As the state’s COVID-19 cases continue to climb, and along with the recent Federal Drug Administration’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine, the following health organizations take this opportunity to help get the word out on the importance of COVID-19 vaccination:

  • North Dakota Medical Association
  • North Dakota Hospital Association
  • North Dakota Long Term Care Association
  • North Dakota Nurses Association

COVID-19 is quickly surging, and we need your help to keep it from spiraling out of control. According to health experts, SARS-CoV2 Delta is the main variant responsible for the spread.

Here is what we know about delta:

  • It is more contagious: more than two times as previous variants.
  • People not fully vaccinated are most at risk.
  • It may cause more severe illness than previous strains.
  • If infected, vaccinated people have a significant reduction in hospitalization and death.
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Data shows that COVID-19 vaccines are the No. 1 defense mechanism to prevent severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, and death. And one simple prevention measure getting vaccinated could make a difference by reducing the burden placed on our health care systems.

According to the North Dakota Department of Health, unvaccinated residents are 15 times more likely to test positive for the virus than those that are vaccinated. The infectious nature of the delta variant means it’s likely most unvaccinated people will contract virus in the coming months.

Vaccines are by far the safer approach compared to the risks of contracting the disease. Time is of the essence and here is why. Hospitalizations have more than doubled in the last month and infection rates among long-term care centers are on the rise. If this continues, health care staffing and bed availability could hamper the ability to care for patients your loved ones, friends, and family through another significant surge.

Help keep our health systems strong. Be part of the solution. Get vaccinated.

Misty Anderson is president of the North Dakota Medical Association; Tim Blasl is president of the North Dakota Hospital Association; Shelly Peterson is president of the North Dakota Long Term Care Association; and Tessa Johnson is president of the North Dakota Nurses Association.