Letter: Delta virus is bad news for unvaccinated | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Delta virus is bad news for unvaccinated

Tired of pandemic restrictions? Get the vaccine. It’s pretty simple.

A poll conducted this spring by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that it was a matter of attitude more than lack of access — or anything else — at play in why rural communities across America have low COVID-19 vaccination rates. A lot of rural folks said they thought the vaccines were too new, or the side effects were worse than getting COVID-19 (a demonstrably false notion), but many in this particular group were among those who said they might get the shots … eventually.

So here we are with a public health emergency declared in Mesa County, where the more severe and more contagious COVID-19 delta variant is showing up all over the place. The cases are almost exclusively occurring among unvaccinated people, hospitals are nearing capacity, and vaccination rates continue to sag.

In Moffat County, an average of seven cases per day are being reported. This is an 18% increase from the average two weeks ago. Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least one in 13 residents have been infected, a total of 985 reported cases. Right now, Moffat County is at an extremely high risk for unvaccinated people.

Early studies indicate the delta variant is more transmissible than the alpha variant, which has previously been the most common variant in Colorado and continues to be the most common across the U.S. Studies also indicate the delta variant causes more severe disease, with roughly double the hospitalization rate of the alpha variant.

The risk to unvaccinated individuals is greater than it was several months ago. The vaccine is effective against the delta variant. We still have a way to go in Routt County, with approximately 40% of all residents still needing a vaccination.

Get the vaccine. Protect yourself. Protect your family. Protect your community.

Zach Milavitz

Steamboat Springs

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