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Unvaccinated Americans drive up COVID-19 hospitalization rates

COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are increasing across the United States as the delta variant spreads, putting unvaccinated people in danger.

Over the past seven days, COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. increased by 36 percent and deaths rose by 26 percent, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky warned Friday. Unvaccinated Americans account for 97 percent of these hospitalizations.

“There is a clear message that is coming through: This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Walensky told reporters as public health officials pleaded with Americans to get the shot.

Fully vaccinated individuals with either two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are protected from severe disease, hospitalization and death.

Just over 59 percent of American adults are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but in some areas of the country, such as the rural South, far fewer people have received the shot.

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