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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – In the last 24 hours, just over 6,800 people have started the coronavirus vaccination process in Ohio.

The state’s vaccination rate is just under 49%, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

With the increase of cases from the Delta variant and the upcoming return to school for children in the fall, state health leaders are renewing their push to address vaccine safety and hesitancy.

Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Health reported more than 740 new COVID-19 cases.

That is the biggest single-day increase in almost two months.

The increase is being marked two weeks after the July 4th holiday and doctors say the Delta variant is also a big factor.

Ohio health leaders describe Delta as more transmissible. For the unvaccinated, they say it takes less of the virus to cause severe infections.

A Wednesday press conference from the Ohio Department of Health included Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, Associate Medical Director of Pediatric Infection Control at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital Amy Edwards, MD, and Pediatrician Patty Manning-Courtney, MD.

Currently, the COVID-19 vaccine is approved for people over the age of 12.

“The safety record is phenomenal up to this point,” said Dr. Amy Edwards.

“I don’t see any reason not to have a child vaccinated,” she continued.

For children who are too young to be vaccinated, she says adult vaccination is the best protection.

“The vast majority of pediatric cases are from adult exposures.”

Vaccination rates among those ages 20 to 29 are the lowest in the state at just over 40%.

The 30 to 39 group is around 47%.

The state website does not track ages 12 to 19 as its own group, instead of putting 0 to 19 together, even though only 12 and up are eligible to be vaccinated.