Despite almost 2 years of a global health crisis and strong vaccination rollouts, COVID infections data in America, the United Kingdom, and the rest of Europe is soaring.
The number of COVID cases daily in the West remains high. Remarkably, the current 7-day moving average of daily new infections stands at 153,246, a rise of 4.9% compared with the previous 7-day moving average. Notably, the current 7-day moving average is 123.6% higher than the value observed around a year ago. In total, over 40 million coronavirus infections have been counted in the U.S. since the pandemic hit.
Moreover, infections rates in the U.K. also remain high. On September 6, the seven-day average of daily new cases was about 39,000. The number of daily infections has remained high as the week progressed. On Wednesday, there were 40,000 new cases, while nearly 38,000 cases were recorded on Thursday.
Remarkably, Ireland, France, Sweden, Portugal, Greece, and Bulgaria are reporting the highest numbers of new infections per 100,000 population.
Analysts say that it is due to the more contagious delta strain of COVID-19.
It is essential to mention that the increase in infections has accompanied the advancement of vaccination programs in the West, with most adults in both the U.S. and Europe now fully vaccinated.
In the United States, 62.4% of all people over 12 years of age have two doses of vaccine. Meanwhile, more than 82% of over-65s have full protection. In Britain, 80.4% of the population over the age of 16 have received two doses of the COVID vaccine.
Andrew Freedman says the delta variant accounts for the continuing high number of cases
As we know, none of the vaccines in use in the U.S. or Europe is 100% effective. Meanwhile, the predominant delta strain has also lowered the efficacy of the vaccines on offer, and some new studies show the immunity provided by shots decreases over time.
Epidemiologists explain why cases remain so high given the relatively high vaccination rates in the West. According to Andrew Freedman, a reader in infectious disease at Cardiff University School of Medicine, the delta variant is highly contagious. This accounts for the continuing high number of cases.
He added that the vaccines are only partially effective at preventing people from catching the delta variant. However, they are much more effective at protecting against severe disease, hospitalization, and death.