Indiana health experts bracing for a strong wave of Delta cases

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(Photo supplied/Centers For Disease Control and Prevention)

Indiana could be susceptible to another wave of coronavirus, given the way the Delta variant spreads, says an infectious disease expert who is urging people to get educated about the COVID vaccine.

Indiana’s vaccination rate is 54.3 percent. That number is people who are eligible and are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.

“I think we all hoped it would be higher at this stage in the pandemic because our goal has always been to get to that point of potential herd immunity. But, we are not there yet,” said Dr. Ann MacIntyre, who is part of a national campaign from the Ad Council, to convince people to educate themselves about the vaccine.

She said that earlier in the pandemic when the vaccine became widely available, many older people got it. But, many of the people who are being affected now, by the Delta variant in some cases, are younger.

“We don’t know what the long-term effects are of getting the natural virus,” she said. “We are seeing many individuals that were asymptomatic that unfortunately, are having long-term repercussions, that seem to be associated with having had the natural virus.”

Another issue is that some people believed at first that the pandemic spread was confined to urban areas because of how close people are to each other.

“Now we are learning that in fact, in the more rural areas, those individuals are also at risk of getting the disease.”

MacIntyre said at least getting scientific information about the vaccine is a step toward deciding whether you should get it. Going to your doctor and asking questions could lead you to the conclusion that is right for you.

“They know your current health status. So, they would be able to determine what potentially you’re at risk for,” she said, acknowledging that some people, because of pre-existing conditions, would be better off not getting the vaccine. But, she said those people would be better protected if everyone who was eligible got the shot(s).

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