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INDIANAPOLIS — The Marion County Public Health Department is urging all residents ages 12 and older to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

The push for vaccinations comes after the FDA this week granted full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

In Marion County, the 7-day average COVID positivity rate remains above 10%, with ICU beds nearly at capacity and continuing to fill up.

The surge in cases is being driven by the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19. This variant of the virus has also been shown to be more dangerous for children. Currently, the rate of cases is higher among school-aged children than among adults in Marion County and is climbing rapidly.

“It is clear that the Delta variant is causing more frequent and severe cases of COVID-19 amongst our city’s children, many of whom do not yet have the ability to get vaccinated. I strongly recommend that everyone in our community who is eligible – but especially parents, educators, and child caregivers – to get their shot today and help protect the kids of Marion County,” said Dr. Virginia Caine, Director and Chief Medical Officer of MCPHD.

MCPHD is also advising business owners to encourage vaccinations for staff and require masks for patrons, staff, and anyone else spending time indoors at their establishments.