UNMC Physician Says Nebraskans Should Be Concerned of Delta Variant

Aug. 5, 2021, 5 p.m. ·

Photo of a man in navy suit, with a yellow and blue striped tie.
Dr. James Lawler (Photo Courtesy, University of Nebraska Medical Center/Nebraska Medicine)

A University of Nebraska Medical Center physician said Nebraskans should be concerned about the COVID-19 Delta variant and need to take action.

Dr. James Lawler is co-executive director of the Global Center for Health Security at UNMC and said people who are not fully vaccinated are more prone to contract the variant. Plus, most hospitalizations they are seeing are with unvaccinated people.

"Because Delta variant is able to cause more severe disease, we’re seeing that younger people who would have experienced a relatively mild infection with previous viruses are now starting to develop more serious infections that even require hospitalization, " he said.

Dr. Lawler said the most important action people can do to protect themselves from the variant is to get vaccinated.

"I’m very concerned that this Delta wave is actually going to be the worst phase of the pandemic for many parts of the country—particularly areas that have lower vaccine rates," he said. "And Nebraska is one of the areas of the country that has relatively low vaccination rates, particularly in our more rural counties."

Lawler said if Nebraskans want to avoid experiencing high COVID-19 hospitalization cases, like in Florida and Texas, they need to act quickly.