American workers are facing increasing pressure to get vaccinated against Covid-19

Kaleb Zhang fills syringes with the vaccine for COVID-19 at a vaccination clinic at the Hatch Community Center in Hatch, New Mexico, on July 24.

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – Health officials said the COVID-19 vaccination is more urgent than ever. 

The Georgia Department of Public Health is urging Georgians, ages 12 and older, to get vaccinated as the number of new COVID-19 cases increases daily and the Delta variant spreads.

The COVID case rate in Georgia has increased 204% over the last 14 days. 

As of Wednesday, new cases totaled 4,612, which is the highest daily number since mid-February. Hospitalizations have increased by about 50% in the last 14 days, and deaths have increased by about 18% in the same period.

Vaccination has stalled statewide and only 40% of Georgians are fully vaccinated.

The CDC estimates the Delta variant accounts for 78% of new COVID cases in Georgia, making vaccination more urgent than ever.

The new Delta variant spreads more than twice as easily from one person to another, compared to earlier strains, with the highest spread of cases and severe outcomes happening in places with low vaccination rates.

Virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated.

Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health said: 

“Unfortunately, we can expect COVID numbers to keep growing. People who are unvaccinated or skip their second dose of vaccine are targets for infection. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. High vaccination coverage will reduce spread of the virus in your community and elsewhere - and help prevent new variants from emerging.”

If you receive either Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, you must get your second dose to ensure you are fully protected. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose of vaccine.

COVID vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. are safe and effective against COVID-19 and the variants that are circulating. Vaccination is the best defense at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and death. The delta variant is causing some “vaccine breakthrough infections,” meaning infections in fully vaccinated people, but even so, most breakthrough infections are mild.

In areas with substantial and high transmission, the CDC recommends that everyone (including fully vaccinated individuals) wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant.

COVID-19 vaccines are free and widely available statewide without insurance or identification.

To find a vaccination location or to schedule an appointment, click here.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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