Health providers say it’s important now more than ever to get the COVID-19 vaccine and especially important to show up for the second dose if needed.

Southwestern Health District Unit serves residents across eight counties. Each week they are ensuring people have full access to the opportunity to have their shot at the COVID-19 vaccine.

“In a rural county, if they call us, we’ll make arrangements to go their house or try to make it so that if there’s– we’re trying shrink that gap. If they want it we’ll get the dose to them one way or another,” explained Sherry Adams, the executive officer for Southwestern District Health Unit.

On a weekly basis, they are seeing a consistent number of at least 75 people getting their vaccine.

Adams says they are actually seeing an influx in one specific group of people being vaccinated.

“We have been seeing a lot more teenagers, parents bringing in their kids in. And we think that’s really good that they are trying to get both doses done before school,” explained Adams.

Adams says with the new delta variant now in North Dakota, it is vital that people return for their second dose if they are scheduled to do so.

“So the very first strain you know one person maybe would make one person sick. The strain, the UK strain, would maybe make four people sick from one person being infected. This one? Six people or eight people from one infected. So the contagious factor is much more enhanced,” said Adams.

She says as cases drop, less people have gotten vaccinated which can have an effect down the road.

“But we may see pockets of people in groups in communities getting sick if their numbers are not up from the vaccinations. And that’s what makes us concerned,” said Adams.

Adams says they are following up with people to ensure they are getting their second dose.

In North Dakota, 51 percent of the 18 and older population have received at least one dose and about 48 percent of the 18 and over population are up to date on their vaccinations.

About 48 percent of kids 12 and older have received one shot and 45 percent of kids 12 and older are fully vaccinated.