TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Doctors say they're seeing more young people want the vaccine, but concerns remain high. Teenagers and young adults say they're getting vaccinated because they're afraid of what the Delta variant is doing.
"This thing is really real. People are still dying from it," said Candice Jackson.
Hospitalizations and cases of COVID-19 continue to rise as the Delta variant spreads. Medical experts say this wave is impacting the 20-40 age range the hardest.
The Florida Department of Health reports 41% of people in their 20's are vaccinated, 49% in their 30's. and 59% in their 40's.
"You're seeing more younger people, because the older people got vaccinated and we know the vaccine protects you."
Dr. Cheryl Holder says the Delta variant is a stronger version of what moved throughout the world last summer, meaning it's much easier to make a healthy person sick.
"This virus is much more able to latch on to the receptor cells than the previous virus because it's changed, it's mutated," said. Dr. Holder.
That means the delta variant is much stronger, allowing it to attach to more healthy cells versus the regular strain of COVID.
"You can tell now that people are on the cautionary side, " said Jackson.
If you have COVID and haven't received a vaccine, doctors say the best time to get your shot is once you are clear of symptoms and out of quarantine.
Dr. Daniel Van Durme says the delta variant is so strong, you're not protected by any antibodies built up from simply having COVID.
"The immune system is extremely complicated and the vaccine provides us some protection from bad infections but it's incapable of fighting every virus that gets into your system. The delta variant is extremely dangerous," said Dr. Van Durme.
Thats also explains how a vaccinated person can get the virus. However, the outcome is much different if you have the added protection from the vaccine.
"It doesn't send you to the hospital. It doesn't send you to the ICU. It doesn't send you to the morgue. All the more reason to get vaccinated," said Dr. Van Durme.
Florida State College of Medicine will host a virtual town hall Wednesday, August 4th, at noon. You can register here.