Unvaccinated people hurting efforts to bring COVID-19 under control, health experts say

How immunocompromised people are reacting to the COVID-19 vaccine, and the potential of 3rd doses
How immunocompromised people are reacting to the COVID-19 vaccine, and the potential of 3rd doses
Updated: Jul. 27, 2021 at 5:39 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Nintey-seven percent of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the past month across the country are unvaccinated, according to a state health official.

With the rise in COVID and the spread of the more deadly Delta variant, the State Department of Health and Environmental Control is recommending that all unvaccinated people wear a mask indoors or in crowded outdoor settings and is now also recommending that vaccinated people wear a mask, too.

The reason for that, according to State Assistant Epidemiologist Dr. Jane Kelly, is to protect people who are unvaccinated.

Over half the state remains unvaccinated.

”The fastest thing we can do to decrease the exponential growth of the delta variant is to begin wearing masks today,” Kelly says.

The latest numbers show almost 1,100 new cases in the state, with a percent positive of 10.6%. The age groups with the largest numbers are trending younger; 21 to 30 is the hardest-hit age group in the state right now.

More than half of state residents are not fully vaccinated; half have received at least one dose.

Dr. John Fowler with Roper St. Francis Health Care believes it would go a long way to reduce the spread of COVID if more people got vaccinated, and he says what really worries him is the unpredictability of this virus.

”Some people have very little trouble with the disease and then you see some people you think would be certainly healthy and have no issues and they’re on a ventilator, they’re in the ICU, and their family can’t come in and be with them,” Fowler said.

Health experts agree that if more people got vaccinated, the problems with COVID would be reduced and much more manageable. But the question now is how do you persuade those who are not vaccinated to get the shots?

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