COVID will become the ‘disease of the unvaccinated’ says Yale infectious disease doctor

Health

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — With the COVID-19 positivity rate on the rise in Connecticut, health experts are seeing the spike in cases in primarily those who still have yet to get a vaccination, even though shots are readily available.

About four out of every five COVID cases is the Delta variant, spreading furiously among the unvaccinated nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“The Delta variant now represents 83% of sequenced cases,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told ABC News. “Vaccines are widely available across the country and this suffering and loss is simply and entirely preventable.”

“The coverage rate for vaccination here in Connecticut is still hanging around the 60% number. And so this is really just a message that you know that COVID, moving forward, will be a disease of the unvaccinated, and really we need people who haven’t received the vaccine to roll their sleeves up and get the shot,” said Yale Medicine infectious diseases specialist Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu.

RELATED: Health Headlines: Doctor discusses the symptoms for vaccinated people who contract the Delta variant

He says that vaccinated people can enjoy the liberties the CDC recommends. But those unvaccinated, kids under 12, and those with immune-compromised conditions should take safety measures such as wearing masks, avoiding indoor crowded spaces, and taking those public health measures to protect themselves.

Dr. Ogbuagu is doing some of the trials on a possible third vaccination.

“We’re doing booster shots in people who have received vaccines at least six to 12 months away and also testing booster shots that are targeting some of the more difficult variants like the beta variant which is highly contagious and harder to prevent or treat than the original version.”

Dr. Ogbuagu hopes for results in two or three months. He is also running trials on smaller vaccine doses in younger kids and weighed in on when those results would go to the FDA.

“We’ll hear about five to 11 hopefully later in the fall and then much younger children may have to wait for the end of the year or early next year.”

There will be COVID-19 vaccinations available at the Northwest Parking lot of Pope Park in Hartford Thursday. There will also be unlimited free hot dog meals, fun activities for kids, vendors, and a live DJ. The event will run from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.

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