DENVER (KDVR) – As the delta variant continues to spread throughout the country, the World Health Organization is asking vaccinated people to still wear masks to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, however have not changed, allowing fully vaccinated people to go without a mask.

In Denver-area hospitals, doctors tell FOX31 at least half of the unvaccinated COVID-19 patients are sick with the delta variant. The variant is significantly more contagious, and the symptoms patients feel are worse than from the original COVID-19 virus. Doctors continue to stress the message, that it’s the vaccines that will ultimately stop the spread.

“Not getting vaccinated if you have the opportunity to do so, is going to be one of the most selfish acts that history will view,” said Dr. Richard Zane with UCHealth. “History will view you poorly because you did not participate in finishing this pandemic.”

As of Sunday, less than three million Coloradans are fully vaccinated.

“What’s problematic and unexpected, is the degree to which the population that’s still unvaccinated, which means that we have fertile ground for more variants to happen,” Zane continued.

Doctors are thankful that the delta variant can still be detected in current COVID-19 testing methods and even more relieved our vaccines protect against it.

Research however, shows the vaccines are most effective against the original virus. Every variant can act differently, and more variants can form that the current vaccines don’t protect against. The key to preventing this from happening, is stopping the COVID-19 virus from spreading by getting the shot.

“What’s tragic is, it seems to be purposeful. We have more vaccines than we know what to do with. If you are over the age of 12 there’s no excuse for not getting the vaccine. If you are not getting a vaccine, you are not participating in the solution to this pandemic,” Zane stressed. “You are not doing your societal duty. You are not doing your act of patriotism. You are behaving in the most unamerican way ever imaginable after a pandemic. You are the problem if you are not vaccinated.”

Despite WHO recommendations for continued mask wearing, Colorado still is not requiring them for those that are vaccinated. The WHO argues the reason vaccinated people should wear a mask is to play it safe.

FOX31 reached out to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for their take on the matter but didn’t get a response yet.

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