Experts have continued to worry that the novel coronavirus will continue to spread and mutate among the vulnerable, like unvaccinated people, and create two separate Americas divided by vaccinations rates in the process.

Which states are vulnerable to COVID-19?

There are currently five states in the country that have a vaccination rate against COVID-19 that is less than 35%, according to CNN. Those states include:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Tennessee
  • Wyoming

Why does vaccination rate matter?

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Scott Gottlieb told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that there are states that will see an uptick in cases because of variants. But others, like states where there is a high vaccination rate, won’t.

  • “Connecticut, for example where I am, shows no upsurge of infection, but Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, show very substantial upsurges of infection. That’s based entirely on how much population wide immunity you have based on vaccination,” he said.
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In Utah, vaccination rates aren’t too low. Per the Deseret News, 63.4% of all Utahns 18 and older have had at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 55.6% are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Will there be two Americas of COVID-19?

Experts told BuzzFeed there are two Americas developing because of the vaccine differences. There’s one side of America with a low risk for the delta coronavirus variant — which is beginning to spread in the United States among the unvaccinated — and another where the risk is higher.

  • “That divide is driven in large part by partisan politics, with vaccination rates highest in liberal cities and lowest in conservative strongholds across the Deep South and in rural areas across the nation,” according to BuzzFeed News.

Peter Hotez, a vaccine researcher at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, recently told BuzzFeed News that there is a growing divide in the country about the vaccine, creating two separate Americas.

  • “I call it two COVID nations,” he said.

Experts still recommend people get their COVID-19 vaccine shots to help stop the divide.

  • “Somehow we have to break this idea that allegiance to conservatism and the Republican Party has to do with not getting vaccinated,” Hotez said. “It’s really troubling.”