OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Hundreds of East Bay doctors have signed onto an urgent plea for unvaccinated patients in their care to receive their COVID-19 shots, amid the ongoing spread of the Delta variant.

“You’ve trusted us with every other aspect of your health. Please trust us with this,” said the open letter signed by 400 physicians of the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association.

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“We are not asking you to do anything that we have not done ourselves,” the doctors went on to say, noting that more than 96% of U.S. physicians have received the COVID-19 vaccine as of June.

Dr. Suparna Dutta, the group’s president and a cosigner of the letter, said “We have been on the front lines for more than 18 months and we are tired of the suffering and pain and death we have experienced from COVID.”

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“We can stop this cycle of suffering by getting vaccinated,” Dutta went on to say.

The letter comes as the highly contagious variant spreads, largely among the unvaccinated. In Alameda County, the unvaccinated had a seven-day case rate of 19.6 per 100,000, compared to 6.9 per 100,000 for the fully vaccinated as of September 8.

Health officials in Contra Costa County said earlier this week that unvaccinated residents have case rates that are about five times as high as the fully vaccinated, hospitalizations rates that are about 16 times higher and death rates that are about 22 times higher.

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The surge due to the Delta variant has also prompted Contra Costa County and the city of Berkeley to implement proof of vaccination requirements for entering bars, restaurants and gyms.