Biden warns the youth against the fast-spreading Delta variant
US President Joe Biden and his Chief Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci have warned that the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus is highly infectious, which is now the dominant strain in the United Kingdom, spreading rapidly among young people between 12 and 20 years old. The Delta variant or the B1.617.2 was first detected in India in October and has spread to 62 countries.
Get vaccinated to prevent infection: Biden
"Folks, the Delta variant, a highly infectious COVID-19 strain is spreading rapidly among young people between 12 and 20 years old in the UK. It really is time to get the shot. It's the best way to protect yourself and those you love," Biden tweeted.
Variant accounts for six percent of sequenced cases in US
Dr. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said the Delta variant accounts for more than six percent of the cases being sequenced in the US. The actual number is likely higher, as the US is running the genetic sequence on a fraction of cases. The variant accounts for an estimated 60 percent of new cases in the UK.
'We cannot let it become the dominant variant in US'
The Delta variant is now more prevalent than the Alpha strain, formerly called the B.1.1.7 strain, which was first identified in the UK, Dr. Fauci said on Tuesday. "In the UK, the Delta variant is rapidly emerging as the dominant variant. It is replacing the B.1.1.7. We cannot let that happen in the United States," Dr. Fauci added further.
Delta variant reportedly carries an increased risk of hospitalization
President Biden has set a goal of administering at least one vaccine shot to 70 percent of Americans by July 4. Last week, health officials in Britain had warned that the Delta variant of COVID-19 has now become the dominant variant of concern in the UK and may also come with an increased risk of hospitalization.