Despite high vaccination rates in Vermont and the Northeast, experts say the delta variant is surging and if things don’t change, cases will continue to rise.

The mutated version of the coronavirus virus is twice as likely to spread from person to person. 

“It’s just as deadly so it’s a big cause of the uptick in cases lately,” Dr. Tim Lahey, Infectious Disease Specialist, at UVMMC said. 

“The good news is that although delta spreads really easily people that are vaccinated are still quite well protected from severe disease and death, but no vaccination is 100% perfect,” Dr. Lahey said.

Governor Phil Scott urged those still un-vaccinated to roll up their sleeves and get the shot.

The state’s vaccination rate has hovered around 83% for a while, leaving 90,000 Vermonters vulnerable.

“I think delta is mostly a sign that people who are not vaccinated, need to go get vaccinated to stay safe and keep their neighbors safe,” Dr. Lahey said. “Most people who are getting sick now and adding their numbers to the case counts are people who are not vaccinated, who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 more than they ever have before”

Covid Support VT Director Alex Karambelas said people have been calling with concerns about the variant. 

“Because there are so many different places around the country right now that are having different experiences and impacts, I think that there is a lot of uncertainty around what the next chunk of time is going to hold for us collectively,” Karambelas said. 

Dr. Lahey said he is worried about the coming fall if people are not vaccinated. 

“I would say that we have now had millions and millions of people vaccinated with the most intense global scrutiny of a vaccine that we have ever had,” Dr. Lahey “And we know it’s safe and effective and there is no time like the present to get it done.”