Here's Why People Are Still Dying From COVID-19

Doctors work on a COVID-19 patient.
Gettyimages | John Moore

Across the United States there are signs that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic could be over. States have dropped mask mandates and allowed businesses to open without restrictions. Vaccines are available to all, and often ready without appointments. Hospitals once filled to capacity have gradually gone back to normal.

Yet the number of deaths from the virus have remained relatively high, even climbing in some states. Experts explain the reason behind the surge, and warned that some people could now be at greater risk than before.

1. COVID Spreads Again

An image of a mass vaccination site.
Gettyimages | Mario Tama

While the overall number of COVID-19 infections and deaths have been on a gradual decline for months since vaccines have become available, some public health experts warned that there is a new danger ahead.

The Daily Mail reported that the "Delta" strain of the virus is on pace to become the dominant one across the United States. It has already wreaked havoc on other areas around the globe, including India, and experts said it can spread more easily than the previous, Alpha strain of the virus.

2. New Risks

A person receives the COVID-19 vaccine.
Gettyimages | Joe Raedle

As Self noted, more than two-thirds of American adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and the number continues to grow. But those who have not been vaccinated remain at risk, the report noted.

“Preliminary data from several states over the last few months suggests that 99.5% of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States were in unvaccinated people,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky said in a White House press briefing. “Those deaths were preventable with a simple, safe shot.”

3. Reaching Unvaccinated

A dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Gettyimages | Pool

With a large percentage of the population still not fully vaccinated, a number of state and local governments have increased efforts to convince them to get the shot. Some have offered incentives, like the state of New York which allowed school-age children to be entered in a drawing to receive a full college scholarship at a state university.

The federal government is now ramping up its own efforts to convince people to get vaccinated, though has drawn some controversy for its approach.

4. Door-To-Door Effort

People wait to receive a vaccination.
Gettyimages | Ian Forsyth

As The Associated Press noted, the Biden administration has proposed an effort to go door-to-door in communities, encouraging people to get vaccinated.

“Now we need to go to community-by-community, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, and oftentimes, door-to-door — literally knocking on doors — to get help to the remaining people," Biden said this week.

The approach has drawn pushback from some critics, but the Biden administration defended the idea this week, saying it could help save the lives of Americans still at risk of catching COVID-19.