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Delta variant accounts for majority of new COVID-19 cases in MS

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Coinciding with a nationwide trend, the Delta variant is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Mississippi as cases continue to mount. 

CDC data shows that the more contagious variant now accounts for more than half of all new COVID-19 cases across the country. In Mississippi, from June 16-25, the strain made up 78% of new cases, according to State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. Mississippi now has 137 confirmed cases of the Delta variant—up from 78 a week ago.

Along with the spread of the variant, Dr. Dobbs also mentioned that the MSDH is observing a subsequent rise in hospitalizations. 

Mississippi has been named among the five states that are the most at-risk as the Delta variant spreads due to the state’s low vaccination rate. With just around 30% of the state’s population fully vaccinated, Mississippi’s rate is last in the nation. Stressing the importance of the vaccine during a press conference last week, Dr. Dobbs explained that unvaccinated individuals make up an alarming percentage of new cases and deaths. 

“Those who are dying, those new cases and hospitalizations are really among the unvaccinated,” Dr. Dobbs said before giving the following statistics. “90% of our deaths are in unvaccinated [individuals], 96% of our cases are unvaccinated, 95% of our hospitalizations are unvaccinated. The vaccinations are saving lives, they’re saving dollars, and they’re saving people from having to go to the hospital.”

Health officials have continued to note that the available vaccines remain highly effective against the Delta variant, especially at preventing serious illness and hospitalizations. 

Questions have also begun to arise regarding potential booster doses of the vaccine. Dr. Dobbs stated that those who are “immunocompromised” should talk to their doctor about the possibility after failing to generate an immune response from the initial doses. 

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