Blue Shield of California
COVID-19 Resource Center for Employers, Plan Sponsors, Brokers and Consultants

B2B General

July 15, 2021 - 3 min read

The delta variant of COVID-19 spreads, putting the unvaccinated at risk

The variant has quickly become the dominant strain of coronavirus in the country


A highly transmissible variant of coronavirus is spreading in California, a growing concern for health officials, and putting the unvaccinated population at risk. Known as the delta variant, this strain of coronavirus originated in India and quickly spread in the United Kingdom. Now, the delta strain is dominant in the United States with 51.7% of all new infections nationwide.

Fortunately, COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to prevent contraction of the delta variant, according to top infectious disease experts. While studies are still being conducted for each vaccine, one study in particular showed the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% protective against hospitalization from the delta strain of COVID-19. Since vaccines continue to be highly effective, states like California with high vaccination rates are well positioned to avoid large-scale surges in cases.

Still, the highly contagious delta strain is particularly worrying for pockets of unvaccinated people, as reflected in the recent uptick in daily reported cases in California: on July 7, daily cases exceeded 1,400 to reach the highest total since mid-May. In Los Angeles County, daily reported cases tripled between late June and early July, with unvaccinated persons counting up to 99% of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.

We encourage our employer groups and brokers to promote the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine, with vaccination and testing resources for businesses, and the latest COVID-19 and health-related news on our company News Center. If employees, clients, or customers are unvaccinated against COVID-19, wearing face masks indoors and social distancing are the best way to prevent the spread of the delta variant.

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