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What physicians are saying

by Lara Farrar | July 4, 2021 at 3:26 a.m.

"Patients will get sicker, faster. They will come in three or four days after an exposure instead of seven or eight. Oftentimes, they will decline more quickly. With the first variants, often most people took a couple of weeks before their symptoms really hit their height."

-- Dr. Dirk Haselow, Baptist Health associate medical director of infection prevention/epidemiologist

"Unless we are able to greatly increase the number of people who are vaccinated in Arkansas, we will see a surge in hospitalizations and deaths."

-- Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, Arkansas Department of Health, state epidemiologist

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"It is heartbreaking to ask somebody, 'Were you vaccinated?' and them look me back in the eyes and say, 'No,' and start crying. The regret of them now understanding the consequence of not getting vaccinated for the reasons that may or may not have been important to them at the time is heartbreaking. I am just begging every Arkansan to get vaccinated."

-- Dr. Ryan Dare, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center, infectious disease expert

"The Delta variant is just incredibly contagious. That is the big concern. Then combine that with low vaccination rates in the state with potentially more severe illness, and those are all bad combinations."

-- Dr. Kasey Holder, St. Bernards Medical Center (Jonesboro), vice president of medical affairs

"Our health care providers are exhausted right now. They have been in this battle for a year and a half, and as they see the numbers of new cases go up, they are sounding a warning signal that the storm is coming, and we need to do all we can to avoid exposure, to gain protection and not to allow this virus to win the day."

-- Dr. Joe Thompson, Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, president and CEO

"I was burned out before, but covid just made it worse. If there is a way I cannot have to deal with people who cannot be bothered to prevent their own illness. It is really tiresome at this point."

-- Dr. Charles "Corey" Scott, Little Rock-based emergency medicine physician

"If we don't get more people vaccinated, this will not go away. As we give this virus more hosts to bounce back and forth from, we're going to see that it's going to randomly mutate and eventually we're going to get a strain that the vaccine doesn't work at all for. And then we are going to be back where we started."

-- Dr. Jason M. McKinney, Mercy Hospital (Rogers), medical director, intensive care unit

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