MISSION, Kan. (AP) — COVID-19 cases have tripled in the U.S. over two weeks amid an onslaught of vaccine misinformation.
The spike in infections is straining hospitals, frustrating doctors and pushing clergy into the fray.
Across the U.S., the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases in the U.S. rose over the past two weeks to more than 37,000 on Tuesday, up from less than 13,700 on July 6.
Health officials blame the delta variant and flattening vaccination rates.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 56.2% of Americans have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.
And while reports of athletes, lawmakers and others occasionally getting the coronavirus despite vaccination may sound alarming, top health experts point to overwhelming evidence that the shots dramatically reduce severe disease and death.
The best indicator: In the U.S., hospitalizations and deaths are nearly all among the unvaccinated, and data from Britain and Israel agree protection remains strong against the worst cases.
No vaccine is perfect but what scientists call “breakthrough” infections in the fully vaccinated are a small fraction of coronavirus cases.
That’s even in the face of the highly contagious delta variant that is burning through unvaccinated communities.