INDIANAPOLIS — COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Indiana. Many are wondering why, as health experts stress even more about the importance of getting vaccinated to protect yourself.
“Clearly this is still going on,” said Dr. Christopher Belcher, Ascension St. Vincent Infection Prevention Medical Director. “A year and a half later, we still have COVID. We’re still in a pandemic.”
“I think people should be very concerned about the Delta variant,” Dr. Virginia Caine, Marion County Public Health Director added.
Doctors cite the recent uptick to the emergence of new variants. The Delta variant being one of them, as it’s the dominant strain right now in the United States, as well as in Indiana.
“Oh, I was debating it for a long time, a very long time,” said Dee, who received her shot this week at a mobile vaccine clinic in downtown Indianapolis. “Really what pushed me was my sister ended up catching COVID.”
These new developments are prompting some people to now get vaccinated.
“You’re talking about another one coming and it’s like, I thought I did pretty good around the first one,” Dee said. “But now you’re talking about something faster too? Oh I better go and do what I gotta do.”
“I have comorbidities. I can’t run that risk and I’d rather get it than not have it,” Hank Grimes, who was also recently vaccinated said. “I don’t want to gamble, you know? I’ll gamble with my money but not with my health.”
Others are also feeling compelled to finally get vaccinated, but for other reasons.
“We meet with a lot of clients daily and I just want to make sure I’m healthy for them and vice versa,” said Joann Sifuentes of Sifuentes Solutions, LLC.
“I don’t want to be prohibited, limited or restricted to go anywhere or travel,” Jason Jones explained.
Almost all of the people being admitted to the hospital with COVID are unvaccinated, Belcher said. He said this might be the first time they’ve gotten COVID, but that’s not the case for everyone.
“Some of those people are people who’ve already had one of the original COVID strains and because the vaccine is so much better at protecting you than the natural disease is, they are more susceptible than a vaccinated person would be," Belcher added.
Belcher said this is because the vaccine protects against many strains, while natural immunity from previously contracting COVID-19 likely only protects you for some time from that one strain alone.
You can view the latest information on the variants on the state department of health's COVID-19 information dashboard.