Gloria Kennett is eager to take a long-awaited beach vacation, but she is keeping a watchful eye on new cases of the Covid-19 Delta variant.

Ms. Kennett, a hotel executive in Chicago, is vaccinated, but her 9-month-old daughter isn’t yet eligible. For now they’re planning to go. But if they see a big surge in cases, they’ll hold off. They’re reassured that they can get a refund if they cancel.

The more-infectious Delta variant has quickly spread around the world, and is now the most common strain of the Covid-19 virus circulating in the U.S. An analysis of genetic sequencing data as of June 27 showed that the Delta strain now makes up about 40% of positive Covid-19 test samples, according to Helix, a population genomics company that collects and analyzes test samples from several U.S. states.

The CDC has said that fully vaccinated Americans are well protected, even against variants. But children under the age of 12 aren’t yet eligible for vaccination.

An expanded version of this article appears on

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