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Healthcare

Dr. Kurra: 90% of reported COVID infections are unvaccinated people

Dr. Shankar Kurra
SDPB
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Dr. Shankar Kurra in SDPB's Rapid City Studio.

This interview is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment, hosted by Lori Walsh.

State health officials report about 5,700 active coronavirus infections in South Dakota and 200 people hospitalized.

Two new deaths bring the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 2,205.

Doctor Shankar Kurra is vice-president of medical affairs at Monument Health in Rapid City.

He says the best way to mitigate infections, hospitalizations and deaths is to increase vaccinations.

“90 percent or higher of all infections being reported in the state and across the country are folks that are unvaccinated. And they’re the cause for the spread – not saying this in terms of blame – but the virus is seeking individuals that haven’t been protected, and once it gets in there, it adapts and adapts more until it can spread.”

Increasing the state’s vaccination rate is proving difficult.

People 12 and older are eligible for vaccines. About 57 percent are fully vaccinated. That percentage has changed little in recent months.