Moving to the situation in North America, the United States is facing a COVID-19 surge this summer as the more contagious delta variant spreads. More than 637,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 while over 4.5 million people have died from the disease worldwide. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just 61.2% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. During an advisory panel today by the CDC it was remarked that the COVID-19 vaccines’ ability to keep people out of the hospital appears to be dropping slightly, particularly for those 75 and older. The CDC has previously estimated that 97% of people in the hospital being treated for COVID-19 are unvaccinated, but that data was collected before the spread of delta, a hyper-transmissible variant that many doctors have warned appears to be making people sicker. The latest CDC analysis estimates that the ability of the COVID vaccines to keep a person out of the hospital is now between 75% to 95%. For people older than 75 in particular, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization experienced the steepest decline, from more than 90% to 80% between June and July. Health experts are also concerned that a person’s immunity could be waning over time, particularly among older people whose bodies are less likely than younger people to develop a strong immune response to the vaccines.