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StarMed Healthcare urging people to get COVID-19 vaccine as cases increase in Mecklenburg County

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 10:33 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Mecklenburg County health officials are urging you in every which way possible to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris provided a COVID-19 update on Friday.

Harris says there is an increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and percent positivity.

She says it partly has to do with the Delta variant, which they officially confirmed was found in Mecklenburg County.

16-year-old Ashley Viera-Zuniga says she wasn’t taking any chances getting COVID-19 especially after hearing about the Delta variant. She and her family got the vaccine on Friday.

“Seeing as how I’m vaccinated it gives me more protection and I know that if I do end up getting sick I’m at least vaccinated and it won’t spread as much hopefully,” Viera-Zuniga said.

Dr. Arin Piramzadian with StarMed Healthcare says if you’re unvaccinated in Mecklenburg County, now more than ever is your time to get the shot.

“Having so many people that are still unvaccinated in Mecklenburg County is obviously very dangerous. It’s opening us up to going back to where we were just a few months ago,” Piramzadian said.

Harris says most new positive cases are from people who aren’t fully vaccinated.

In a recent data collection, StarMed Health care said 62 percent of the positive cases are the Delta variant. Samples were collected from different sites across North Carolina.

In addition, Harris said 50 percent of the county is partially vaccinated and she’s noticed disparities in the Black and Hispanic communities.

Camino Community Center says it has noticed a trend of mistrust and misinformation in the Hispanic community. It is trying to overcome that with vaccine clinics, mobile vaccines, and having doctors translate to patients.

“Vaccines and COVID are very complex issues but we implore all Latinos who still have doubts about the vaccine and whether or not they should get vaccinated to please talk to someone who they’re comfortable, and who’s knowledgeable about the vaccine,” said Camino Community Center researcher Lennin Caro.

Health officials say people who are vaccinated and got COVID-19 have had milder symptoms but the Delta variant can be more harmful to unvaccinated people.

“All of our data is pointing to the fact that if you are unvaccinated, you are more likely to be infected and much more likely to have severe illness and complications and need for hospitalization and in some cases death result of not being vaccinated,” Harris said.

“There’s all these people out there that don’t think they’re actually at risk when they really are, so we need to get vaccinated not only to protect ourselves but to get over this whole mess,” Piramzadian said.

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