The director of the Centers for Disease Control said that this summer we are in a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” According to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, 97 percent of people who are entering the hospital currently are unvaccinated.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data documents display vaccine hesitancy in Miami-Dade County and Broward County. The data also shows that in certain areas of South Florida it is estimated upwards of 8 percent of the population remain “strongly hesitant.”

Last April, infectious disease experts said that fighting vaccine hesitancy would be critical to the on-going battle against COVID-19.

Now in July, with the unvaccinated filling up hospital beds in South Florida, vaccine hesitancy is once again worrying community leaders, health-care workers, and public health officials.

Infectious disease experts like Marty are working to tackle misconceptions, such as the argument of “natural immunity and a belief system that catching COVID is somehow better than being vaccinated.

“There is no advantage to getting infected with the actual virus, whereas there is a real advantage to getting the vaccine. It is going to reduce your risk of severe disease, death, and ‘long’ COVID,” Marty said.

She added that “we really need to get to vaccine herd immunity because that’s when you really shut off the valve to make more variants and spread the disease further.”

The CDC recently reported that it is estimated that more than 60 percent of all cases stem from the highly contagious Delta variant. Marty said that the unvaccinated are not only getting more sick but risking the health of those fully vaccinated.

“These Delta variant cases are shedding thousands more viral load than the original,” Marty pointed out.

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“Now we have these unvaccinated shedding an outrageous amount of virus and, yes, you are vaccinated, but in an enclosed space your immunity can be overwhelmed by these high-dose infections. That’s why I am recommending that people, when they are indoors in poorly ventilated crowded spaces, go back to wearing a mask even if they are fully vaccinated.”

Miami-Dade County issued a joint news release Tuesday from several county leaders, including the mayor and police director, which urged residents to get vaccinated.

“Miami-Dade has already achieved a vaccination rate of over 75 percent, according to Florida Department of Health data – an enormous milestone, and a major factor in keeping positivity rates down relative to other parts of the state. But COVID variants pose a real and growing threat, and we can’t stop now,” the statement said.

In Broward County, Mayor Steve Geller is both frustrated and flummoxed as he witnesses the number of cases that have tripled in his county over the last two weeks despite the vaccine being available and accessible.

“I just don’t understand this,” he told Local 10 News. “We are in the middle of an exploding health crisis which is entirely preventable. The hospitalizations are preventable. I am horrified and hope that people will fix this, will protect themselves, their friends, their family, their community and their country and do the patriotic thing and …read more

Source:: News Headlines


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