SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Concerns are growing over the COVID-19 delta variant, specifically for those not fully vaccinated, as President Joe Biden pushes for more Americans to get their shots.
"That variant has proved to be one that can spread very quickly and be transmitted widely amongst people that are not vaccinated,” said Dr. Robert Roose, chief medical officer at Mercy Medical Center.
Roose explained to Western Mass News how the delta variant can impact those not fully vaccinated. He said best way to protect yourself is to get the vaccine, but for those not vaccinated, here is what could happen.
“A variant like the delta variant could lead to a rising number of infections and could lead to people getting sick and suffering outcomes like hospitalizations or even death,” Roose added.
We asked Springfield Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris what parents can do to best protect their kids under 12 since there is not a vaccine available for them yet.
“That they are around their children may still want to consider wearing face coverings in certain situations, particularly if individuals come into their environment who are not part of the household,” Caulton-Harris explained.
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President Joe Biden's plan is to have 70 percent of adults with at least one vaccine dose by July 4. We asked Caulton-Harris if that realistic for the city of Springfield.
"For the city of Springfield, it is not realistic. We have done the data around those zip codes in our city where we are severely lacking behind,” Caulton-Harris
To break down the numbers for you, nearly 40 percent of adults in Springfield are fully vaccinated. Statewide, more than 60 percent of adults are fully vaccinated. Caulton-Harris added they are going door-to-door in certain neighborhoods encouraging people to get fully vaccinated and they are considering incentives for those who do.
However, we found some people are still hesitant.
“I want to keep my kids safe. I don't want to get sick, but I am not letting it control my life,” said Morgan Labelle of West Springfield.
Others are doubtful about the president's vaccination goal.
“Too many people are skeptical or confused or lack of information on getting vaccinated,” said Joseph O’Neil of Springfield.