Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rochelle Walensky, in an interview with ABC News interview on Friday, said that the Delta coronavirus variant, also known as B.1.617.2, is expected to become the dominant strain in America.
Urging Americans to take both doses of the vaccine, she said, "As worrisome as this Delta strain is with regard to its hyper transmissibility, our vaccines work. Right now, they are working, and they require actually two doses to be fully vaccinated to work well. So I would encourage all Americans, get your first shot and when you're due for your second, get your second shot, and you'll be protected against this Delta variant."
Identifying the risk of more severe illness and transmissibility, the CDC has elevated the Delta strain from a variant of interest (VOI) to a variant of concern (VOC). The variant currently accounts for 10 per cent of all confirmed coronavirus cases in the US. As of May 22, it had only made up 2.7 per cent of cases.
The US, which is the worst-hit country by the pandemic with the highest number of cases and deaths, has identified five variants of concern.