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Savannah doctor encouraging COVID vaccinations as cases start to rise again

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 6:05 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - There has been an alarming spike in new COVID-19 cases across the United States.

The country has averaged more than 35,000 cases a day over the past week. That is around triple the number it was a month ago.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the Delta variant accounts for around 83 percent of new infections. That includes breakthrough cases involving people who have been vaccinated.

A doctor who helped test the COVID-19 vaccine in Savannah said the reason for those breakthrough cases is because the vaccine isn’t 100 percent effective. But he does say it is close and the real concern now is those who are unvaccinated in our community.

“If you were to take out of the equation everybody that’s been vaccinated alright because they are not getting sick and they are not ending up in the hospital, so we take them out of the equation and then if you only look at those people who have not been vaccinated this is scary. The data shows that we in that group, we’re no better than we were back in January,” Meridian Clinical Research Chief Investigator Dr. Paul Bradley said.

Medical professionals say breakthrough cases are occurring, though they are rare and symptoms are usually mild.

With the news of these breakthrough cases, Dr. Bradley said it’s more important now than ever before to get your COVID-19 vaccine.

“Why get the vaccine? It is not perfect because you had a 95 percent chance. There is a risk and a benefit. We’re not seeing risk to the vaccines, especially Pfizer and Moderna have proven to be incredibly safe,” Dr. Bradley said.

As we see more and more COVID-19 tests return positive, it’s important to remember quarantine guidance and public health guidelines. Dr. Bradley said those fully vaccinated can be confident it works against the variants but should be cautious.

“If you see me in the office, you’re going to see me wearing a mask. Why am I wearing a mask? I’ve had the vaccine; I don’t need to worry I’ve got 95 percent chance. I’m worried and I’m having to wear the mask because of all those people who’ve not had the vaccine. We weren’t talking about the Delta variant just a few months ago, right? I mean this is new, why is it new? Because we have all these people that have not had a vaccine, they are one big pool of opportunity for covid to attack,” he said.

Dr. Bradley says every day that goes by without additional vaccinations is a chance for the virus to mutate and create new variants which could be a problem.

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