SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — According to the South Dakota Department of Health, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are increasing.
95-percent of those seriously ill patients in South Dakota are people who have not been vaccinated.
Avera’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Elliot says getting vaccinated not only protects the person getting the vaccine, it lowers the chance of the virus mutating into something even more dangerous.
“I can’t emphasize this enough Tom, if we reduce people’s risk of contracting the virus, then we reduce the risk of viral variants from forming, critically important,” Dr. Elliot said.
He says getting more people vaccinated and getting to herd immunity is the key to putting the pandemic behind us. Dr. Elliot also says the Delta variant doesn’t appear to be more severe, but it does spread much easier and that makes it dangerous.