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Expert reveals why there’s ‘greater urgency’ to get people vaccinated

Is it safe to interact inside because of the delta variant?

SHARE Expert reveals why there’s ‘greater urgency’ to get people vaccinated
Visitors wear masks as they view Vincent van Gogh’s “Irises.”

Visitors wear masks as they view art, including Vincent van Gogh’s “Irises,” at left, at the Getty Center amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. The delta variant continues to spread in the United States, and it might change the way fully vaccinated people should interact with others indoors.

Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associated Press

The delta variant continues to spread in the United States, and it might change the way fully vaccinated people should interact with others indoors.

How is the delta variant spreading?

Dr. Robert Paine III, a University of Utah pulmonologist, told the Deseret News that the variant is spreading fast between people, and there is a greater risk for people who are not vaccinated.

  • “This variant is clearly more easily spread from person to person. Individuals who have not been vaccinated are more likely to become infected when they encounter someone who has the virus,” Paine said.

Indeed, officials have called the spread of the delta variant the pandemic of the unvaccinated. So far, breakthrough cases of COVID-19 tend to be rare among Americans, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

Should you be inside with unvaccinated people?

And, Paine said, people should try to avoid indoor interactions right now to stop from spreading the variant.

  • “There is even greater urgency to have as many people as possible vaccinated,” he told the Deseret News in an email. “I encourage people to remain cautious about indoor interactions with others who have not been vaccinated and to strongly consider masking when indoors with others, especially groups of people who may not have been vaccinated.”

How to stop delta variant

Paine said there is a chance the virus will continue to mutate. The best thing people can do, he said, is get vaccinated.

  • “The vaccines are wonderful and are saving lives,” he said. “Everyone should be encouraged to be vaccinated.”

Right now, 165.6 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Paine has been leading out on treatment methods for COVID-19, according to WBUR. This includes people inhaling leukine, which is a naturally occurring molecule that can defend the lungs.

  • “Because it is given as an inhaled mist, it targets the lung to alleviate respiratory failure and reduce the need for oxygen therapy. This is a key step in preventing the need for ICU care and support on a mechanical ventilator. Finally, because leukine works through the body’s natural defense mechanisms it will be beneficial even if variants of the virus arise for which vaccines are less effective,” Paine said.