MAGIC VALLEY — While hospitals throughout the state continue to see a surge in COVID-19 cases, health officials say vaccination rates throughout the state are on the rise.
“We have seen an increase of vaccinations distributed throughout our region and the state, so that is good," Brianna Bodily with the South Central Public Health District said.
Health officials say they have also seen an increase of immunocompromised people getting a third dose of the vaccine after the CDC recently recommended it.
“And this isn’t a booster dose. This is just one more dose to help boost their immune system. So those individuals have also been coming in for the vaccine, which is great because we do know that they are definitely at higher risk than other individuals for severe consequences from COVID-19," Bodily said.
Although the vaccination rates are increasing, health officials say it is still not enough and vaccination rates still need to be higher.
“But we aren’t seeing the increase that we need to see to combat the levels of disease spread that we are looking at. Part of the issue that we are seeing with these covid-19 variants is because they spread so much faster, that variant or virus is coming at our immune system more often," Bodily said.
Which health officials say means the virus is more likely to break down your immune system. This is why vaccines are a crucial part of slowing down the spread of COVID-19.
“When we continue to see COVID-19 spread so rapidly at this level, even vaccinated individuals are at risk. The more individuals we can get vaccinated, the better protection we have in general, the more likely we can help stop the spread of COVID-19, protecting everybody," Bodily said.
Taking safety precautions like wearing a mask and social distancing is still crucial during this time since the vaccination rates still need to increase.
“Please, please remember there is still a huge need to stay home if you are sick, especially your kiddos. They are back in school right now. If they are showing signs of disease, please keep them home. Talk to your employer about working from home if necessary," Bodily said.