated people, “this is a major concern, as the currently circulating versions are far more contagious and can make people more sick.”

Theo Vos, MD, PhD, professor of health metrics science at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, Seattle, agrees.

“The delta variant appears to be more contagious than its predecessor forms and means it may take less time for explosive spread, especially among populations with low coverage of vaccination,” he says.

obvious differences?

The difference between variants and vaccination rates will require vigilance, Hirschwerk says. “The hotspots are likely to be in areas where Vaccination Uptake lags,” he warned.

When asked if a ‘two Americas’ scenario is possible, “There are clear patterns with less desire in the Midwest and Southwest.” [and] With a worse picture in rural postcodes,” Vos says.

Whether regional differences in vaccination rates will directly translate to differences in COVID-19 morbidity and mortality depends on several factors.

“Unfortunately, low willingness to vaccinate is often combined with low adherence to precautionary measures” such as distance and masks, for example, Vos says. “What underlies this to some extent is that diffusion is easier in densely populated urban areas than in rural areas.”

risk rating

As of June 11, an estimated 150 million US adults (45%) have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to cdc data. But the rate remains low in some states. For example, only 28% of Mississippi residents are fully vaccinated, 30% in Alabama, and 32% in both Arkansas and Louisiana.

Although the vaccination rate in Missouri is slightly higher at 36%, that state now reports the highest rate new COVID-19 cases. In fact, during the week of June 13-20, one in every 1,349 people in Missouri was diagnosed with COVID-19. .

There are several counties in Missouri that are experiencing an increase in COVID-19 activity,” Lisa Cox, director of communications for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, tells SELF. medscape in an email.

Cox says the department is cooperating with public health agencies in affected counties, and with the CDC to report variants and follow the agency’s guidance.

In addition, state health officials are working on more targeted efforts to involve businesses, employers, schools and churches to provide community-based vaccinations.

“We are also engaged in a targeted and aggressive state public education efforts that are not encouraging Missourians to do so yet,” says Cox. “It’s the ‘show-me state’ and the people of Missouri are skeptical.”

protect the uneducated

On a more positive note, the higher proportion of a population that has been vaccinated, the lower the test positivity rate among unvaccinated, new evidence suggests.

Researchers in Israel found that for every 20% increase in the proportion of residents who were vaccinated, the rate of positive tests among people who were not vaccinated decreased by almost two-fold. The researchers compared rates in unvaccinated teens under age 16 and children under age 16 with those between ages 16 and 50.

“The more people vaccinated in a community, the more protected unvaccinated individuals appear to be in the same community,” explains lead author Oren Millman medscape in an email.

“This protection is in addition to the high protection for the vaccination itself,” says Millman, a researcher at the Technion Institute of Technology in Haifa.Israel.

Study Posted online in Jun 10, 2021 nature medicine.

Although obtained naturally Immunity could have changed their results, Millman and her colleagues adjusted for this potential confounder, which included only those communities across Israel where test positivity rates remained less than 10%.

“Additionally, our results may allow communities with higher vaccination levels to enjoy significantly lower infection rates,” Millman says.

Research did not evaluate any specific SARS-CoV-2 variants, however. In addition, the actual infection rate may differ from positive test results in communities and over time, another potential limitation.

“Although the observed vaccine-related protection of the unvaccinated population is encouraging,” note the researchers, “further studies are needed to understand whether and how vaccinations can support the potential of a campaign.” herd immunity and disease eradication.”

No variation in vaccine advice

Even though the forms of anxiety change over time, protective measures do not. “The most effective means to combat Covid transmission — no matter what type is predominant — is to get vaccinated,” says Cox of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

“Our biggest savior against the virus is vaccination,” agrees Hirschworks. “We need to keep the vaccine efforts going.”

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