AUDIO: Higher vaccine rate needed to protect community from Delta variant

Sanford Bemidji’s Dr. Colleen Swank says our area needs to get to around 80 or 85 percent vaccinated to be protected against the COVID delta variant.

Around 46 percent of Beltrami County’s entire population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Almost 56 percent of the eligible population fully vaccinated.

Swank said the Delta variant is much more contagious than other strains of COVID-19, with an R0 of around five.

The R0 of five means one infected person can spread COVID-19 to at least five people, versus the previous strains’ spread to one or two.

Swank said this is because a mutation in the Delta variant allows it to reproduce more quickly in the nose where it can then quickly spread to others.

For those who haven’t been vaccinated yet, Dr. Swank says now is the time to rethink the reasons why.

The full interview with Dr. Swank:


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University.


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