Doctors at Prisma Health have warned of rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the last few weeks as variants of the disease — including the Delta variant — are reported in South Carolina.
“We’re one of the 31 states in the U.S. that saw an increase of at least 50% new cases over the past week compared to the previous week,” said Dr. Helmut Albrecht, Prisma’s medical director of infectious diseases. “We are predictably seeing another surge.”
Albrecht said this surge is more localized and biased toward unvaccinated groups.
“We had weeks in the beginning of the year where every day we lost more Americans than on 9/11, and we cannot want to go back to that,” he said. “Now, virtually all [COVID-19-related deaths] are completely avoidable, in my opinion, with an incredibly effective and safe vaccine out there.”
Pediatric infectious disease physician at Prisma, Dr. Anna Kathryn Burch, urged vaccinations for children about to return to class.
“Not only can it help protect them, but it can help protect others who are not able to get the vaccine,” Burch said. “It also allows us to start developing this herd immunity, which is a large portion of the population being vaccinated and that way it protects others who are not able to get the vaccine.”
Children 12 and over can receive the Pfizer vaccine. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines and their availability visit https://scdhec.gov/covid19.