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Vaccine mandates could be key to lowering rate of recent surge, Beaumont doctor says

The recent surge in cases could have been avoided, health officials said.

BEAUMONT, Texas — A Beaumont doctor believes the key to lowering the rate of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases is to require vaccinations, whether it be for businesses, restaurants or even the government.

The recent surge in cases could have been avoided, health officials said. 

“I'm disappointed in our response because quite frankly, we did it to ourselves,” Msonthi Levine, board certified physician of internal medicine, said. “Other countries do not have the knowledge and don't have the resources, but we do.”

Positive COVID-19 cases dwindled tremendously a couple months ago as vaccinations were on the rise and people continued wearing masks, Levine said.

“It’s just surprising that we proved to ourselves that a certain system works, that would be vaccines and wearing masks, and now we're here a month or two later with another surge," he said.

Once people stopped wearing their masks and vaccination rates began to decline, Southeast Texas set itself up for the latest surge in cases, Levine said.

With school right around the corner, Levine believes requiring vaccinations and masks is the way out of another surge.

“In the next several weeks, we certainly will see how this thing unfolds," he said. "And obviously, if it does look like we're losing control of the pandemic, (Gov. Greg Abbot) obviously will have to issue some mandates."

Levine believes that if not enough people get vaccinated, the virus will continue to mutate and the Southeast Texas community could find itself in the same situation over and over again. 

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