The joy over reengaging with others and seeing local economies start to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic could be very short-lived if vaccination rates don’t increase—and soon, according to Scott Gottlieb, MD, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. In an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation, Gottlieb predicted that transmission of the Delta variant of the virus, which JUCM News readers may recall has been shown in multiple studies to be more transmissible than the original virus, could take off if less than 75% of the U.S. is vaccinated against the virus. Right now, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Data Tracker, only 45% of people in the United States are fully vaccinated while 53% have received at least one dose. How severe the surge could become will be highly variable, depending on local (not national) vaccination rates. As Gottlieb pointed out, states with low vaccination rates, such as Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Missouri could see much higher caseloads than northeastern states where more residents are immunized. The key for the urgent care provider is to keep educating, and keep offering to provide the vaccine.

One Surge or Another Is Coming. Will It Be in the Rate of Vaccination or New COVID-19 Infection?