CentraCare Spokesman Dr. George Morris joined me on WJON today.  He says they have 22 positive Covid-19 patients with 4 of them in the ICU/Critical Care unit at St. Cloud Hospital.  Morris says they are down from 25 positive Covid-19 patients last week with 5 in the ICU.  He says despite the drop in numbers he is still concerned about the possibility of a surge or wave of new cases this summer or fall based on a significant number of the population not being vaccinated and the possibility of a new COVID variant.  Morris says these could be outbreaks in small groups that aren't likely to overwhelm the community.  Listen to our 2-part conversation below.



Dr. Morris says evidence is showing that those vaccinated are likely to be protected for more than a year.  He says those who were vaccinated when the vaccine was first administered still have immunity a year later.  He says those who had COVID-19 likely have around 6 months of immunity based on new evidence.  He encourages those who have had COVID-19 to get the vaccine and view it as a booster of their immunity from the virus.

Morris says they continue to vaccinate people at a high rate. He says they've reached a plateau of vaccination interest in the last 2 to 3 weeks.  Morris says people are still getting the vaccine but they could vaccinate more.  He says the range of immunity goal is still 70-90%.  He says he'd like to see 80% herd immunity even though 70% wouldn't be bad.

Both Pfizer and Moderna have requested their vaccines go from emergency status to full use status.  Morris still this would further emphasize the effectiveness of the vaccines and allow for flexibility for those administering vaccines.

Dr. Morris joins me weekly on WJON.

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