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Health officials push for more vaccinations as COVID-19 cases rise

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 6:18 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSAZ) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes the delta variant of the coronavirus to be the dominant strain in the U.S., as about half the variant has caused about half of the recent cases in the United States.

“Delta is here, and it’s rising rapidly,” said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff.

It’s a warning from the highest-ranking public health doctors in Ohio.

Vanderhoff, the state’s chief medical officer, spoke on Wednesday, along with Dr. Andrew Thomas of Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, both who are primarily concerned about those unvaccinated.

“It’s simply concerning after watching a long period of watching those numbers decline. We have even seen them not only level off for a few days but begin an upturn,” Vanderhoff said.

Vanderhoof said a snapshot of COVID-19 data shows the delta variant is primarily spread by those who are unvaccinated.

“The more likely that virus bumps up against someone who’s vaccinated, it’s like hitting a brick wall. As opposed to bumping up against those unvaccinated, it’s more like velcro with this variant,” Dr. Thomas said.

In our region, West Virginia has reported 17 cases tied to the delta variant. Kentucky, as of the latest data, has had 29 cases.

In Ohio, at least three dozen cases were counted.

“We have a fair warning of what is likely to occur. It’s all the more reason for us to be aware of what delta has done elsewhere,” Dr. Vanderhoff said.

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