State doctors calling on unvaccinated Texans to get the shot

The Texas Department of State Health Services says Texas is experiencing a drastic increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. State doctors are calling on unvaccinated Texans to get the shot.

"We are seeing COVID-19 spread quickly across Texas," said chief state epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Shuford.

DSHS is concerned about the recent rise of COVID-19.

"The seven-day average of new cases is up 92% from last week, hospitalizations are up 49%, fatalities are up 15% so those are all going in the wrong direction I'm afraid to say," said director of media relations Chris Van Deusen.

State doctors are saying the upward trend is driven by the Delta variant. As of Wednesday, 75% of COVID-19 cases in Texas are linked to the variant.

"We're seeing deep increases and hospitalizations deeper than we thought at the same point of even the first wave or the second wave," said Dr. Shuford.

According to Shuford, there's an easy way to slow the spread and that's to get vaccinated.

"Time is of the essence right now. COVID-19 is spreading quickly in Texas and causing increased hospitalizations in every age group. It is even more important for every person to go get fully vaccinated. We know that these vaccines work even against variants like Delta," she said.

Luckily, DSHS says there has been an increase in people getting vaccinated. "We hit a low there after July fourth, about 44,000 daily doses and that's gone up pretty steadily since to more than 75,000," said Van Deusen.

However, Dr. Shuford says that's not enough and hopes more Texans get their shot. Currently, around 43 percent of the Texas population is fully vaccinated.

"Vaccinated people are protected from getting sick with COVID-19, including this delta variant, and those vaccinated people who do get sick with COVID-19 are likely to have a shorter milder illness," said Dr. Shuford.

State doctors are asking everyone to mask up when they can, especially those who have not received their vaccine. This includes kids under 12.

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