OPINION

Delta variant surging in Missouri and Colorado. It's time for unvaccinated Kansans to step up.

By The Editorial Advisory Board
A man receives a COVID-19 vaccine in Springfield, Mo., which is seeing an average of 94 new COVID-19 cases per day, 93% of which are the Delta variant.

The Delta variant of COVID-19 is at our doorstep.

Figures collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show Delta surging in Missouri and Colorado. And with our neighbors now grappling with this more contagious variant, how long will it be before it tears through Kansas as well?

It could well already be here. The challenge with determining how different mutations of COVID spread is that you have to perform special testing on the samples. The more testing you do, as former President Trump once fumed, the more cases you’ll find.

Why is Delta concerning?

In short, it’s a type of COVID-19 shown to be far more contagious than any other previous iteration. That means it can tear through unvaccinated communities like wildfire. We saw the dire consequences earlier this year in India, with hospitals overwhelmed by severely ill people, and country-wide shortages of medical oxygen. Scientists are trying to determine whether the variant causes more severe illness.

The good news? Vaccines work against Delta. Studies have repeatedly shown that fully vaccinated people have nearly as much protection against Delta as they do against any other type of COVID-19.

The bad news? You need to be fully vaccinated. No showing up for the first of two vaccine appointments and then blowing off the second. Data shows that the first shot alone is less effective at stopping Delta.

And if you’re not vaccinated at all? Watch out.

For everyone out there who hasn’t been vaccinated yet — and we know there’s a good number of you — it’s time to get your shot. We’re incredibly lucky in the United States to have an abundance of excellent vaccines, with minimal side effects. You can walk into a grocery store or pharmacy to receive one, and you will begin to protect yourself against all of the currently circulating varieties of COVID.

The vaccines have been tested thoroughly, have been approved by the FDA and have been proven not only to prevent symptoms but also to actually prevent you from catching or spreading COVID. They are incredible scientific accomplishments.

We shouldn’t just be vaccinated — we should feel incredible pride at what our fellow men and women have managed to do.

So get that vaccine. Stop Delta in its tracks, and let’s keep this nationwide recovery going.