We are sure you’ve heard about the Delta variant of COVID-19, but do you know what the recent uptick in cases could mean for Alabama, especially for those not vaccinated?
Cases of COVID-19 have been on the rise lately after the introduction of the new Delta variant, as have hospitalizations and deaths from this new strain. The past four weeks have brought an increase of cases of COVID-19, clocking the highest numbers we’ve seen since winter. This latest spike is due to the Delta variant, which accounts for 58% of the U.S. COVID-19 cases as of July 14th.
With this recent rise in cases, the Delta variant has been declared a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Delta variant is more infectious and virulent than other strains of the coronavirus. This is dangerous news for individuals who are not vaccinated.
The Delta variant has a higher risk of hospitalization for unvaccinated patients, even in young people and children. However, evidence shows that fully vaccinated individuals are less likely to catch the newer strain and that breakthrough cases are rare.
But what does this variant mean for Alabama?
Because of the state’s low vaccination rates (37% fully vaccinated, 40% with at least one dose), the Delta variant could have a lasting impact on Alabama. This mix of low vaccination rates and a highly contagious virus makes for the perfect breeding ground for new variants, which may be resistant to our current vaccines.
So what does this mean for you? First, the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 and its strains are by being fully vaccinated. Although there are many myths and mistrust regarding COVID vaccines, the evidence shows that it is safer to be vaccinated than not.
We have hosted several vaccine clinics to help distribute vaccines in the Birmingham area. In addition, we have been working hard all summer to help vaccinate students for the 2021-2022 school year by partnering with Birmingham City Schools and hosting pop-up vaccine clinics around the city. Our “Best Shot at a Safe Return” vaccination campaign is trying to distribute vaccines across Birmingham to reach as many Birmingham residents as we can. We believe that our best chance to get back to normal and fight this pandemic is by being vaccinated. You can stay up-to-date regarding our next vaccination clinic by checking out our social media pages or call (205) 407-5600 about obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine from one of our health centers.
For more information about COVID-19 variants, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.