The president issued the stark warning to the US – where only 42% of the population have been fully vaccinated – on Tuesday as he tries to tackle a severe slump in vaccine take-up.
Less than 500,000 adults now being vaccinated each day in America, down from a peak of 3.4 million in April, putting under threat Joe Biden’s promise to have 70% of all adults vaccinated by July 4.
Speaking on Twitter, Biden used the UK’s struggles to control and contain the spread of the Delta Covid variant, which was first detected in India, to try to convince more Americans to get vaccinated.
The president said: ‘Folks, the Delta variant – a highly infectious Covid strain – is spreading rapidly among young people between 12 and 20-years-old in the UK.
‘If you’re young and haven’t gotten your shot yet, it really is time. It’s the best way to protect yourself and those you love.’
His plea to Americans comes as cases most areas in the UK are experiencing sharp increases in the number of Covid cases being detected.
The jump in positive case rates has been heavily attributed to how transmissible the Delta variant is compared with other strains of the virus, and officials in the UK have had to implement new measures in the worst effected areas in a desperate attempt to stop the spread.
The rise in cases comes despite the UK having fully-vaccinated just under 50% of its population and having given one jab to more than 75% of its citizens.
Those figures are not too dissimilar to those in the US, where 62% of over 18s have had at least one jab and 42% have had both jabs.
At present the Delta variant only accounts for around 6% of Covid cases in the US and Dr Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the White House, has warned ‘we cannot let that happen in the United States’, referring to the UK’s new wave of Delta variant infections.
The strain accounts for around 60% of new infections in the UK and Dr Fauci says more needs to be done in the States to stop it from ‘becoming dominant’ in American communities.
He also said that the Delta variant ‘may be associated with more severe disease’ and a higher risk of hospitalization than other strains of coronavirus.
The warnings from Biden and Fauci come as healthcare officials scramble to vaccinate as many people as possible in order to reach Biden’s 70% goal percent goal by July 4.
If they are to succeed, however, they must administer 16 million more vaccines in the next 26 days.
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