Hendrick Health sees uptick in COVID-19 patients as delta variant spreads, officials urge residents to get vaccine

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Abilene health officials are seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases in ages 25-45 years old.

Although they say they’re not sure if the delta variant has reached the Key City yet, they are still asking citizens to prepare for a potential surge by getting vaccinated.  

National vaccine fatigue has the CDC coining a new phrase, “The Pandemic of the Unvaccinated.”  

“We were overrun, there’s no question, 150 excess patients that we were not prepared for because of this pandemic,” says Hendrick Health CEO Brad Holland.  

While we cannot know for sure if the delta variant is in Abilene yet, Holland says “it’s only anticipated that it’s here.”

Holland says that getting the COVID-19 vaccine can reduce the delta variant symptoms.  

“It’s expected to be about 85% or 83% of the predominant strain in the United States now, but we can’t test for it locally, nor will we ever test for it other than at the state level.” 

Abilene resident Paul Hickey agrees that getting the shot is the right place to start.  

“I think it’s a great idea for people to stay safe by getting vaccinated and then following whatever the CDC is telling us to do,” says Hickey.   

According to Hendrick Health, recent studies suggest the delta variant spreads 225% faster than the original strand and affects younger patients more severely. 

“If you have a concern, get a vaccination that’s it,” Holland says. 

Currently, Taylor County vaccination rates sit at 43%, according to State Health and Human Services. This leaves a 20% percent gap until herd immunity can be reached that allows for the variant to go after new groups. 

The vaccine is readily available in Abilene for anyone who wants to take it and most places do not require an appointment, you can simply just walk in.  

For links to locations offering the COVID-19 vaccines, click here

For vaccinations through the City of Abilene, click here.

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