Mississippi doctors still urging folks to get vaccinated as Delta variant becomes dominant COVID strain

Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 7:29 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi’s hospitals are seeing a bump in COVID cases again - mostly because of the Delta variant, according to State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs.

As of the state’s last vaccination report, 31 percent of the population was fully vaccinated.

“Like, 93 percent of our deaths are in unvaccinated,” said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs in last Friday’s Mississippi State Medical Association COVID chat. “It is the unvaccinated people who are dying. The unvaccinated people who are going to the hospital. The unvaccinated people who are getting diagnosed, for the most part.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci was asked directly about Mississippi’s low rate on Sunday’s Meet the Press. He was asked if he’d wear a mask, even though he’s vaccinated, if he were in Biloxi, Mississippi, for example.

“If you put yourself in an environment in which you have a high level of viral dynamics and a very low level of vaccine, you might want to go the extra step and say, when I’m in that area where there’s a considerable degree of viral circulation, I might want to go the extra mile to be cautious enough to make sure that I get the extra added level of protection, even though the vaccines themselves are highly effective.”

Dr. Justin Turner says he sees some patients going that extra mile while others give a variety of reasons they won’t get the shots.

“Well, I think I’ll be fine,” noted Turner. “I’m just going to pray about it. I’m going to give it to God and God’s got me. And I’m asking them, ‘So what about the diabetes medicine you asked me for a refill on? Are you saying that you don’t have faith in God because you’re taking your diabetes pills?’ No, that’s not what you’re saying.”

Turner is particularly frustrated when he sees stats like those from last week that included three deaths among unvaccinated individuals in their 30s.

“But everyone around you may not be OK,” said Turner in reference to those who say they’re healthy and don’t worry about the virus. “So, we’re talking about a selfless American act. We talk about independence. We talk about freedom. If we get the vaccinations that we need, we can move on. And instead of this possible surge we’re seeing, we’re seeing a surge right now with Delta cases in the hospitals. Do we think it’s going to be as bad as the winter months? Probably not. But we never know.”

He’s hoping more people will make informed decisions surrounding the vaccines.

“Ask your doctor, not someone from the Facebook school of medicine,” added Turned. “But someone from an accredited school and let’s just get your concerns on the table.”

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