Over the summer, a rise in the mysterious Delta variant of COVID-19 was seen, once again putting fuel in the fire of vaccine debates across the country. According to the CDC, the Delta variant is over twice as contagious as other reported variants. However, many studies have shown that the vaccine is effective against the Delta variant. The CDC’s data variant tracker has shown Delta to be the most prominent variant since July 3rd, and according to UC Davis, as of July 22nd, 2021, when Delta made up 85 percent of cases, 97 percent of hospitalized COVID patients were unvaccinated, showing that vaccines are able to prevent severe cases of COVID. The Pennsylvania Pressroom reported on September 14th, when Delta made up 99 percent of cases, that in Pennsylvania, 97 percent of deaths, 95 percent of hospitalizations, and 94 percent of deaths, showing that vaccines can also effectively prevent the Delta variant.
Delta wasn’t the only concern to do with vaccines in the past several months. As vaccines were proven to be safe against Delta, it became a priority to test vaccines for the age group of five to eleven. The New York Times reported on October 7th, 2021 that this move could help protect more than 28 million people. On this date, the companies behind Pfizer submitted data to the FDA to get the vaccine approved for the age group. The Delta variant caused more children to become infected because they didn’t have a vaccine available to them, accounting for one in four infections in September and sending 30,000 kids into hospitals in August. The FDA meeting to approve the Pfizer vaccine for ages 5 to 11 took place on October 26th, 2021.
As of October 6th, 2021, 66 percent of the American population has received at least one dose of the vaccine and 57 percent have been fully vaccinated. Over 480 million doses have been distributed throughout the United States, with around 400 million having been used.