SAN ANTONIO — The Delta variant of the coronavirus is taking its toll on the U.S. and Texas with exponentially increasing numbers.
So often we hear if vaccinated people are getting COVID, why should I bother getting the vaccine?
"The vaccines are incredibly effective at preventing the most serious complications of COVID-19, which is hospitalizations and deaths. They also are very good at preventing symptomatic disease in general," said Dr. Bryan Alsip, the Chief Medical Officer with University Health.
He says it will also slow down the spread of the virus to others. Dr. Alsip told KENS 5, "There's also data to suggest that those who are vaccinated carry fewer viral particles in the respiratory tract, which makes them less likely to actually spread the disease to somebody else, even if they don't have symptoms."
The Delta variant could be catastrophic in communities with low vaccination rates. Many unvaccinated patients who contracted COVID-19 wish they had gotten the vaccine.
Vaccinated people should avoid large crowds. Vaccinated people should also wear masks indoors where the vaccination status of others is unknown. More COVID-19 variants are likely to come, experts say.
Dr. Alsip said, "Our best protection to minimize that, or to ultimately eliminate that, is to really focus on getting as many people vaccinated as possible."
Dr. Alsip says when it comes to travel, vaccinated people need to evaluate the risks versus the benefits -- "Depending on the nature of your travel, whether you're traveling alone or in public transportation, what your destination might be, your ability to protect yourself, even beyond vaccination in terms of wearing masks or distancing and similarly so for other situations," said Dr. Alsip. Those same considerations also apply to large gatherings.
University Health recommends that if you are asymptomatic, but feel you need a COVID test, to go to an urgent care as ERs around town are extremely busy. If you are seriously ill, they'll direct you to an emergency room.
For more information about family health call (210) 358-3045. You can also find the rest of our Wear The Gown stories here.