Health leaders announced the delta variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Indiana. As of Saturday, there were 97 cases of the variant, according to the state’s website.
They were found through sequencing, that’s when the state submits randomized samples to test for variants.
The delta variant is known to be a more dangerous strain of the virus, especially for those that are not vaccinated. It can also spread a lot quicker.
That’s why Marion County health officials were encouraging Hoosiers on Saturday to come to its pop-clinic at Warren Central High School— where many teens and families showed up.
“As soon as I heard about it. I signed my daughter up and informed my son so he could sign up,” said Kimberly Peters, who lives just around the corner.
The county hopes to have 50 percent of its population fully vaccinated by July 4. Right now, about 39 percent of the total population is fully vaccinated and 45 percent of those who are eligible.
“Every person that’s been hospitalized or have died recently from COVID-19, one thing we know about all of them, is they have been unvaccinated,” said Dr. Virginia Caine, director of Marion County Public Health Department.
Now with the delta variant, Dr. Caine says there is more of a need to ramp of vaccinations.
“It’s very contagious, 40 percent more contagious and we think it may be associated with more severe complications,” she said.
The most vulnerable to the variant, are people in their 20s and 30s, which is the same group with a low vaccination rate.
But health officials do believe the vaccine does provide immunity to this new strain.
To help, Marion County started a two-week "Vaccinate Indy tour" opening more pop-up clinics and offering incentives to those that get the shot.
From Saturday to July 2, any resident that gets vaccinated at a county clinic or pop-up location will be entered into a drawing for prizes donated by the community. They include two season tickets for the Colts and a signed Peyton Manning rookie jersey. Also, other sporting tickets, membership to the zoo, and pool admission at Indy Parks.
They will also be doing smaller drawings daily. The sweepstakes ends July 2.
“This is part of a big last push to get us where we need to be by July the 4th,” Dr. Caine said.