CentraCare spokesman Dr. George Morris joined me on WJON today.  He says St. Cloud Hospital now has 15 positive cases of COVID-19 with 5 of those in the ICU.  Those numbers are up from the week before.  He says the majority of cases in the hospital are unvaccinated people.  Morris says it is rare for someone who is vaccinated to develop severe COVID-19 symptoms.  He says they don't test people locally for whether they have the Delta variant or a different form of COVID-19 but those numbers are put together state wide.  Morris says the state indicates that 75% of the new cases are the Delta variant.  He says the Delta variant is more contagious and has shown that vaccinated aren't as protected from the Delta variant. Morris says a booster to protect vaccinated and unvaccinated people is in the works and could be available as early as this fall.

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Dr. Morris says "no vaccine is perfect" and evidence is now showing that some vaccines are more effective than others.  He says the Johnson & Johnson vaccine hasn't been as effective against new COVID-19 variants which is why a booster will likely be needed.

Approximately 55 percent of Stearns County eligible residents have received the vaccine. Morris says the goal of getting to 70% of the local population vaccinated just isn't where we are.  He says he'd like to see vaccination numbers to get to 80 or 90 percent.  Morris the vaccine is being pushed by those in the health care industry and shouldn't be viewed as a political thing.

Morris says CentraCare is still making the vaccine available for eligible individuals.  Besides online options the phone number to schedule an appointment can be made by calling 320-200-3200.  if you'd like to hear my conversation with Dr. Morris please listen below.




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