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Few excuses remain for the unvaccinated

The Chief of the Medical Staff at Trinity Health, Dr. Jeffrey Sather, made a simple request on Wednesday during a joint press conference with North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and the other medical leaders in North Dakota and the surrounding area.

To accomplish this, the medical leaders around the state offered several answers. Some of those answers, we’ve heard for more than a year: masking, social distancing and limiting large public gatherings. The other answer is one of a personal choice, getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Those who have not gotten the vaccine have a myriad of reasons why they have not. But the mistrust of the federal government seems to be at the top of that list. Exposure to incorrect or misleading information seems to be running a close second.

Roughly 370 million doses of the vaccine have been administrated in the United States to date. The vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective against COVID-19 and the Pfizer vaccine is FDA approved.

The risks of contracting the Delta variant of COVID-19 are much higher to those who do not get vaccinated. There are stories coming out of the southern U.S., where the variant is surging, of patients who are sick and pleading to get the vaccination after being hospitalized.

Of the active COVID-19 cases in North Dakota, 91% of the active cases are those who have not been fully vaccinated, and only 52.2% of residents between the ages of 12-65 are vaccinated. Our older residents, those older than 65, are 77.2% vaccinated. The Delta variant is spreading faster and is affecting those who are younger than the original virus.

The hospitals around North Dakota are already at or close to capacity. Locally, 20% of all of Trinity Health’s resources are going to continue the fight against COVID-19 with an entire floor at Trinity being used solely for COVID patients. With one disease taking up 20% of all the local health resources, health needs like elective procedures, non-emergency surgeries and other non-essential care may not happen because the staffing isn’t available.

If you’re not vaccinated, we are pleading with you to talk to your trusted local physician, nurse, or other health care provider. The choice is yours. The data is now there to show that the COVID-19 vaccination is safe and effective – much safer than going unvaccinated.

This Delta variant surge is quickly becoming an epidemic of the unvaccinated.

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