Local doctors: All unvaccinated people will eventually get some form of COVID

'You can get the vaccine or the virus. There's no third option.'

MADISON, Wis.– Dane County doctors say it appears some people believe there are three choices when it comes to COVID: get vaccinated and protect yourself, don’t get vaccinated and live your life, or don’t get vaccinated, but live cautiously enough to avoid the virus. With the extremely contagious delta variant now the dominant strain in Dane County, local doctors say that third option is not a reality.

“If you are not vaccinated, it’s not a matter of if you will get COVID-19,” said UW Health Dr. Jeff Pothof. “It’s when.”

“The proportion of our cases that are the delta variant increased really dramatically, really quickly,” said Brittany Grogan, data analyst for Public Health Madison-Dane County.

In April and May, Grogan said there were no cases of the delta strain reported in Dane County. By June, the variant was responsible for one-third of all cases. Now, more than 80% of all new cases in Dane County are the delta strain, and that percentage continues to climb.

“So then, unvaccinated people will just have to see what happens,” said Dr. Pothof. “Do they get by with mild disease? Or are they unlucky and end up in the hospital?”

99.5% of people who have died from COVID so far this summer were unvaccinated.

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