NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. - The pandemic of the unvaccinated is real and it is on display at Halifax Health Medical Center. The Volusia County hospital network announced they have exceeded their peak COVID-19 hospitalizations by 40%. Of those admitted, 90% are unvaccinated. The delta variant is the most common strain found in patients.
"It appears to be more viral and creating more severe disease in any given age, especially in the unvaccinated," said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Margaret Crossman.
Halifax Health is reporting 72 admitted COVID-19 patients. That number smashing their once peak that was in the mid-50s.
"We have 23 that are in critical care. Eleven of those are on ventilators," said Dr. Crossman.
Halifax Health Medical Center.
According to Florida Health, Florida’s positivity rate has doubled to nearly 12% after sitting at about 5% just two weeks ago. The seven-day rolling average is getting close to January’s peak.
AdventHealth says they are caring for 700 patients across Central Florida which is just under their peak of 900 patients. They say of those admitted, 94% are unvaccinated.
"If Health First COVID hospitalizations double this week and double next week and double the week after then we will begin to see an issue where our healthcare system can’t function," said State Representative Randy Fine. "In Brevard County, 95% of patients at Health First hospital are unvaccinated despite the fact that they only make up 46% of the county."
The numbers in Brevard County are startling to Rep. Fine, a Republican lawmaker from Palm Bay whose personal battle with COVID-19 put him at death's door.
"That’s not an experience I want others to have and the vaccine appears to be very effective in keeping people out of the hospital," said Fine.
Only 40% of Florida’s population remains unvaccinated yet hospitalizations are reaching a point where vaccines weren’t widely available yet.
"If you don’t want to get the vaccine that is fine, but, if you end up in the hospital, don’t come crying to me," said Fine.
From county to county, roughly 5% of hospitalized patients are vaccinated.
"They are reporting less severe symptoms overall when I compare them to my unvaccinated patient’s age-to-age there are more severe symptoms in the unvaccinated without a doubt," says Dr. Crossman.
Dr. Crossman said the vaccine has proven to be effective against the variants but individual factors could open up the door for exposure.
"Sometimes as people age, get a little older or have other illnesses or are on certain medication, they might not respond quite as well to the vaccine as someone who is younger or healthier," said Dr. Crossman.
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