As every media outlet bombards the public with scary tales of unvaccinated people begging for a COVID vaccine before being incubated or of vaccinated people dying from this new “Delta Variant,” maybe it’s appropriate just to look at some firm numbers and listen to advice from Florida’s healthcare experts.
The Florida Hospital Association (FHA) discussed the latest information on COVID-19 yesterday with its member hospitals and healthcare providers.
As of Friday, July 17, 2021 the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations stand at 5,359, which is a 42 percent increase over the previous week. However, that’s roughly half of peak reached in July 2020 (10,179) and two thirds of peak reached in January 2021 (8,233).
The overwhelming majority of those hospitalized COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated, with the average age of those hospitalized younger than during previous peaks.
No hospitals report serious shortages of supplies.
Hospitals are closely monitoring staffing levels and express concern about existing workforce availability. This is an ongoing concern plaguing the healthcare industry. But they are ready to surge COVID capacity and make operational adjustments as local circumstances require, according to the FHA.
Over 47 percent (10,167,736) of Florida’s total population have been vaccinated, with 55.2 percent of the total population (11,851,154) receiving at least one dose. Of those over the age of 18, 66.1 percent (11,395,964j have received at least one dose and 57.1 percent (9,844,583) over 18 are fully vaccinated.
“The message is clear, this virus is now targeting younger people and the unvaccinated,” said Mary C. Mayhew, President and CEO, Florida Hospital Association. “The best protection is getting vaccinated. It could be the factor that keeps you from getting the virus. It could lessen your symptoms if you are one of the small number that still contracts the virus. The vaccine will likely keep you away from the hospital and ICU. The vaccine will likely be the thing that saves your life.”