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Delta variant poses new challenges for unvaccinated youth

SAN BENITO COUNTY, Calif. (KION)

The newly detected Delta variant of COVID-19 sparked concerns, but the population that may be most at risk is children. Kids under the age of 12 are ineligible to receive any brand of the coronavirus vaccine, making them more susceptible to catching the new strain. According to Carla Spencer, a registered nurse and Director of COVID-19 Response Operations for Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, the majority of coronavirus cases spread within households. Because the virus spreads so easily within the home, experts say it is especially important for all eligible family members to get fully vaccinated.

Doctor Ghilarducci, EMS Medical Director for Santa Cruz County, says that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have proven especially effective at fending off the virus. "Vaccines are just so powerfully effective, even against the Delta variant... Those two vaccines are about 95% effective in keeping you out of the hospital, which means keeping you alive," the Doctor said.

While the virus and developments of new strains thereof remains unpredictable, experts recommend taking certain actions in order to keep vulnerable populations, specifically children, safe. Vaccination, according to Doctor Ghilarducci, is the first step. As mentioned above, it is ideal for all eligible members of a household to become fully vaccinated so as to protect those who cannot get the vaccine. Second, he strongly suggests keeping children masked when indoors. Finally, talking to a pediatrician is the most reliable way to gain a better understanding of how you can keep your child safe.

The first official case of the COVID-19 Delta variant has been identified in Santa Cruz County on Tuesday and June 10 in San Benito County.

Despite new mutations to the virus, experts are confident that taking precautions such as masking and vaccinating will go a long way in keeping Californians safe as the state continues to reopen.

Coronavirus / Health / Local News / News / Rx Healthcare / San Benito County / Video
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Courtney Aitken

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