Washington: The United States might witness 2,00,000 Covid-19 cases a day soon, warned Francis Collins, the director of US's National Institute of Health, reports The Guardian. The said count has never occurred since January and February this year, which were the worst days of the pandemic in the country.
Collins said that the current average of 1,29,000 fresh infections per day, a 700% increase from the beginning of July, might surge exponentially in the next couple of weeks.
He reminded that 90 million people in the country are still unvaccinated, as the contagious Delta variant is wreaking havoc. He urged them to get vaccinated rather than "sitting ducks for the virus". The count is still rising steeply, showing no signs of peaking out, he added.
Collins said that the US could decide whether to initiate the booster vaccine drive in the next couple of weeks.
Federal health officials are reviewing the daily caseloads in the US and other countries like Israel to determine the need for booster shots. In Israel, preliminary studies inferred that the vaccine's protection against serious illness among the vaccinated decreased in January. Israel has been offering booster doses to people aged over 60.
The concern that vaccines' effect might wane off and the Delta still not being under the reigns, the need for boosters might be inevitable, starting the booster ride on healthcare providers and people in nursing homes, and gradually others, Collins suggested.
Moderna president, Stephen Hoge, opined in similar lines that it is surprising that breakthrough infections are reported within six months of vaccination. Even though most symptoms are not being reported as life-threatening, he thinks booster doses is needed as a precaution.
Last week, the US's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had said that people with weakened immune systems could get an extra dose of Pfizer or Moderna to restrict Delta.
Meanwhile, the US president's chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, stressed that those who are unvaccinated need to get their jabs, which Collins also repeated. Fauci said that to mitigate the virus, appropriate pandemic behaviour should be followed by both vaccinated and unvaccinated, like wearing masks in public places. The more get infected, the more the virus spread and the greater opportunity the virus has to continue to evolve and mutate, he added.
According to the US's Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 60% of the US population received at least a jab and 51% are fully vaccinated to date. Areas like Louisiana, Texas, Florida and Mississippi have lower vaccination rates and were hit hard by the pandemic.