Getting vaccinated can help end this pandemic.
As the nation begins to reopen, it is important to remain aware of the risk that COVID-19 still plays in our communities, especially for people who are not yet vaccinated. The virus continues to spread around the globe and varying strains of the virus are emerging, such as the Delta variant. In the United States, the number of COVID-19 cases has surpassed 33.5 million with more than 603,000 fatalities, and less than 60% of people 12 and older in the United States are fully vaccinated.
“We are encouraged by the growing vaccination rates around the country and advise everyone age 12 and older to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Kaiser Permanente national infectious disease leader Paul Thottingal, MD. “The CDC’s guidance that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask in many settings reinforces that getting vaccinated is essential to putting the pandemic behind us. Until then, those who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a quality, well-fitting mask in public places.”
It is important to note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance does not apply where federal, state, and local rules and regulations — including local business and workplace guidance — require wearing a mask. This includes high-risk areas such as health care settings and public transportation, and activities such as travel.
Studies suggest the current authorized vaccines offer strong protection against the circulating variants, including the Delta variant. However, even though mask mandates in many areas may be lifted, risk remains for ongoing transmission of this now more effective variant. When in public indoor spaces, wearing a mask adds protection, in addition to handwashing and physical distancing. Although wearing a mask may not be required for people who are fully vaccinated, some people may feel more comfortable continuing to wear a mask in public settings.
For the latest information on the vaccines and how to find an appointment in your area, visit kp.org/covidvaccine.
The pandemic has changed our lives in many unexpected ways, including introducing and expanding innovative care solutions that will make it easier and more convenient to get care even after the pandemic ends.
Nearly half of our outpatient care visits are now conducted by video or phone call. This includes an average of 40,000 video visits per weekday — and our members have rated our video visits 4.4 out of 5 stars on average. In a recent survey, 85% of respondents said they’re likely to select telehealth for their next primary care appointment.
Every day we’re filling approximately 116,000 prescriptions by mail, allowing our members to receive essential prescriptions at home. Our teams have adjusted resources and services to meet the increased mail-to-home demand, which has gone from a third of all prescriptions before the pandemic to now half of all prescriptions we dispense.
As of early July, we’ve administered more than 8.5 million diagnostic COVID-19 tests.
We’ve also administered more than 6.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.
We can all play a part in keeping ourselves, our families, and our communities healthy. If you’re 12 or older, getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to help end this pandemic. In addition to getting vaccinated when you’re eligible and complying with public health orders — including wearing a mask if you haven’t been fully vaccinated — you can protect yourself and keep your immunity strong by continuing to practice healthy habits such as getting plenty of rest, eating healthy foods, exercising, and managing your stress.