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COVID-19 Officer and virologist discuss the current state of pandemic

FILE — Officials from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced Tuesday that they have...
FILE — Officials from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced Tuesday that they have confirmed a third presumptive positive case of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).(Associated Press (custom credit) | AP)
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 6:42 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - On Thursday, the University of Oklahoma Chief COVID Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler gave a statement on the current COVID-19 pandemic.

He said COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the rise, while vaccination rates aren’t where they should be.

Bratzler said 48 percent of all Oklahomans have had one dose, while 40 percent are fully vaccinated.

And in the 12 to 17 year age range, he said only 20 percent are fully vaccinated.

Bratzler reminds parents to get their kids vaccinated as the school year begins, or there could be a spike in COVID-19 cases.

He said many people are skeptical about getting the vaccine, but issued a reminder of the only two reasons to not get a vaccine.

”There are only two contraindications to getting a vaccine,” Bratzler said. “The first is if you have anaphylaxis to the first dose, the only way you’ll know that is if you get a first dose. Second, is if you have a known allergy to one of the components to one of the vaccines. Those are the only two medical reasons to not get a vaccine.”

Meanwhile, Pfizer has announced the need for a third booster shot saying it could provide a significant increase in immunity.

But Virologist James Papin with OU’s College of Medicine said he doesn’t think it’s necessary.

”I think what’s important to note about that, even with current dose regimen with that vaccine, we see really good protection already against Delta variant,” he said. “While it may be slightly reduced form the original strain, it is not substantially reduced to a number that gives concern that it is not efficacious against the Delta variant.”

Papin said complete eradication of COVID-19 was never the goal.

The goal was to stop hospitalizations and death, and he said the current vaccines have done that.

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