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Memorial Health doctor says Delta variant a concern for areas with low vaccination rates

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 5:18 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The First Lady’s visit to the vaccine clinic in Savannah comes as the threat of the Delta variant becomes stronger in the U.S.

Doctors say this is a big concern for areas with low vaccination rates.

The Delta variant of COVID-19 is causing concerns for people across the country as it becomes the dominant strain. It’s something doctors here say you should think about.

“The biggest worry is that when you look at how likely are you to infect someone else if you have this delta variant it’s about a 60 percent increased chance that you can infect others,” said Dr. Stephen Thacker with Memorial Health.

While its not causing more severe cases than previous strains, it is spreading quickly. Dr. Thacker at Memorial Health says while our region has fewer Delta cases circulating than other areas, that can change quickly. He says a big concern is the fully vaccinated rate for the state sitting at just 39 percent.

Hospitalizations have increased over the past two weeks, reaching numbers we haven’t seen in months. At Memorial, Dr. Thacker says a majority of those with COVID are unvaccinated.

“You’re generally well protected if you’ve gotten two doses of your vaccine or your full vaccine series. We do have evidence that if you’re in that group of individuals of which there are many in our community that got a single dose of Pfizer or Moderna that you have less protection against this Delta variant and that this would be a great time to pursue that second dose of vaccine so that you can have the best level of protection against this strain.”

Dr. Thacker also says it’s important to follow public health advice like wearing a mask when in large groups or when around people who you do not know their vaccination status as the Delta variant impacts the country.

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