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Elderplan/HomeFirst COVID-19 Update

Elderplan/HomeFirst Encourages You to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine

Dear Elderplan/HomeFirst Member:

We’d like to take a moment to address the frightening new strain of COVID now circulating in the U.S. and the even greater need and rationale for being vaccinated.

While the number of confirmed cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in New York have all been decreasing, and the positivity rate (percentage of people who get tested for COVID-19 and are found to have the disease) is now less than 1%, there are still some very troubling warning signs. Specifically, the new Delta variant of the coronavirus could present significant challenges unless we continue to take the necessary actions – most importantly, getting vaccinated.  

Some important points:

  • The new Delta variant of COVID is at least 50% more transmissible than the prior strains
  • This variant is rapidly spreading through much of the world. Just last week, areas of Australia and several other countries were locked down to try to stop the spread
  • The Delta variant has already been detected in all 50 states. In some states, more than 50% of new COVID cases are caused by this rapidly spreading variant
  • Vaccinated people appear to be protected from severe illness and death due to the Delta variant, underscoring the need to be vaccinated
  • Despite the good news about severe illness, the number of vaccinated people who become infected with milder illness – and are therefore capable of spreading the illness to others – is expected to increase. This suggests the need to be vigilant, and consider masking and distancing when indoors, especially in crowded areas
  • Unvaccinated people are at the greatest risk of severe illness, hospitalization and dying. In fact, almost all hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 are now happening among those who are unvaccinated.
  • The complications associated with vaccination are minimal and are far outweighed by the risk of severe illness presented by the Delta variant

What should be your key take-aways?  First, get vaccinated now if you haven’t already. More than 170 million people in the U.S. have been vaccinated and the number of complications has been tiny. Second, vaccination can protect you from serious illness and death due to the Delta variant. Vaccination works.


David Wagner
President and CEO
MJHS Health System