There are only three Covid-19 patients at Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital at North Shore University Hospital in Long Island, New York – a far cry from when the hospital, which is part of Northwell Health, had until to 600 patients during the peak of the pandemic.
The three patients, who are in the intensive care unit, have one thing in common, said Dr Hugh Cassiere, director of intensive care services at the hospital: They are not vaccinated.
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The trend seems to be happening in hospitals across the country.
“I haven’t had anyone who has been fully vaccinated become seriously ill,” said Dr. Josh Denson, pulmonologist and intensive care physician at Tulane University Medical Center in New Orleans.
The same goes for Dr. Ken Lyn-Kew, pulmonologist in the intensive care unit at National Jewish Health in Denver: “None of our intensive care patients have been vaccinated.”
Unvaccinated children also appear to be at increased risk for serious illness.
“In our local hospitals, the children who get sick are the ones who don’t get vaccinated,” said Dr. Natasha Burgert, pediatrician in Overland Park, Kansas, and national spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Thanks to Covid-19 vaccines, the number of hospital patients has dropped from more than 125,000 on average in early January to just over 15,000 on average this week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The vaccines work very well,” Denson said. “It’s just ridiculous not having it.”
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Just over half of adults – 53% – have been fully immunized.
The intensive care doctors also stressed the importance of completing the series of vaccinations against the Covid-19.
Dr Todd Rice, director of the medical intensive care unit at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said the hospital admitted at least 32 patients who were only partially vaccinated, meaning they had not received injection or had not had enough time after their last dose. for their immune system to develop protective antibodies.
But the overwhelming majority of sick patients in recent months – since vaccines became widely available – have not been vaccinated, Rice said.
Breakthrough infections, that is, those that occur in fully vaccinated individuals, are possible, although extremely rare. If they do occur, it is highly unlikely that a person will need to be hospitalized, according to a study published on Friday on the MedRxiv preprint server. (Studies published on Preprint Servers have not been peer reviewed.)
When Rice saw groundbreaking cases requiring hospitalization, it was only in patients with weakened immune systems, so they likely didn’t respond as well to vaccines.
“One of those we took care of had cancer and another was on immunosuppressants for rheumatologic disease,” Rice said.
Lyn-Kew also had one or two extremely ill patients who had been fully immunized.
“It turns out they were all immunocompromised,” he said.
Some, he said, had cancer when they were injected and did not respond well to the vaccines.
Although the CDC recommends that people get vaccinated, whether or not they have been previously infected, Lyn-Kew said some of his hospital patients have decided to forgo vaccination due to previous illness – even s ‘they had never been tested to confirm they had Covid-19.
“They thought they were sick with Covid, but they weren’t. And they have the ‘Oh I don’t need to get the vaccine because of this’ mentality,” Lyn-Kew said. . “They are seriously mistaken.
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