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Doctors Warn of the Importance of Vaccines and Masks in Combating the Delta Variant

Earlier this week, the Tampa Bay Times published a guest column by, Dr. J. Stacey Klutts, clinical associate professor of pathology and clinical microbiology at the University of Iowa and chief of the pathology and laboratory service for the Central Iowa VA Health Care System. In this piece, Dr. Klutts, who notes he “has a front row seat to all the latest data” and discoveries related to COVID-19, employs a straightforward nine-point approach to explain why vaccines, mask-wearing, and other safety protocols are still so important in our efforts to combat this pandemic, especially considering the increased danger posed by the delta variant. 

In addition to making clear how much more robust and infectious the delta variant truly is, Dr. Klutts also explains why more and more children are becoming infected and experiencing moderate to serious illness from COVID-19. The good news, according to Dr. Klutts is that the vaccines are working – performing exactly how scientists hoped and “expected” they would, particularly at preventing severe illness and death in those that are fully vaccinated. Still, recent data suggests that the protection provided by the vaccines may diminish over time. Therefore, yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a statement recommending that all vaccinated Americans sign up to receive a COVID-19 booster shot when they become available in the ensuing months. For more details about the CDC’s recommendation, refer to the Associated Press article published in the August 18 edition of the Star Tribune.  And, for more information on the delta variant and how we can continue to protect ourselves and one another, please read Dr. Klutts’ guest column online at

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