The Wider World

Unvaccinated at risk: Dr. Fauci

THE UNVACCINATED are running a greater risk of coronavirus infection or death, said Dr. Anthony Fauci (Shutterstock).

If the coronavirus is making a small comeback, its target has become the unvaccinated.

After steady reversals, July is starting to show increases in COVID-19 cases, and in some areas, deaths. The latest New York Times estimate of new cases over a 14-day period shows a 15 percent increase. Deaths are down 26 percent. The Los Angeles Times is estimating that – over a similar period – cases in California are up 14 percent but deaths have risen 3 percent.

The increases are blamed on low vaccination rates in some areas and some demographic groups. In an interview on the Sunday morning “Meet the Press” TV show, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, pointed out an example.

“Even though the vaccines themselves are highly effective,” he said, just 36 percent of Mississippi residents have had at least one shot of a coronavirus vaccine.

That contrasts with a national average of 55 percent; 67 percent for those 18 years old and up. In California, nearly 59 percent of residents have been inoculated.

The gap is not because of lack of access to the vaccine. The “vaccine-hesitant” include people who live in rural areas, who have comaplicated health histories that lead them to worry that the shots may have dangerous side effects, and those who have political or religious objections.

Those who delay or avoid inoculations are at a greater risk, said Fauci, noting that 99.2 percent of deaths related to COVID-19 in June were among the unvaccinated. “It’s really sad and tragic that most of all of these are avoidable and preventable.”

Dodgers and Angels do well on another field

The Dodgers have won eight games in a row to move into a virtual tie for the lead in the National League West, and the Angels have won three straight to square their season record at 41-41.

They are also doing well in the All-Star selections. Mike Trout and Shohei were selected to the American League starters by fans, and Jared Walsh was named as a reserve on Sunday.

For the Dodgers, the National League team will include Max Muncy, Chris Taylor and Mookie Betts.

The All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 13 in Denver.

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