Vaccination rates are key to fighting off variants, experts say

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The fast-spreading delta variant is a cause for concern for many parents, so what's the best way to prevent it?

Experts suggest increasing vaccination rates.

Dr. Pedro Peidra with the Baylor College of Medicine spoke with ABC13 on Wednesday about the delta variant.

He said parents should ask and be aware of safeguards that summer camps or day cares have in place to help slow the spread.

"I would tell a parent if you really want to get over with the issue of having [COVID-19] or not, if you're the appropriate age, get vaccinated," said Peidra. "That's the best way to avoid this. Also, have the family vaccinated because then it provides more like an umbrella. It makes it harder for the virus to spread in the family."

WATCH: How parents can protect their children from delta variant
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For children under the age of 12, the fast-spreading variant may be a cause for concern. How can parents protect them? ABC13's Steve Campion spoke with local doctors about this and has answers in the video above.



Last week, Eyewitness News reported 14 people in Harris County contracted the delta variant between April and June, according to the public health department.

Health officials said all 14 individuals were unvaccinated. Those affected range from 20 to 60 years of age. No related deaths have been reported.

Although 14 cases were confirmed through additional testing, that number may not reflect the total number of cases in the Houston area, according to officials.

The delta variant is a version of the coronavirus that has been found in more than 80 countries since it was first detected in India. It got its name from the World Health Organization, which names notable variants after letters of the Greek alphabet.

READ ALSO: What should I know about the COVID delta variant?

Experts say the variant spreads more easily because of mutations that make it better at latching onto cells in our bodies.

The CDC reports nearly 25% of new COVID-19 cases were linked to the delta variant and are up 6% from early June this year.

READ ALSO: Delta COVID-19 variant is now in more than 80 countries, WHO says

The best protection against the variant is to be fully vaccinated by any of the three available COVID-19 vaccines, health officials said.

Currently, only half of Harris County residents are fully vaccinated.

For more information on where to get vaccinated, visit the Harris County Public Health website or call 832-927-8787.

READ ALSO: UTMB testing new COVID variant found in India against vaccines

For updates on this report, follow ABC13 reporter Steve Campion on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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