Chief Medical Officer of OLOL Implores Acadiana to Get Vaccinated
Dr. Henry Kaufman says Acadiana will continue to have to deal with waves of increased COVID cases until more people become vaccinated. He adds that COVID is different from other pandemics in the past that as they replicated, they became weaker, but that is not the case with this virus.
At the height of the previous major surge of COVID cases, fifty percent of Our Lady of Lourdes' hospital beds were occupied with COVID patients. As people became vaccinated, the number then dropped to about 5 to 7 percent. In the last several weeks as numbers of COVID cases have risen with the Delta variant of the virus, Dr. Kaufman says that now twenty-five percent of hospital beds are filled with COVID patients. He says because this variant is two to two-and-a-half times more infectious, the number of people needing treatment will only continue to rise. He adds that this variant is causing more severe illness and more hospitalizations in those who get it.
Dr. Kaurman wants people in Acadiana to know that as the number of cases rises, it will strain the hospital system. This has happened before, which is why so many people had to postpone surgeries and treatment.
During the first wave of the pandemic, he says mostly the people who were being admitted to the hospital were older people and/or people with compromised immune. systems. Now, Dr. Kaufman says they are admitting more patients between thirty-five to fifty-five who are ending up on ventilators. He says people need to get vaccinated.
He says when you are vaccinated, if you do get COVID, you have a ninety-six percent chance that you won't have to be hospitalized, and there is an eighty-five percent chance that it will protect you from a severe illness.
What do you want to say to people who don't want to take the vaccine?
He says there are few treatments in America for a disease that are ninety-six percent effective. When you get the COVID shot, it exponentially increases the chances that if you do get COVID, you would have a very, very mild case.
COVID infection just isn't about the length of the major part of the illness, it's also about the lasting effects of the virus. He says there can be long-term issues for those who become ill. One of the major issues is what happens to your lungs if the inflammation sets in and scars your lungs. It can make life very difficult, and it will make it harder to battle things like pneumonia.
He says the disheartening thing about this situation currently, is that with only 30 percent of people vaccinated, we are going to have to continue to deal with waves of COVID because it's going to much longer to reach herd immunity. He says modern science and medicine have made a path to quickly eradicate the virus, but people are choosing to not vaccinate themselves.
Dr. Kaufman says please read information from legitimate sources about the virus and the vaccine.
You can hear our entire interview with Dr. Kaufman below: