Health experts: Delta variant expected to accelerate the pandemic
Published on July 12, 2021
For the first time in more than a year, people are starting to feel cautiously optimistic that the COVID-19 pandemic could finally be behind us. But health experts stress there is still concern that new mutations of the virus could bring it back – and it might come back even stronger.
A major concern right now is Delta, a highly contagious (and possibly more severe) virus strain, which was first identified in India in December. It then swept rapidly through that country and Great Britain. The first Delta case in the United States was diagnosed in March, and it is now the dominant strain in the U.S.
“From what is known so far, people who are vaccinated against the coronavirus appear to be safe from Delta, but anyone who is unvaccinated and not practicing preventive strategies is at risk for infection by the new variant,” said Brandon Bennett, health director for the City of Fort Worth.
People who are fully vaccinated are protected from severe disease and death, including from the variants currently circulating in the country. People who are not vaccinated remain at risk. Virtually all COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are among those who are unvaccinated.
Bennett stressed that COVID-19 vaccinations are plentiful, safe, quick and free. Insurance coverage is not required to receive a shot, and appointments are not needed. View a list of convenient city-sponsored vaccination clinics happening this week.
“We are fortunate to have highly effective vaccines that are widely available for those aged 12 and up,” Mayor Mattie Parker said. “An increase in the number of cases will put more strain on healthcare resources, lead to more hospitalizations and potentially more deaths. I encourage everyone who has not yet been vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves, their family and the community.”
Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time. The Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health are engaged in a rigorous, science-based process to consider whether or when a booster might be necessary.
To learn more, call 817-392-8478 or email the hotline.
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