Unvaccinated People Serve as ‘Variant Factories’

Minnesota Opens for Business

Unvaccinated people do more than merely risk their own health but they serve as ‘variant factories’. They’re also a risk to everyone if they become infected with coronavirus.

In the CNN Health, Stephen Collinson and Maeve Reston write that President Biden had told Americans at the beginning of his administration that by Fourth of July most people will return to normalcy – if the country united in one last huge effort to follow health guidelines and embraced the vaccine rollout.

However, only 67% of American adults — had received at least one shot by July 4, felling little short of his goal of 70% of adults getting at least one dose of vaccine. Just one day before Pres. Biden had hailed new employment number (850,000 jobs in June) saying it’s a “historic progress pulling our economy out of the worst crisis in 100 years, driven in part by our dramatic progress in vaccinating our nation and beating back the pandemic.”

“Yes, we have more work to do to get America vaccinated and everyone back to work. We are aiming for full employment, and that means keeping our pace on job growth, including for Black, Hispanic and Asian workers. But this progress is testament to our commitment to grow this economy from the bottom up and the middle out,” Pres. Biden said, alluding to the 5.9% unemployment rate.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told CNN recently that “growing gulf between what he has said could develop into ‘two Americas‘ — one where vaccination rates are high and the other where as few as 35% of the people are vaccinated. You clearly have a high risk of seeing spikes in those selected areas.”

Variant Factories

Heath authorities are reportedly worried that the coronavirus variant would multiply in counties where vaccination rates are low and may serve as new ‘variant factories’.

Dr. William Schaffner, a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told CNN “When it does, it mutates, and it could throw off a variant mutation that is even more serious down the road.”

Unvaccinated people are potential variant factories. The more unvaccinated people there are, the more opportunities for the virus to multiply.

Dr. William Schaffner, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (source: CNN Health)

Dr. Andrew Pekosz, a microbiologist and immunologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told CNN “As mutations come up in viruses, the ones that persist are the ones that make it easier for the virus to spread in the population. Every time the viruses changes, that gives the virus a different platform to add more mutations. Now we have viruses that spread more efficiently.”

“Every time we see the virus circulating in the population, particularly a population that has pockets of immune people, vaccinated people, and pockets of unvaccinated people, you have a situation where the virus can probe.”

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of CDC told in a recent White House briefing “Currently, approximately 1,000 counties in the United States have vaccination coverage of less than 30%. These communities, primarily in the Southeast and Midwest, are our most vulnerable. In some of these areas, we are already seeing increasing rates of disease.”

Coronavirus-19 vaccination watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of July 4, 9 a.m.) 383,068,740 doses have been distributed and 330,604,253 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data (as of July 1) a total of 5,734,935 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of July 3) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 605,660 (out of 10,348,825 tested) with 7,610 deaths.