CDC director says COVID-19 is ‘becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated’

Rochelle Walensky
File: CDC Director Rochelle Walensky speaks during a news conference in December 2020. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on Friday that 97% of COVID-19 hospitalizations are in unvaccinated people.
  • She warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is “becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
  • She said outbreaks of the virus are happening in “parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage.”
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The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday that as COVID-19 cases rise across the United States, the disease is becoming a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

“There is a message that is crystal clear: this is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a press briefing on Friday. “We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk.”

She added that 97% of hospitalized COVID-19 cases are in people who are not vaccinated against the virus.

Since last week, Walensky said, cases are up about 70%, hospitalizations are up 36%, and deaths rose by 26%.

“If you are not vaccinated, you remain at risk,” Walensky said.

According to CDC data, 160.4 million people across the US are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 – that’s 48.3% percent of the total population.

Of people aged 12 and older who are eligible to get the vaccine, 56.5% of people are fully vaccinated.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.