‘Get infected or be protected’: Memorial Health specialist urges vaccination amid breakthrough infections


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – With the recent rise in COVID-19 cases due to the delta variant, breakthrough infections are starting to become more common.

“This is a disease that is vaccine-preventable; any loss of life shouldn’t occur,” said Memorial Health Associate Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen Thacker.

The infectious disease specialist said the vast majority of individuals contracting the virus are unvaccinated. 

“The thing that makes the Delta variant is its ability to spread much quicker,” said Dr. Thacker.

Health leaders said the delta variant is a game-changer, as it shows to be very unpredictable. 

“We have all been humbled, whether we are scientists or not, by this virus throughout the pandemic, so this is just an example of what was not predicted,” Thacker said. “It was not predicted that there would be a circulating variant that would be so easy to spread to others, and that would have an impact on those that are vaccinated as well.”

Thacker says anyone that feels a sense of security from their vaccine should not.

“We are recognizing that even vaccinated individuals can have breakthrough infections with this variant, and there is preliminary evidence that it can also share their infection with others,” he said.

Health leaders urge anyone who has not been vaccinated to do so.

“The thing that is different than before is how infectious this new variant is to the point wherein broad strokes I would say folks should either expect to get infected by COVID-19 or be protected by vaccination,” Thacker added.

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