(NAPSI)—The Delta variant is the most contagious form of COVID-19 in the United States and currently accounts for nearly all new cases. As the variant continues to spread, vaccine hesitancy remains high among Louisiana residents.
“The Delta variant is driving nearly all new COVID-19 cases in the United States and causing hospitals to fill up, mostly with unvaccinated people,” said Dr. Matthew Malachowski, System Director, Population Health and Ambulatory Care Ochsner Health Pharmacy in New Orleans. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to keep you, your loved ones, and those who can’t get vaccinated safe and will help bring an end to this pandemic.”
Learn more below about how to keep yourself and others safe from COVID-19.
1. Get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated has never been more important than it is right now, as unvaccinated people are 17 times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19 than people who have been vaccinated. Vaccines are highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19, and offer protection against most variants, including Delta. Vaccines are available, at no cost, to anyone age 12 and older in the United States.
2. Wear a mask. Besides getting vaccinated, wearing a mask is one of the most effective ways to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. CDC guidelines advise vaccinated and unvaccinated people to wear a mask indoors and in crowded or shared spaces.
3. Keep your distance. Being in large crowds of people when you are unsure of their vaccination status for an extended time can be dangerous. Staying at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live with you and who may not be vaccinated is another way to protect yourself.
Viruses thrive in unvaccinated populations. If COVID-19 continues to spread from person to person, it will have more opportunities to mutate into potentially more dangerous variants. Remember, while wearing a mask and social distancing are effective preventive measures, getting fully vaccinated is the most effective way to remain safe while also protecting people who cannot get vaccinated.
For more information and to find where to get a vaccine, visit vaccines.gov.