ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The CDC says a new Delta variant is a “Cause for concern” because it spreads the coronavirus easily from person-to-person.

The CDC’s director is now urging everyone eligible, to get the COVID-19 vaccine and says it is the only “Ticket out of this pandemic.”

Health experts say 1 out of 10 new infections in the U.S. is the new Delta variant

DR. Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says, “The Delta variant is in over 70 countries including the US, and it started in UK about a month ago and is the dominant variant there. We do expect this to spread in the US.”

The CDC says say this variant spreads quicker and leads to more complications and hospitalizations.

“The Delta variant has been shown to be more transmissible than the original COVID-19 virus and there is evidence it may be more severe,” says Dr. Levine.

State health data shows there are fewer than 20 cases of the Delta variant in Georgia.

Dr. Cecil Bennett says, “Those with natural immunity have enough antibodies that they are protected, even though they are not immunized they are showing high levels of natural immunity.”

But only one out of four Georgians are fully vaccinated.

DR. Rachel Levine says, “There is some preliminary evidence that younger individuals may be more susceptible to the Delta variant but you have to remember that in the U.S., the vast majority of seniors have been vaccinated. This variant is covered by the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines which has shown to be effective against it.”

Doctors say with more vaccine hesitancy in the south — the best way to stop the variant is to speed up vaccinations.

“The vaccine is available at barber shops, at baseball games, NASCAR races and 90% of the population has a vaccine within 5 miles,” says Dr. Levine.

While the Delta variant is growing around the world, after first being detected in India, the World Health Organization is now labeling the variants based on letters instead of regions.

The Delta variant has been detected in Georgia with fewer than 20 cases. 

Currently 80% of our COVID cases are alpha (formerly UK) variant.