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Coronavirus

Coronavirus is mutating in unvaccinated people, officials urge vaccines to prevent prolonging pandemic

Concerns over coronavirus variants continue to rise here at home. 

Health experts are sharing that the virus needs an unvaccinated person to successfully mutate into a stronger variant  — adding the more unvaccinated people we have in our community, the likelier it is we’ll see more variants in the future. 

“A virus can only mutate and transmit itself when it finds a body that is not vaccinated that is not protected,” said Dr. Conrado Bárzaga, CEO, Desert Healthcare District.

The district is urging anyone unvaccinated to reconsider. “In a vaccinated body, it’s very unlikely that the virus will be transmitted,” added Dr. Bárzaga.

He says the vaccine is not only for your own personal protection, but to stop the virus from finding a home where it can mutate into even more dangerous variants down the road — extending the pandemic.  

According to new documents just released by the CDC, the delta variant is more transmissible than Sars, Ebola, the common cold and the seasonal flu. It’s equally as transmissible as the chickenpox. 

The CDC says breakthrough infections are possible even in fully vaccinated people, however the vaccine reduces the risk of death or severe disease 10-fold.  

Here in the Coachella Valley, there are nearly 140,000 people eligible to receive the vaccine who have not done so. That’s about a third of all eligible people. And the majority of the unvaccinated are young people. 

“That’s the community we’re calling. We’re asking you to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Bárzaga. 

The district added the areas with the highest infection rates right now are Thermal, Oasis and Coachella. 

“Those are the communities that we believe should be getting more vaccines so we can raise that level of community immunity...or herd immunity,” he said. 

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Madison Weil

Madison Weil joined the KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 News Team in June 2018. Learn more about Madison here.

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