Health officials concerned with Covid surge

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DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Central Illinois health officials are encouraging people to get vaccinated and get their booster shot.

Vermilion County Health Department and a health official at OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center in Champaign County both say they are seeing a surge of Covid-19 cases.

Doug Toole in Vermilion County says they have too many people in the hospital with Covid-19. He says more than half of their population is not vaccinated and that vaccinations are key to keeping people out of the hospital. Toole says last count was before the holidays with about 40 people hospitalized. He thinks that number may rise.

“The folks who have gotten vaccinated, that’s a good start,” Toole said. “That’s giving you some protection, but unfortunately we seem to be hearing that a booster is really needed.”

He says with new variants, the booster is needed to help keep you from catching the virus. Brian Laird at OSF in Urbana is saying the same thing. He says you can help slow hospitalization rates if you get the vaccine and booster and says this will help slow the surge in Covid cases and hospitalizations.

“If you look back to last year at the same time we had another surge so is it because of the cold,” Laird said. “Is it because of the holidays? Is it because of both? Probably both, but either way the trend seems to hold what they did last year. So hopefully, like last year, after a couple weeks in January we can get the surge to go down.”

He said he had hoped last year that by this time we would be wrapping up with Covid, but there is no timeline on when the virus will end. He went on to say the best thing to do to stop variants from continuing is to get vaccinated to help slow the spread and keep people out of the hospital.

The c-d-c says people who *are vaccinated are not totally safe from getting the virus.

Experts say people with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine can get the booster shot two months after getting vaccinated. Officials with the CDC say if you got the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine you can get the booster shot 6 months after being vaccinated.

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