OU Children's Hospital is hoping to get as many people vaccinated as possible as the Delta Variant continues to spread statewide.
“I'm concerned that we are heading into another wave of COVID hospitalizations and deaths,” OU Health family medicine physician Dr. Shawn Fitzgerald said.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, there are approximately 465,000 positive COVID-19 cases. Dr. Fitzgerald said the most dominant strain of COVID-19 right now is the Delta variant.
“It's very infectious and it makes people ill very quickly as compared to the variant of COVID-19 that was infecting individuals last winter,” Dr. Fitzgerald said.
Dr. Fitzgerald said the variant is affecting younger people. It is also more transmissible. As a means of getting ahead of a potential third wave of the virus, the hospital hosted a mass family vaccine clinic Saturday.
“These type of community clinics, these type of opportunities for people to come in on a Saturday when it's more convenient for them bringing children now that the vaccines are approved for children. We're able to get ahead of the delta variant and stop that spread,” OU Health Sciences Center medical student Sergio Preciado said.
The event was open to adults as well as children 12 and older looking to get their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
“I'm actually 30 weeks pregnant and I have been, to be honest, a little hesitant to get the vaccine along the way, but as this new variant has come out, I've realized how important it is,” Megan Salamone said.
Another way Dr. Fitzgerald said the state can get ahead of the Delta variant is by getting vaccines in as many people as possible but also said the state's vaccination rate is not high enough for herd immunity.
“I felt ‘naked’ without the vaccine,” Salamone said. “I'm doing my duty to make sure that I can get vaccinated to make sure people feel safe around me as well as I feel safe around other people.”