Memphis health officials push vaccination as COVID cases continue to rise
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Between the Delta variant and the refusal of people to be vaccinated, concern grows. Memphis health officials implored the public with a message that takes three simple words: Get vaccinated.
Tennessee Department of Health commissioner Dr Lisa Piercey said the state has seen a more than 200% increase in cases since July 1 and the numbers continue to rise.
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare’s Dr John Eick says he was just starting to think we got a taste of freedom from COVID-19, going weeks without treating someone with the deadly virus. But now the wave of grief is back.
âEveryone is honestly a little demoralized by this,â Eick said.
As of June 24, there were 14 COVID positive patients in the Le Bonheur Methodist health system. Today, 87 patients are infected with the virus.
âIt’s a mental struggle just to see it increase, which only adds to the tragic stories we’ve already collected over the past year and a half. Especially when we know this was all preventable, âEick said.
He says it’s preventable with the COVID-19 vaccine.
MLH says it examined 40 COVID-positive patients admitted earlier this month. Ninety-five percent of them were not vaccinated.
Doctors we spoke to today said they have seen cases of the breakthrough infection, which means someone has been vaccinated against COVID-19 but still contracted the virus. They tell us these numbers are low.
âAs we see an increase in cases in our community, we will see cases of breakthrough infection. However, the main tasks of the vaccine are to keep people out of the hospital and prevent them from dying, âsaid Dr Shirin Mazumder of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. “However, most of these breakthrough infections have much milder symptoms than most of us would associate with a cold.”
As we see more cases of COVID-19, experts tell us they expect the number of deaths to increase as well.
The pressure and the plea from the doctors are clear: get vaccinated.
âWhat I want to remind you is that in almost every case that results in serious illness, so things that lead to hospitalization and death, almost all of them are unvaccinated,â Piercey said.
Eick mentioned that at the start of the pandemic, we talked about doing your part to protect your community, family and friends. He is now saying, get vaccinated to protect yourself.
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