CentraCare spokesman Dr. George Morris joined me on WJON today.  He says they have 5 people within CentraCare and St. Cloud hospital hospitalized with COVID-19 this week.  He says among the 5, three have not been vaccinated while 2 have received a vaccine but have pre-existing compromised immune systems.  Morris says unvaccinated people are much more likely to spread the COVID-19 virus than vaccinated people.  He says the vaccines are safe and effective and it is rare for someone who has been vaccinated to test positive for COVID-19 and even more rare to develop symptoms that would force them to be hospitalized.

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Five people being hospitalized at CentraCare with COVID-19 isn't a large number.  Morris says we have tended to trend 4 to 6 weeks behind national trends of the spread of the virus so a surge of COVID-19 infections could happen within a month.  ABC News is reporting today that 45 states are reporting at least a 10% increase in COVID-19 cases.

Morris says every virus mutates and COVID-19 has mutated many times in the past year-plus.  He says most of these new variants or mutations aren't more contagious or deadly but the new Delta variant is more contagious but not more deadly than the Alpha variant.  The Alpha is also known as the U.K. variant.

Dr. Morris says a booster shot isn't recommended yet for vaccinated people but still could be for those with compromised immunes systems.  He says it is more likely that those who received the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine will need a booster than those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

If people are interested in getting a COVID-19 vaccine Morris encourages people to go to centracare.com or call 320-200-3200.  If you are interested in hear my full conversation with Dr. Morris you can listen below.



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