As the COVID-19 vaccination rate continues to climb in the province and the rate of infection remains low, you may be tempted to skip the second shot, or simply not be inoculated at all.

However, as people travel throughout the province for summer holidays and visitors from elsewhere arrive, there is an increasing risk of coming into contact with a new COVID-19 Variant of Concern.

The number of infections from the Delta variant is increasing in the province.

Anne-Marie Nichol, an Associate professor with the Health Sciences Faculty of Simon Fraser University, warns that the new variant spreads quickly and easily between people.

“The Delta variant is rising in the province and it is much easier to spread between people than the previous variants that we’ve seen, or even the original strain.”

Nichol says it’s important to ensure you get both doses of a vaccine because research in Canada and other countries with higher vaccination rates show “it takes two doses of vaccine and the requirement of time, the seven to 14 days,” to be fully protected.

She says a higher vaccination rate also reduces the number of potential hosts for the COVID-19 virus, so it has less chance of undergoing further mutations.

In addition to making sure you get your second dose of a COVID vaccine, she recommends people continue wearing masks in public indoor spaces.