The pandemic of the unvaccinated

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — We are now in the midst of a new pandemic… Local health officials say it’s a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

On Tuesday, Sanford Health said that 87 percent of its patients in the hospital due to COVID are unvaccinated.

Avera says it also seeing an increase in coronavirus patients, most of which are unvaccinated.

“It is so clear as we look at who’s being admitted every day,” Dr. David Basel of Aver Medical Group said.

Health professionals at both Avera and Sanford say 80-90 percent of their covid-19 patients are those who didn’t get the vaccine.

“There are two populations we are seeing and the vast vast majority who are being admitted into the hospital especially the ICU are unvaccinated,” Dr. Basel said.

But the needle hasn’t moved much for those getting the shot. According to the South Dakota Department of Health, more than 50 percent of all South Dakotans have completed their COVID-19 vaccinations.

“It could be because of health reasons, not convinced of the safety or efficacy of this vaccine or whether it’s because of political reasons or otherwise that’s not up for me to say, but I will say from the standpoint of the vaccine we can say for sure it is safe, effective and it will prevent you from ending up in the hospital or dying from covid,” Chief Physician of Sanford Health Dr. Jeremy Cauwels said.

The good news, doctors say, is we haven’t seen the surge in COVID-19 cases they were anticipating, which begs the question have we peaked?

“We don’t think we’ve hit it quite yet, we expect it right at about the turn of the month,” Dr. Jeremy Cauwels said.

“Cases have leveled off just a little bit for us the last week or so, but as we look at last year early October late September we had a little bit of a leveling off, but then we ticked back up again,” Dr. Basel said.

When it comes to the booster shot, not everyone needs it right now. Just those who are immuno-compromised or immuno-supressed.

“We are still not able to give booster vaccines to the general public, lets say they got vaccinated six months ago or nine months ago, the FDA is meeting on that late this week and probably the CDC after that so we hope to hear more on what’s going to be approved,” Dr. Basel said.

Both doctors say even if you’ve had COVID-19, you should still get the vaccine, because then you will have something they call ‘super immunity.’

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