It seems like the finish line for the coronavirus pandemic is in sight, but scientists warn five large clusters of unvaccinated people in the U.S. could push that finish line further back.
Let’s connect the dots.
Researchers at Georgetown University tracking COVID vaccination rates identified five clusters of unvaccinated people that could pose a problem.
Those clusters include residents in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. Most include rural areas but also some smaller cities.
In all, more than 15 million people live in those clusters and less than 30 percent are fully vaccinated.
The U.S. COVID-19 vaccination tracking project also points out the fact that these are clusters is a problem. They point to the fact that we don’t interact with other people at random, instead we socialize with the people that live near us. Meaning in these clusters, unvaccinated people have a greater chance of interacting with other unvaccinated people, allowing COVID to spread.
Why do these clusters matter?
Scientists warn these areas could be the next breeding ground for a COVID-19 variant.
The Delta variant is already much more contagious than the original COVID-19 and vaccines appear less effective against it.
The next variant could be worse.
Experts warn that the longer COVID spreads the more opportunity it has to mutate.