UF Health stresses the importance of vaccines following an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Out of all hospitalizations in North Central Florida, data shows most of them are for unvaccinated people who are contracting a stronger strain of Covid-19 which officials are referring to as the Delta variant.
However, individuals who are vaccinated are not out of the woods.
Health officials say fully inoculated people can still receive and transmit the virus, however chances of them becoming hospitalized, or dying from Covid-19, are significantly lower.
Ed Jimenez, CEO of UF Health Shands, says the vaccine was always meant to affect the impact from the virus, not the infection.
“The vaccine was always intended to lessen the impact of the virus. That’s why we would expect fully vaccinated people to be less likelihood of death than unvaccinated. We would expect a lesser rate of going to the ICU,” Jimenez explained.
Covid hospitalizations at UF Health increased from 14 two weeks ago, to 146 as of Aug. 2.
According to the Agency for Health Care Administration, about 25% of the beds at most Florida hospitals are still available.
Related Story: Florida breaks record for COVID-19 hospitalizations
Many hospitals across North Central Florida are lowering the amount of visitors allowed, and UF Health Shands is requiring N-95 masks for all emergency room staff.
Jimenez says the only way to get through this surge of hospitalizations is to get vaccinated and trust the science.
“If you trust the University of Florida’s athletics, or their athletic messaging, if you trust the University of Florida for their education messaging, please trust the scientists at the University of Florida that are telling you that vaccines are important and that they’re going to help us,” said Jimenez.
UF Health is increasing the number of meetings held about Covid-19 since the beginning of 2021. They say they’ll continue these efforts until vaccination rates are significantly higher.
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