EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. — Here’s some unfortunate news: You can be vaccinated against COVID-19 and still contract the virus. Thanks, delta variant.
The new variant of the virus has prompted a new spike in infection rates around the country and locally — although that spike is still well below those seen in 2020. Hospitalizations and deaths are also lower than they were a year ago.
Confirmed cases in Eagle County were nearly flat in late May and early June, but have slowed ticked up in July.
The problem is twofold with the delta variant: Unvaccinated people are contracting the mutated virus, which spreads and reproduces quickly enough to overwhelm the protection vaccines provide. That new variant is also more communicable.
Vail Health Population Health Director Chris Lindley said at this point, health care professionals say that virtually every new COVID case is the delta variant, since 83% of all diagnosed cases are that variant.
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The variant is also “at least” twice as contagious as the virus that first appeared last year in the U.S.
But vaccines do help.
The vaccines are “remarkable” at preventing hospitalizations and deaths, Lindley said.
“There’s a benefit to being vaccinated — it’s our best protection against COVID,” said Heath Harmon, Eagle County’s public health director. “But there’s no such thing as a vaccine that’s 100% effective.”
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