The Delta variant of the coronavirus is beginning to spread in California, offering a preview of how the battle of the pandemic is going to change as officials move to protect a shrinking minority who remain at risk because they have not been vaccinated.
The Delta variant may be twice as transmissible as the conventional strain. But California and the rest of the nation are far more protected against COVID-19 than ever before. California has one of the highest vaccination rates in the nation, and the U.S. has one of the highest per capita rates of inoculation in the world.
And vaccines available in the U.S. are believed to be effective against the Delta variant, as they have been for all known variants. But that still leaves tens of millions of unvaccinated people still potentially vulnerable.
“If you’re vaccinated, it’s nothing,” UC San Francisco epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford said of the Delta variant. “If you’re not vaccinated, you’re hosed.”
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