Officials with Deaconess Health System said Monday that the Delta variant of COVID-19 was now the dominant strain of the virus in southwest Indiana.
Deaconess said it had received confirmation that the Delta variant was now the most prevalent in the area from the Indiana State Department of Health.
Deaconess President Dr. James Porter and Director of Microbiology Dr. April Abbott discussed the news from the state health department on Monday afternoon.
Dr. Porter told 44News that the Pfizer vaccine is around 85% effective at preventing symptomatic infection and even better at preventing hospitalizations.
Although vaccinated individuals can still contract the Delta variant, Dr. Porter says the vaccine remains the most reliable form of protection against the virus.
"If you aren't vaccinated, get vaccinated," Dr. Porter said. "It's by far the best way for us to get out of this pandemic, it's the best protection for individuals, it's the best protection for us as a population."
According to the state health department, 67.3% of samples tested in July showed positive results for the Delta variant - making the Delta variant now the most prevalent strain of COVID-19 throughout the state.
Indiana State Department of Health
Before the Delta strain topped the variant chart on the state's COVID-19 dashboard, the B.1.1.7 variant, also known as the "UK Variant," had previously held the top spot on that list.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, evidence suggests that the Delta variant is potentially more transmissible than other variants.
With Warrick, Posey, and Vanderburgh counties back in the Yellow on the state's COVID-19 map and Gibson County in the Orange, local leaders indicate the Delta variant could be to blame.