Delta variant infecting more young adults, many unvaccinated

With more than 20,000 new COVID-19 infections reported in Florida in one day, our state is the epicenter for the virus.  The highly transmissible delta variant is spreading like wildfire.

"The vast majority of the cases that are occurring right now are in unvaccinated people," said Dr. Thomas Unnasch, an infectious disease researcher and professor of public health at the University of South Florida.

The 18 through 29 age group has the lowest vaccination rate among adults.

"Young adults, middle adult age group are the ones who are out there a lot more and really wishing this was over, or pretending it's over, and unfortunately, still not yet over I'm afraid," Dr. Unnasch said.  "You've got a virus now that's as infectious as chickenpox is, which is a super infectious virus, so if you're not vaccinated and you're out trying to live your life as you used to back in 2019, you're putting yourself at pretty high risk of being infected with this virus."

A majority of the younger population getting infected with COVID-19 had minor symptoms. That trend is changing though because so many people are still unvaccinated and because of the contagious delta variant.

"We're seeing a great spike in infections in this unvaccinated young adult population, or younger adult population and because there's so many more that are getting infected, there are many more ending up in the hospital," Dr. Unnasch said.

Dr. Unnasch and many others in the health community are urging people to get vaccinated. The peak of the fourth wave is still a few weeks away, so it is not too late to get the shots and protect yourself from severe infection, health experts say.