America's Surgeon General has issued a grim warning on the COVID Indian Delta variant, saying: 'If you are not vaccinated, you're in trouble.'
Dr Vivek Murthy pulled no punches while chatting with CNN host Erica Hill on Wednesday morning, and even raised the specter of a future strain of COVID that could beat all vaccines currently available to tackle it.
Asked about the latest variant, which is the most transmissible strain of COVID so far discovered, Murthy told Hill: 'The good news is that if you're vaccinated, and fully vaccinated, that means two weeks after your last shot, then there is good evidence that you have a high degree of protection against this virus.
'But if you are not vaccinated then you are in trouble. This is a serious threat and we're seeing it spread among unvaccinated people.'
Murthy added: 'If you are fully vaccinated your chances of getting sick and transmitting the infection is low.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
'The key message from Delta is get vaccinated. its the best way to protect yourself from this variant and other variants you've seen before.'
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, right, told CNN host Erica Hill, left, that anyone who has not had their COVID vaccine is 'in trouble' because of the Indian Delta variant
Murthy told Hill that cases in new COVID hot spots - pictured in orange and red - are being driven by the Delta variant
The medic went on to say that fully vaccinated people are 'quite protected' from COVID, then added: 'Nothing is 100 per cent though.'
He continued: 'We cant guarantee that that will always be the case with new variants that arise down the line. That is why we must work so hard to crush the virus here and abroad.'
Murthy was speaking after Los Angeles County urged locals to start wearing masks again indoors, even if fully vaccinated.
The California county has stopped short of re-imposing a mandatory mask mandate, after Golden State Governor Gavin Newsom lifted almost all COVID restrictions on June 15.
An LA County Department of Health spokesman said: 'Public Health strongly recommends people wear masks indoors in settings such as grocery or retail stores;