Grand majority of COVID patients in area hospitals are unvaccinated, more patients than last year

We spoke to all three area hospitals to break down the major trends.
We spoke to all three area hospitals to break down the major trends.(ORMC)
Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 6:48 PM CDT
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Behind the walls of all three hospitals, COIVD patients are filling a big portion of beds.

Many of them have one thing in common—most of them are unvaccinated.

Midland Memorial Hospital said on Monday that 90% of its COVID population did not get a shot before they caught the virus and all five of the patients who died over this past weekend were unvaccinated.

Dr. Larry Wilson encouraged residents to get the shot and championed the Pfizer vaccine, which just gained full FDA approval Monday, as a reliable option for people who are still on the fence.

“There is literally a thousand times greater chance of a complication if you get the infection than there is from any of these vaccines.”

At Medical Center Hospital, 88% of its covid patients are unvaccinated.

Trevor Tankersley, director of communications at MCH, said there are seven patients in critical condition despite getting the vaccine, but that’s more the exception than the rule.

“If you look at the overall numbers from our region, the state and even the country, you have a much better chance of fighting off this virus, particularly the Delta strain, if you are vaccinated,” Tankersley said.

He also pointed out that, unlike the first strain of COVID, the Delta variant isn’t just targeting the elderly.

“Now I dare say it’s fairly normal to see someone that’s in their 40s, 50s, 60s walk in the door and need to be hospitalized with the Delta strain,” Tankersley said.

Dr. Rohith Saravanan with Odessa Regional Medical Center explained we’re seeing this gap now because more elderly people have been getting vaccinated while a lot of younger people have decided not to, leaving them vulnerable.

“You’ll see over age 65, we have 75% of our population vaccinated,” Saravanan said. “But over age 12, which is all eligible patients, we only have 40% vaccinated and that’s reflective of what we’re seeing in age distribution in the hospital.”

At Odessa Regional Medical Center, unvaccinated patients account for almost its entire COVID patient population.

Between their 29 covid patients, only one of them has been confirmed as vaccinated and they are not in critical care.

The CDC has taken noted of this pattern.

It released a study saying that unvaccinated people are five times more likely to be infected and 29 times more likely to end up in the hospital if they get covid compared to people who have gotten their shots.

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